December 17, 2016 / 2 minute read
The science of telematics has revolutionized the way Foss National Leasing helps clients manage their fleets.
However, we are often asked: “What are telematics?” and “How can telematics benefit my company?” These are important questions, because the technology has evolved dramatically in the past decade.
More and more companies are using telematics to reduce costs and liability while dramatically improving customer service. In simple terms, telematics uses telecommunications to send, receive and process information about remote objects (including your telephone for GPS). Relative to our industry, telematics provides valuable information, almost in real time, about the locations of fleet vehicles and how they’re operated.
Susan Johnson, COO of consulting firm EnVue Telematics, reports that telematics is now fundamental to good fleet management. “From monitoring driver behaviour to limiting accidents and risk, fleet managers have come to depend on telematics,” she says. “Not only do vehicles last longer and operate more effectively, driver behaviour and responsiveness improve measurably. Perhaps most important, companies enjoy an almost immediate cost savings.”
A REAL WORLD SCENARIO OF TELEMATICS
I think the best way to help you understand how telematics works is to share a real world example from one of our clients. Their objective was to reduce the costs of managing their fleet of service vans, primarily to:
- Ensure vehicles are driven according to company policy
- Track vehicle location at any time
- Reduce unauthorized after-hours vehicle use
- Optimize legitimate use of company vehicles
The client’s internal analysis projected the costs of the program would be covered with just a five-minute-per-day efficiency gain. However, the client also believed their work force was being reasonably well utilized and that only small improvements were achievable.
With telematics in place, they were quite surprised to find major issues across a number of key metrics including:
- Risk Mitigation - vehicles were being driven at much higher speeds than deemed acceptable
- Workforce Efficiency - some technicians were parking their vehicles at 2:00 in the afternoon, yet booking until 4:30pm
- External Company Costs - employees were using vehicles after-hours and for unauthorized moonlighting
- Maintenance Costs - driver reports detected harsh acceleration, hard braking/cornering and speeding
- Driver Behaviour - vehicles were arriving late and leaving job sites early
- Responsiveness - by monitoring the locations of workers at all times, dispatching improved significantly by activating teams closest to emergency locations
With this information in place, management moved quickly to educate and train its workforce and implement new policies that generated positive results almost immediately—especially to the bottom line. It’s no surprise that they were thrilled with the outcome and wondered why they waited so long to implement telematics into their fleet management solution.