By Jakes de Kock, group marketing director, UK Fuels
It’s a common misconception that telematics is an expensive, luxury tool that only the largest fleets can afford and ultimately benefit from.
The truth is vehicle telematics can help a fleet of two vehicles upwards become more efficient and by doing so deliver real cost savings. It allows you to monitor fuel use and fuel efficiency, increase productivity through vehicle routing and it promotes safe driving.
Of course, all three benefit fleets of any size. But the first two in particular are of value to smaller fleets as they directly reduce monthly fuel bills, which is vital when operating with narrower margins.
Some organisations have seen fuel bills fall by 20% just by using telematics to identify driver inefficiencies. It’s not hard to see why, when you consider that idling for upwards of 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting an engine and 10 minutes of idling can use more than a quarter of a litre of fuel.
For a small fleet of less than eight vehicles, every driver and vehicle is crucial to effective business operations – having just one knocked out of circulation can have a significant impact on productivity.
By using telematics, you’re always able to see where your drivers are in real-time, allowing much more efficient job allocation and route planning, meaning you can get your products from A to B as quickly as possible.
Being able to direct your drivers to the nearest jobs in real-time will further boost fuel efficiency by creating less dead mileage. It also opens up the opportunity to increase the number of paying jobs drivers can complete in one day.
Unsurprisingly, eight out of 10 commercial fleets say cost is the main barrier to introducing telematics. However, there are affordable options out there with short or zero minimum contract periods, allowing small businesses to have flexible pricing plans in place.
Good, competitive providers shouldn’t look to tie you into long contracts. Instead, they should be showing you that this technology is a money saver and not a cost to the business. There’s a reason the big companies all use vehicle telematics. Are you sure it isn’t for you?