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FLEET Industry forum: The best way to introduce and use telematics data
Telematics will help, but don’t get bogged down
Manage by exception and concentrate only on areas that make most impact
Stewart Lightbody, Anglian Water
Dale Eynon, Defra
John Pryor, ACFO and Arcadia
Caroline Sandall, ACFO
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The ability to make effective use of data is a must-have requirement for running a successful fleet. What are the key considerations when choosing a provider? Our fleet panel came up with some pertinent questions which we put to Derek Bryan, VP of EMEA at Verizon Connect.
How can providers help customers interpret vast quantities of data to enable credible and effective decision-making to be made?
Start with the end in mind. Have clear goals and concentrate on those areas of performance that will effect the most positive change in the business. Align your management reports with your defined business goals so you can be clear where your improvements are made and where there is still work to be done and don’t forget to measure your results.
Many may still be ‘scared’ of the amount of data and what has to be done with it, how can telematics be used in a simple, manageable manner and in a way that clearly demonstrates business benefits, especially return on investment (ROI)?
Don’t get bogged down with the details of all the information to hand. Only manage by exception and concentrate only on those areas that make the most impact e.g. attaining a minimum standard of driver performance. Measure the before and after scenarios so you can define your ROI.
How can the industry work together to enable legacy and new systems to collaborate so customers can have one view from multiple vendors?
It’s a good idea to choose your telematics provider based on the individual needs of your fleet both now and into the future. It is definitely worth checking out the number of OEM relationships that a telematics provider has, as new vehicles entering the market will come with built-in hardware. If your telematics provider isn’t licensed to access that information then you will struggle to add-in aftermarket hardware as manufacturers restrict access to on-board diagnostics (OBD) ports. Also, choose a provider with a good track record for platform development and customer engagement – many developments in the industry stem from a real customer need.
What (true) innovation is coming down the line which will make us think – ‘I need this in my life’?
Mobile Resource Management (MRM) is the natural progression of telematics as it combines all the facets of a field-based workforce’s day-to-day activities.
It includes not only the vehicles driven, but the drivers and the work they do on a single platform, so all the jobs and resources can be scheduled automatically, while still being able to factor in any new or last minute additions.
MRM also allows for application programming interface (API) integration into back office systems like human resources or payroll, so accurate recording and pay-out of overtime can be seamlessly incorporated into the business.
With the increase in data from connected cars, why should I invest in a separate telematics box?
Telematics hardware is a means to an end but the benefits of using telematics are already well proven. Aftermarket hardware is often the best option currently available.
Telematics gives so much data on driver performance. If you miss something where is the liability as you would have “known”?
Drivers are ultimately responsible for their own actions, but as an employer you have to ensure that you create an environment where risk is monitored and reduced to acceptable levels. Don’t ignore poor driving habits and ensure that they are not tolerated. Any infringements or bad driving habits should be called out and addressed by modifying behaviour or attending training.
Take up of telematics remains low considering the advantages it can deliver (especially for cars) – why is this?
The UK is one of the most developed markets, with about a third of it already engaged, but there is still room for growth, as companies begin to understand and exploit the benefits digital transformation brings to running a mobile workforce. While adoption in cars is lower, the introduction of telematics as standard fit on new models (especially cars) will help drive greater adoption. After all, companies have no less duty of care to ensure car drivers, such as sales reps or engineers are complying with company guidelines as much as drivers of CVs. Forward-thinking organisations will come to recognise this fact as they become more enlightened or, tragically, because of adverse circumstance.
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