Selecting a telematics provider: for ALD it's got to be a consultative approach
Telematics providers should get under the skin of your business to ensure they can provide the solutions you really need
Finding the right solution
Having entered the telematics industry in 2004, we at ALD Automotive have witnessed first-hand how telematics opens up new opportunities for fleets to address and improve cost savings, reduce emissions, simplify mileage expense claims, manage risk, and much more.
It’s a technology with the power to benefit all fleets from large corporates with 1,000-plus vehicles to SMEs with fewer than 10.
Embarking on finding a single solution can be a daunting process for fleets, and selecting a telematics provider is not a decision to be taken lightly. Much thought and consideration needs to go into the process and businesses must be comfortable that their preferred provider is really up to the job. Over the years, customer feedback has enabled us to take
a huge leap forward with our own telematics technology, developing the product we offer today – ProFleet.
Andy Green has been part of ALD’s account management team for more than 17 years and has helped hundreds of customers embed ProFleet into their fleets. Here, Andy talks through the key stages of selecting a telematics provider as part of the supply chain and explains why ALD prefers a consultative approach:
We step into your shoes
In my experience, the fleets that take a considered approach to the challenges they face see the true value of telematics. Some customers have clear objectives they’re looking to achieve – a reduction in CO2 emissions for example – and that’s great because we can quickly identify how ProFleet will address those needs. However, often fleets will have an idea of the major pinch points, but are unsure about the causes or how to tackle them.
When speaking with prospective customers in this position, I set the goal of really getting to the bottom of what’s keeping them awake at night. That often involves an audit of the business and its incumbent fleet policy. This might involve speaking to a number of key stakeholders who may not be close to the daily management of the fleet, but will have significant influence over it or interest in it, for example, the HR director or procurement officer.
I took this approach with a customer who had ambitious growth plans and was looking for a partner to help them get there. They were a security company that supplied alarm systems to both corporate and private customers and, at the time, operated a relatively small fleet.
They were about to face changes in their business and needed the support and expertise to help them take their fleet to the next level.
I tried to get right to the heart of the business to unearth the true challenges they faced. I involved other experts within ALD who could offer technical insight, including our ProFleet support team.
The holistic and consultative approach allowed us to employ our experience and expertise in the most efficient way possible, and helped us identify solutions to help manage their challenges.
We work with you to define clear objectives
The second stage is to identify clear goals and outcomes to achieve – defining your objectives will allow you to measure the true value of telematics for your fleet and
Members of the ALD team and myself worked closely with the security company customer to put in place clear, focused and measurable objectives that were right for them.
We identified two main areas to be resolved. The first was to view journey data relating to the company’s vehicles so they could validate their sales team’s client visit records and to assign drivers to nearby customer call outs. The second was to obtain greater control over fuel costs.
Once in place, we could clearly demonstrate how ProFleet would be directly relevant to achieving their objectives:
1 Accurate and auditable journey logs to verify both the occurrence of the business journey, validate the business miles claimed and pinpoint drivers via GPS tracking.
2 Behavioural data, including the ability to identify “fuel hungry” practices such as speeding, harsh braking and excessive idling. Using this data, the customer could implement driver training to help it to improve fuel efficiency, having a positive impact on fuel spend.
We take you on a test drive
We appreciate the many factors involved in selecting a telematics supplier and every business will have different stakeholders to engage. Understandably, before implementation a customer will want to witness the product firsthand to see the benefits for themselves – it’s important to feel comfortable that the investment of time, cost and resource in the chosen
system will pay off.
We carry out live demonstrations of ProFleet early on in our discussions, and recommend customers carry out a short term trial of ProFleet to experience the full benefits of the system before rolling it out. In doing so, fleet decision-makers can demonstrate the value of the system to other key stakeholders. Showing benefits to drivers can be particularly useful to combat anxiety surrounding captured data.
Implementation: we won’t leave you to your own devices
A massive part of the implementation plan will be making sure you and your drivers feel fully comfortable with the system. We work closely with clients to develop a training plan that’s as comprehensive as they need. In the case of the security company, we recognised the need to help their drivers fully buy into ProFleet and we worked alongside them to identify how we could manage this.
We realised open communication was key to gaining driver trust, so we created a set of communications and support documents the company could share directly with its drivers.
As an account manager, I’m on hand to provide support and answer any questions customers may have as ProFleet settles into their business and beyond. It’s an ongoing process and we understand that needs change over time – you may even identify additional areas in which ProFleet can help your fleet.
Since installing ProFleet, the security firm has seen a reduction in insurance premiums of £135 per vehicle across their fleet. This equates to a saving of £17.5k per annum – a significant achievement which goes far beyond meeting their objectives.
- When choosing a telematics provider, Andy Green's advice is:
- Unearth your biggest challenges and the root causes - find a provider that can support you through this process
- Clear objectives and achievements will make it easier to measure the success of your chosen system
- Ensure you experience the system before you make any major decisions
- Use your provider as a partner for ongoing support - encourgage improvements and refine the solution in line with your changing needs