Cars in a row

Key management of your vehicle fleet

16. Aug 2022 | By Malena Gärtner

Corporate CarSharing is about the joint use of one or more vehicles. In the company fleet, key management is an important aspect of Corporate CarSharing.

The handover of keys

With the fleet key management, the key is issued manually to the employee. A problem with this can be several identical keys. If the company has a large fleet, there are often many identical vehicles. The keys then usually do not differ.

Therefore, a separate marking must be attached to each key. Only in this way can the keys be kept apart and issued correctly.

Especially if many keys are issued every day, the keys should also be stored clearly. A key box is ideally suited for this, but if there are many keys, it should contain a certain system so that employees can find the keys easily and quickly.

Security aspects in the key management fleet

In addition to the clarity that a key box offers, it should also have sufficient security. Thieves usually do not try to break open the cars in fleets - instead, they look for the keys. Once they have found them, the cars can be stolen quite easily. The key can also be used to bypass alarm systems or immobilizers.

It is therefore crucial that the keys are stored securely. There are certain modern key boxes that have elaborate security mechanisms. These cannot be easily bypassed and offer a high level of security. In this case, the keys are always kept in the key box until an employee needs the associated car. After the business trip, the key is handed back immediately. The employees do not simply have access to the keys, but only via the fleet's key management system. the handover of the keys is precisely logged in the process. The responsibility to return the corresponding key lies with the respective employee who removed it.

The digital key box

Digitization has also made inroads in the area of vehicle fleets. There is therefore also the option of digital key management in Corporate CarSharing. There is a corresponding smartphone app for this. The car can then be used with this digital key. Such an electronic key box in Corporate CarSharing is initially a change for the employees. They have to be prepared for this by means of training. This is the only way to ensure that the new model functions smoothly. However, it is a very worthwhile investment.

An electronic key box has great advantages over a traditional key box in the area of management and security. Management is much easier because access can be controlled electronically. If employees do not have access to the vehicles, the electronic system cannot be used by them. Theft is also much more difficult this way.

Digital key box
Digital key box

This is how electronic key management works in Corporate CarSharing

More and more companies are digitizing the management of their keys, as the way it works is very simple and quick to grasp. First of all, all keys must be stored in the system. In any case, the storage must be neat and clear. Only if this is the case can the process for finding keys be facilitated. If an employee needs a key, he or she can request it. The system then picks out the right key independently.

Electronic key management can also be extended to other areas. Not only keys for vehicles can be entered, but also keys for the buildings. Integration into an existing or future access system is also possible.

There are many different providers for the digital key, so it is essential to compare the different providers before signing a contract

Facilitation through digital key management

Digital key management is also worthwhile in smaller fleets. This is especially the case when many employees share the vehicles. Conventional key boards often cause confusion. Digitization can simplify and better plan all the necessary steps of fleet management. Be it billing, maintenance, operation or mobility use. Drivers, orders and associated vehicles are networked on one platform, so fleet management can be optimized. Through better planning, all vehicles are utilized to capacity, and keys can also be issued anywhere and not just at the location of the fleet's key management. Flexible adaptation of the system to changing conditions is also possible.

Digital key management from fleetster

With the fleetster key cabinet system, fleet managers have the possibility to automate the complete process of key transfer. The key cabinet is a reliable solution for the management of vehicle keys. Keys can only be removed or returned if there is a corresponding booking or allocation - thus protecting vehicles from theft and unauthorized access.

Thanks to the documentation in the cloud system of fleetster, it can be traced at any time where the keys and vehicles are located and who booked the vehicle last.

Digital Key box
Digital Key box

Invers & Geotab Keyless

The CarSharing Kit is a telematics system that is installed in the vehicle. The digital car key can be used to unlock and lock vehicles with the smartphone. The device also transmits information such as GPS position, fuel level, door status and much more to fleetster's secure backend servers in real time.

fleetster works with one of the market leaders in telematics systems for sharing hardware: Invers. Invers offers a very robust solution that enables the opening and closing mechanism via smartphone, RFID or remotely. The so-called CarSharing Kit is installed in a vehicle. The kit remains behind the panel and is therefore invisible to the user. All data points can be viewed in real time via the web app of the administrator, so that system administrators always have an overview of where a pool car is, who last used the vehicle and what the current actual state of the vehicle is.

Geotab launched the new CarSharing Kit - Geotab keyless - in 2020 with the world's five leading car sharing software providers. fleetster has already integrated the car sharing hardware into the software platform and linked it to all existing systems and functions. Geotab keyless accesses the original vehicle data via the OBD port, making this CarSharing Kit very easy to use in terms of installation and synchronization. Furthermore, Geotab keyless can be equipped with a so-called T-harness, which duplicates the OBD port and thus keeps it free for workshop visits.