In today’s always-connected world, contractors can use technologies to gather data about fleets. In addition to simply using the tech to give drivers assignments and improve dispatching, systems can also integrate with backoffice applications for project management, billing, and HR (human resources), among others, to improve processes across the entire company.

Like many organizations in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) space, Burns & McDonnell, www.burnsmcd.com, Kansas City, Mo., previously used internally designed spreadsheets and databases to manage fleet data. Naturally, this method is ripe with inefficiencies and runs the risk of human error when manually transferring information from these databases to other departments such as billing and HR.

Now, the architecture, engineering, construction, and consulting firm is using fleet-management technology to gather and share data by integrating the new system directly with its third-party applications.

With FleetWave from Chevin Fleet Solutions, www.chevinfleet.com/us/fleetwave-asset-management-software-system/, Belper, England, fleet managers can view data such as fuel spend, maintenance scheduling, and overall fleet operation. Burns & McDonnell says it choose this particular piece of technology due to its ability to integrate with third-party applications.

For example, driver assignments, associated charge-out rates, and specific project details can automatically be passed from FleetWave to Burns & McDonnell’s project management and billing systems from Oracle, www.oracle.com, Redwood City, Calif. For Burns & McDonnell, this means the appropriate usage charges can be sent directly from the fleet to the backoffice software, minimizing the chance of human error and ensuring charges are accurately billed to customers.

The FleetWave software will also be integrated with HR applications, selected national account service providers, and procurement cards from Comdata, www.comdata.com, Brentwood, Tenn., to automatically import all maintenance data and fuel spend.

The implementation of this fleet-management technology at Burns & McDonnell is scheduled to go live during the second quarter of 2013.

More often, large and small construction firms are turning to fleet-tracking software to keep an eye on the vehicles and dispatching. However, there could be opportunity to do more with this technology, syncing data from the fleet straight to project management, accounting and job costing, and HR applications.