Fleet management companies are set to boost their investment in more sophisticated online tools, in an effort to gain a solid advantage over competitors, according to fleet software company Chevin.

Many of the services and products fleet management firms provide are basic commodities bought with price in mind, says Ashley Sowerby, managing director at Chevin. For this reason, many firms looking to the future seek to stand out from the crowd by offering high-quality services. Employing sophisticated online tools is the way to stand-out and it's also cost-effective, Sowerby added.

Given customers' growing expectations regarding online technology, fleet operators are also becoming extremely keen to make use of innovative online tools to impress clients. Offering a simple portal with a wide range of tools that allows the company to dig into its own data and obtain basic information about the vehicles in their fleet is now taken for granted. The same is true for ordering, quoting and de-fleeted tools, according to Sowerby.

Today, the more sophisticated fleet management portals are much like fleet software with limited functionality, dealing with basic areas such as CO2 emissions, mileage and other factors. Many of those portals are compatible with apps that can be used by drivers. These platforms cannot compete with fleet management systems as they are targeting a different audience, Sowerby noted. There is a desire for more investment in the segment, but it would be justified only if the right projects are identified, he concluded.