Making the case for a telematics solution
Telematics can be a difference-maker for modern fleets. In a business environment that is crowded with challenges like rising fuel costs, economic
uncertainty, public sector spending cuts and pressure to reduce harmful emissions, the insights provided by a good telematics solution can provide a genuine competitive advantage.
However, while you might be convinced of the benefits of getting on board with telematics, the decision-makers in your organisation may be more sceptical, which is understandable as the obstacles mentioned above make a prudent approach to expenditure wise. Or perhaps you’re a business owner who is considering telematics, but need reassurance that the technology will provide a return on your investment.
Either way, this guide will provide the answers you need. It details how you can make the case for telematics to senior management and in doing so demonstrates the advantages of the technology, which translate to benefits that far outweigh the costs.
WHAT TELEMATICS DOES
To successfully make the case for a telematics solution, it’s important to be able to explain what it does and how this benefits your business.
Simple vehicle tracking
The core function of telematics is to allow businesses to track their fleets and use the information this provides to make improvements. Being aware of the movements of your vehicles and identifying how and when they are being used will give you data that will help you streamline your fleet and alert you to use of your vehicles out of hours. The potential impact of these
insights cannot be understated. Telematics provides information about each of the day-to-day activities that combine to decide whether a fleet business succeeds or fails. Being able to monitor and improve these activities will have a huge bearing on your organisation’s bottom line.
The habits of an individual driver might not seem that important in the grand scheme of things, but if your entire workforce are all making the same mistakes, this can have a huge impact on the fortunes of the business and run up costs that are simply unnecessary.
Telematics can identify any negative driver behaviours in your fleet, allowing you to ensure they are corrected. This can have a wide-reaching impact across the business. For example, encouraging best practice by eradicating instances of over speeding and harsh braking can lower accident rates improve safety and reduce fuel consumption factors that have a notable impact on the bottom line.
• 4,726 people have been killed and over 40,000 seriously injured in collisions involving an at-work driver since 2006
• Almost 30 per cent of road deaths and more than 22 per cent of serious casualties occurred in accidents involving at least one at-work driver
or rider between 2006 and 2014
• Average diesel and petrol prices have more than doubled between
1995 and 2013
• In August 2014, average diesel and petrol pump prices stood at 129.12p
and 133.55p respectively
The cost of fuel is one of the greatest drains on UK fleets and anything that can be done to ease this burden is a welcome boost for businesses. Telematics can lead to fuel savings in a number of ways. As mentioned, improving driver behaviour will help to cut out unnecessary fuel use, while using vehicle tracking to optimise routes and reduce journey times also leads to savings.
There are environmental advantages to consider too. Using less fuel makes fleets greener, which is positive from an ethical point of view, but also has its financial
advantages. Fleets are coming under pressure to reduce their emissions and plans are afoot for the introduction of an Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London.The fuel savings brought about by telematics can help businesses overcome these challenges.
Jobs and messaging
Efficiency is key to business success and fleets are certainly no exception. Telematics has the potential to radically improve the efficiency of your business. For example, by knowing exactly where your vehicles are you’ll be able to assign jobs to the nearest drivers, meaning journey times and fuel usage are reduced as well as increasing the number of jobs you can undertake each day. Telematics allows you to communicate with your drivers in real time, using detailed insights to help them do their jobs as effectively as possible and enabling you to reap the greatest rewards for the business.
Hours of service
The regulatory environment surrounding hours of service can be something of a minefield and it’s important that businesses have the necessary insights and expertise to ensure compliance. An effective telematics solution allows dispatchers, load planners and fleet managers to know the status of their drivers in real time and eliminates much of the hard work associated with keeping paper records. The data collected through hours of service monitoring can also be used to spot areas for improvement in driver behaviour, which can lead to even greater cost savings.
These are just some of the core benefits of a telematics solution, with each one providing a return that outweighs the cost by far. Presenting these to senior management will go a long way to convincing them of telematics’ worth.
MiX Telematics’ client Benton’s Haulage achieved considerable cost savings by using one of our solutions:
• More than £20,000 in fuel savings
• 25% saving on mobile call costs
• £500 per month saved on congestion charges through vehicle tracking showing the fine was incorrect
• £250 saved for parking offences received where the vehicle registration
number had been incorrectly detailed
ENSURING MAXIMUM ROI
The benefits listed above show how a telematics solution can improve the performance of your business and reduce expenditure. However, telematics is not something you can simply introduce and expect to work wonders while left to its own devices. By carefully planning what it is that you want from the solution and paying close attention to detail,you’ll be able to get the most out of the technology and ensure the maximum return on investment is achieved.
Every fleet is different and this means what they need from a telematics solution also varies significantly. For instance, the requirements of a small commercial fleet will be completely distinct to those of a large bus operator. When planning to implement the technology at your business, think about the key challenges facing your organisation and what you need from telematics to overcome these obstacles. With a clear set of objectives in mind, it will be far easier to achieve the maximum benefits from your telematics solution and get the best return on investment possible.
Attention to detail
Telematics provides the raw information needed to improve your fleet, but it is important to remember that data is only ever as good as what you do with it. Taking the time to assess the insights your solution provides in detail will allow you to draw far more value from the information. Fleets that get the most out of telematics are those that adopt a holistic approach to the technology and incorporate it alongside their existing risk management and organisational efficiency policies. Engaging with a telematics supplier that continues to help you get the most out of your solution is a vital prerequisite. It is also important to think about telematics from the drivers’ perspective. It can be easy to see the technology as a ‘spy in the cab’, which could reduce their engagement and make them less willing to take onboard the recommendations gleaned from telematics data. To avoid this situation, it is vital to ensure drivers are made aware of how and why telematics is being introduced and to make sure they understand that the purpose of the technology is to unlock benefits, such as lower accident rates and reduced costs, which will be of advantage to everyone in the company.
Telematics’ true ROI stems from the visibility it provides, which allows you to gain a far greater level of control over your business. When applied with the careful planning and attention to detail mentioned above, it can lead to a reduction in up to 62 per cent of your operational costs, a figure that could easily prove the difference between business success and failure.
The insights provided by telematics mean you no longer need to rely on guesswork or incomplete information when assessing your fleet’s performance and seeking to improve operational efficiencies. It is a challenging economic environment for the fleet industry at present, and the control telematics provides is a vital arrow in any business quiver.
MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of telematics and how it can provide real ROI, it’s important to ensure you choose the correct solution.
When assessing your options there are a few questions that need to be asked:
• Can the telematics provider meet your unique requirements?
• Have they worked with your type of business before?
• Do they make use of the latest technological innovations?
• Do they have the expertise to help turn data insights into action?
• Do they understand the challenges facing your business and know how telematics can be used to overcome these obstacles?
At MiX Telematics we can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions. In addition to our leading telematics technology, we offer advice and guidance from our expert fleet consultants, who are dedicated to ensuring you get the most out of your solution and fulfil your goals. From field and transport and logistics, through to bus and coach and the emergency services, we have worked with all manner of fleets, helping them to improve safety, save fuel, become greener and boost the bottom line.
The beauty of telematics is that the insights it provides allow the technology to pay for itself. At MiX, we pride ourselves on delivering cutting-edge technology, but even more importantly, service levels to match.
MiX Telematics offer telematics solution packages that are flexible to each client’s unique needs. From simple vehicle tracking, through to an advanced tailored solution, we provide the features that your business needs.
For further information contact us on +44 121 717 5385 or visit mixtelematics.co.uk