Fleet News

Telematics: Can telematics trials find your winning formula?

Telematics providers will wax lyrical about the benefits of their systems, but how can you be sure which ones will be realised on your fleet?
The best way to address this is to trial the system first. Ideally, you should trial telematics for a number of months to gather the necessary data.

This will also allow employees to get used to the technology and overcome any resistance should you decide to roll the system out.
The results can form a key part of the business case, helping to gain board level approval, if required.

We speak to fleets who've taken telematics trials on, to see the results.

Jason Perry, general manager, MCL Energy

Why did you trial telematics? We install, service and maintain industrial heating systems and boilers and needed a telematics system that ensured we could give the most accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA) as possible to clients.

How did you get approval from senior managers? As the company’s general manager, I took the decision myself.

How did you decide which supplier to trial? We had meetings with several and took the decision to go with Big Change as its telematics best suited our requirement for the most accurate ETA possible.

Which vehicles did you trial it in? Our entire fleet of 16 vans, including Peugeot Partners, Ford Transits, Transit Connects, Vauxhall Vivaros and Volkswagen Transporters.

What type of journeys are the vehicles used for? They are driven by engineers, who operate from key locations nationwide and they regularly drive on motorways.

How long was the trial? Three months.

What results did you see? Within days of the telematics being installed on the first few vehicles, we realised that Big Change gave us the opportunity to update clients on an engineer’s ETA with 90% accuracy. The system is linked to Google Maps which shows us their precise whereabouts. On one occasion, a customer requiring a repair rang to ask for an ETA and we were able inform them that he had just pulled on to their premises.

What challenges did you face? Two of our vans are based permanently with our engineers in Scotland and it would have been disruptive for these to be brought to our headquarters in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, for the telematics to be installed. Once we made our concerns known to Big Change, it sent its technicians to Scotland – at its own cost – to equip those vans.

What are you doing as a result of the trial? We’ve kept telematics in place and installed it in our 10 company cars too. The fact that we now provide these live updates is proving very popular with clients.

What telematics advice do you have for other fleet managers? It’s a no-brainer if you’ve got a small fleet of vehicles like ours. Ensure you know exactly what you want to achieve from telematics and pick the company that best responds to your individual needs.

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