Any company that counts commercial vehicles as a vital part of their operations uses some form of telematics fleet management. The system involves overseeing and maintaining fleets to ensure operations are seamless. Fleet management tasks include driver supervision, vehicle maintenance, route planning, and fuel consumption analysis.
On a smaller scale, this might be fulfilled by a small team. As operations scale, however, companies take advantage of fleet management software or telematics solutions to bring down operational costs.
What is Telematics and How Does it Work?
A telematics fleet management system uses sensors and GPS as a foundation for gathering, managing, and interpreting data from entire fleets. As of 2019, 86% of fleets used telematics, up from 48% in 2017 (source). By 2022, the North American telematics revenue numbers are set to reach $7.5 billion (source).
GPS is the cornerstone of real-time visibility and provides data on vehicle location, destination, speed, and routes. Sensors garner insights on acceleration speeds and rates, braking and cornering and general vehicle conditions. They can be used to operate individual vehicles, from setting temperatures remotely to opening doors and raising ramps.
The data from fleet telematics solutions are invaluable for fleet managers looking to optimize their operations and cut costs on post-incident maintenance. They are linked to servers hosting algorithms that sift through and visualize data. These visualizations highlight key performance indicators, failures, and potential risks, which ensure fleet managers are always a step ahead. The digital database can be accessed by authorized personnel at any time for pattern recognition and transparent supply chains.
What are the Benefits of Fleet Telematics?
Fleet telematics systems deliver better performance and more efficient operational flows across the board. Here are some tangible benefits that fleet-dependent companies can reap:
1) Collect real-time vehicle data
Telematics tracking provides near real-time updates of vehicle locations no matter how many are out on the road. This makes remote control a lot more possible, allowing fleet managers in the office to identify problematic routes, deliver instructions and ensure that the vehicle has completed its assigned task. All data is stored on a tracking server, which means authorized users can also gain access to the vehicle’s history alongside the real-time movement.
2) Optimize vehicle performance
Telematics fleet services allow managers to monitor all parts of their fleet and allocate resources on priority and based on performance. The sensors on each vehicle collect data on vehicle speed and condition, which can then be used during maintenance. This pre-emptive move ensures that each vehicle is used correctly and in top condition all the time. The sensors also identify cases of excess idling.
3) Decrease fuel costs
Fuel consumption can rack up massive costs for a company operating fleets, but using telematics technologies can drastically reduce those numbers. Speed, idling maintenance and route choices have direct impacts on fuel consumption– the data obtained from vehicles can be used to optimize performance and reduce fuel costs as a consequence. It can also identify areas of unnecessary fuel consumption and identify trends across vehicle types, routes, or even drivers.
4) Gathers predictive insights
Unforeseen accidents can hit a company hard and drive up costs, but predictive sights can help soften the blow or prevent it entirely. These insights are derived from real-time sensor data and contextual data available to telematics fleet software. This ability to track and stay on top of maintenance can reduce the chances of downtime and higher maintenance costs in the long run.
5) Improves driver safety
Fleet telematics devices are instrumental in monitoring and preventing dangerous driver safety issues such as harsh cornering, speeding, sharp acceleration and the use of seatbelts. They do so by making individual drivers more visible and accountable; it also ensures that two-way communication is at hand to ensure safety throughout the journey.
6) Increases productivity
Another of the more vital fleet telematics benefits is that it makes individual driver performance visible and highlights where they add value the most. This makes for a more productive and efficient workforce. It also ensures that customer service is of high quality and allows fleet managers to take care of driver health and issues.
7) Reduce operating costs significantly
Operating costs tend to build up due to small unseen purchases or fixes. By tracking every transaction and seeing where the budget is going, fleet managers can cut costs where required. Fleet managers can also ensure resources are efficiently allocated and pre-emptive maintenance is carried out to avoid sudden expenses in the future.
8) Better payroll management
Telematics fleet tracking allows fleet managers to identify whether drivers are padding hours and pay hourly or weekly rates accordingly. The system also allows the company to ensure drivers are paid for the hours they’ve worked and negates the chances of overdue payments or fudged amounts. Using telematics for payroll management keeps both company and driver accountable.
9) Improved business communication
With all collected data being stored in a central server, business stakeholders are likely to all be on the same page. Telematics also facilitate conversations between driver and manager, driver and driver, and manager and the team. This multi-level communication flow ensures no misunderstanding occurs.
10) Accurate scheduled alerts
Telematics fleet management can be used to send out accurate alerts to delivery receivers and customers on the status of their package. It leverages technologies such as geofencing for more accurately timed alerts; this increases customer trust and loyalty in the long run.
Telematics management systems increase fleet efficiency and automate tasks to free up human resources. In the long run, they reduce operational costs and maximise the use and life of existing machinery making the unit an overall progress-driven one. Picking the right telematics solution provider, therefore, is vital to your transformation as a smart fleet-operating company.
CONTUS is well-versed in the workings of telematics– get in touch and explore our Automotive IoT solutions to build a telematics fleet management system that’ll revolutionize your operations.