If you’re a fleet manager and you’re not familiar with telematics, it’s time to learn all about it. Because adopting vehicle telematics solutions can set you apart from your competitors. The key is not to just gather data using tracking devices and other monitoring equipment, but rather it’s what you do with the data.
Whether you manage a fleet of vans, telematics can eliminate all of the notepads, logs, spreadsheets and manual entry methods of tracking time, mileage, expenses and everything else. Telematics tools and apps enable you to automate and streamline all of your back office tasks.
For example, just imagine how much time you’ll save by eliminating manual mileage tracking. If you implement the right system, you’ll be able to monitor your service or transportation vehicles remotely, no matter where they may be. As a manager, you’ll be able to obtain almost real-time updates on your fleet data using vehicle tracking systems. And that’s just for starters.
Fleet managers can more accurately identify which vehicles in the fleet are underutilized. For example, fleet passenger vans that idles for 30% of the time is being totally underutilized. Once the fleet manager has that information at hand, they can determine why specific vans are sitting idle to develop more efficient solutions.
Maybe the fleet is using the wrong size equipment, or the interior is disorganized. By using telematics you can analyze and evaluate data from each vehicle to determine whether or not you require new assets or you simply need to reallocate the ones you currently have.
One of the bright spots of telematics is the opportunity to reduce downtime. The data you gather on impending vehicle mechanical issues and maintenance problems can help you manage service needs of each vehicle and avoid extended downtime.
The data from telematics on odometer readings can pinpoint utilization patterns, and alert you to impending vehicle maintenance problems. This affords fleet managers the opportunity to analyze and optimize the vehicle life cycle planning process. By doing this proactively, you’ll be able to optimize the replacement planning of your fleet.
Avoiding Fraudulent Reporting
Because telematics offers you an accurate picture of fuel purchases, you’ll be able to identify the areas where fuel purchases don’t correlate with reported locations and mileage. In addition, the fleet manager will be able to see when a job is reported as completed but the system shows that the driver was never at that specific location. The concept is not to spy on employees, but rather to understand what problems are occurring and finding innovative ways to mitigate them.
Minimal Learning Curve
You would think that adopting telematics could present a steep learning curve and slow adoption by fleet managers, but that’s really not the case. The systems, web interface and the implementation process are all relatively easy to understand.
The other consideration is that it’s up to the fleet manager how simple or complex the system will be. Most managers start on a basic level and increase the complexity as they become more familiar with utilizing the different components of the telematics.
Bottom line: there will be a change in how the fleet is managed, but it’s clear that the data provided by telematics helps fleet managers reduce costs and increase productivity – and ultimately providing a competitive advantage.