Benefits of managing by exception

Published on October 29, 2012 in Productivity by Geotab

Management by Exception is a policy by which management focuses its time on the most critical issues that will most impact results.

Management by Exception is a “policy by which management devotes its time to investigating only those situations in which actual results differ significantly from planned results.” The idea is that management should spend its valuable time concentrating on the more important items, such as shaping the company’s strategic course. With a long-term orientation, attention is given only to material deviations that require investigation.


The benefits of thinking and planning at a strategic level seem straight forward, yet many organizations and individuals often get so caught up in the small, daily details. Oftentimes, this micro management approach results in an overall loss of productivity and perhaps, valuable resources. This same concept can be applied to fleet management. Managers must be able to set longer term goals and evaluate the performance results and trends.


To avoid overdoing, overlooking, or over managing, you should define thresholds that highlight only undesired results or results that would require further actions. To do this you, the following 3 basic rules can be applied:

1. Set thresholds that make sense: Spend as much time as needed to ensure that your thresholds are meaningful and sensible.

2. Stay away when it’s working: When all processes are running smoothly, simply move on to target other core areas while overseeing the current functions.

3. Focus on eliminating the exceptions: Now that you have more time on your hands, you should focus your attention on getting rid of any exceptions (or factors that lead to the exceptions) so that they do not come back. An exception that keeps coming back is counter-productive, and perhaps a different approach needs to be applied.


Geotab has always focused on providing businesses with the tools they need to be able to manage fleets efficiently and effectively by identifying the core areas in need of attention, such as:

  • Staying on top of your fleet fuel economy
  • Ensuring that your drivers are where they should be
  • Ensuring that vehicles are serviced before they break down
  • Ensuring your customers reciebe their goods when you promised them


Geotab has made it very easy for managers to get thresholds defined within fleet systems, by a simple click of your mouse from a large list of common and powerful predefined rules. You also have the ability to tweak those predefined rules to match your company policies; or create a new one using a powerful scripting interface. All that tied to our dashboards and exception notification tools gives you everything you need to create, define and effectively manage your fleet.


If you would like to see a demo or find out more about Geotab’s fleet solutions, please click here.

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Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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