Fleet News

Telematics: Making a business case

Case file: Indesit

“The challenge is building the business case,” Gus Pasqualino, fleet manager at Indesit

The problem

Indesit has carried out three telematics trials, but has not yet decided to roll it out across its fleet of 700 vans and 250 cars.

Gus Pasqualino believes there are benefits from having telematics, such as identifying drivers’ hours of work, how long they have been on the road for, verifying parking tickets and mileage reimbursements, reducing idling time and addressing speeding.

However, the decision to implement telematics isn’t a straightforward one.

“It isn’t just up to me,” Pasqualino explains. “I need buy-in from everyone – unions, senior managers and drivers. Cost is an issue for a large fleet like ours even though the benefits from telematics could potentially mean it is cost neutral.”

The responses

TomTom Business Solutions says: The company must establish what it would like to change, improve and take control of within their fleet operations.

A telematics company could work with the fleet manager to demonstrate how it would benefit.

For finance directors, compelling returns on investment can be demonstrated.

For operations managers, substantial efficiency gains, streamlined operational processes and reduced administrative burdens would be highlighted.

For unions and drivers, the business case would include everything from safer working conditions, less stress behind the wheel and less laborious paperwork to reduced tax liabilities, protection against false customer claims and a more equitable distribution of work.

ALD says: According to a survey by Digicore, 77% of companies that fitted telematics claimed they had reduced their costs; 64% saw an increase in productivity; 52% felt there had been an improvement in security; 51% said they had enhanced fleet and employee performance.

The statistics supporting investment in telematics are substantial: ALD customers have reported reductions of 11-15% in business mileage expenses; one saved £350000 from the recovery of stolen vehicles.

Motrak says: The business case could include protecting senior management by making sure the company fulfils its duty of care.

Trackers also protect drivers from exploitation, and they ensure the company complys with the Working Time Directive and driving hours regulations – which will appeal to unions and managers.


Case file: Bauer

“I don’t have the resource to analyse and act on the data,” Debbie Floyde, group fleet manager at Bauer

The problem

Debbie Floyde says that “in an ideal world” she might use telematics, having seen the technology in action when Bauer
took part in a Fleet News trial in 2010/11.

However, she questions whether she would be able to look at every incident of harsh cornering, braking and speeding and take action with the drivers.

She is concerned about where she would stand from a legal point of view if she doesn’t act on all of the information.

“That’s not to say we’re not concerned whether drivers speed or not but we have other measures to encourage safe driving such as online risk assessments and driver training.”

Floyde also doesn’t see the benefit of checking up on a driver’s location. “We like to trust our staff,” she says.

The responses

Quartix says: Vehicle tracking systems do supply customers with a lot of data, but not only is this data shown in easy-to-read tables and graphs, it is also not essential to analyse it all to add value to your fleet.

"You might want to concentrate on reducing fuel costs one quarter, and therefore look at driving behaviour, or optimise itineraries another quarter by analysing route maps.

It is surely better to know if your drivers are using the road dangerously and to act upon that information rather than wait for a serious accident and then face the legal consequences.

TomTom Business Solutions says: The fleet manager’s trust of the company’s staff should be commended but the technology shouldn’t be viewed as a tool to spy on employees.

There are a host of reasons for telematics’ adoption from simply dispatching the most appropriate vehicle to jobs to winning and retaining business by proving adherence to service level agreements.

Ctrack says: It is possible to engage directly with a driver by using an in-vehicle device that alerts them to any infringements – such as speed violations, harsh acceleration, braking, cornering and bumping, and excessive idling – when on the road to encourage improved behaviour and responsibility.

It is also possible to provide a log-in to their own web-based dashboard to create buy-in from drivers.

The fleet manager is then presented with league tables and KPI dashboards, which allow large numbers of data points to be understood and acted upon in a matter of minutes. ??


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