John Mills, head of mobile workforce telematics at Microlise, looks at understanding telematics.
The BVRLA released its annual Fleet Technology Survey this week, as covered in FleetNews.
As outlined in the original article, 97% of more than 150 fleet managers surveyed are excited about new automotive technology, but 58% believe it is difficult to quantify return on investment.
The research also found that 58% of respondents do not invest in new vehicle technologies until a clear return on investment is demonstrable, delaying the development and adoption of new technologies.
Interestingly, a solution already exists to this challenge, and the technology is already widely adopted by field service and fleet operators. I am of course talking about telematics, a tool that provides valuable insight and analysis that can support a fleet operator in understanding return on investment on purchases on fleet technology or vehicle technology.
So how does telematics help understand ROI on automotive technology?
Well, modern telematics solutions provide a detailed level of insight into the performance of a fleet. If we look at driving style for example, a fleet operator can see a base line of performance across individual drivers, groups of drivers or all drivers, across a whole range of measures.
Using this baseline of performance, a fleet operator can pinpoint the time that a new technology was rolled out across the fleet, or a group of vehicles, and compare performance on relevant KPIs at a granular level.
Taking cameras for example, a fleet operator might see that across a group of vehicles trialling the technology a reduction in harsh braking and harsh acceleration is seen, compared to the performance of those same vehicles prior to the cameras being installed, or others in the fleet.
The fleet operator can then look into why such a change might have occurred, but most importantly begin to calculate, based on real data, the likely return on investment as a result of the benefits seen. In this example, that might be reduced accidents and vehicle wear and tear, increased safety, and better fuel use as a more safe and economical driving style is adopted.
There are many such examples and another might be an investment in mobile technology, directly providing drivers with their performance data. A fleet manager could look at the telematics data to understand whether drivers were improving their own driving performance, as a result of being given access to the information.
With telematics now widely used on fleets across the UK, fleet operators have the answers at their fingertips. If used correctly, telematics has a powerful role to play in understanding the ROI of technology adopted, but furthermore, be used to understand performance areas that might be targeted to deliver maximum impact moving forwards.