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September 25, 2019

Is Vehicle Telematics Right for Your Fleet?

Since vehicle telematics was introduced, there has been a debate of whether this technology is beneficial to fleets and if they should use it.

On one side of the coin, there are common objections to vehicle telematics that range from “big brother” and budgetary concerns to big data and not knowing how to manage it. On the other side, there are businesses who have implemented vehicle telematics to their operations and believe there is no question whether this technology should be used. The benefits experienced in their operations, such as increased productivity and efficiency, reduced risk, and reduced costs, make the choice to use vehicle telematics a no brainer.

It's time to examine both sides of the coin to understand the common concerns of vehicle telematics, and how easily they can be laid to rest.

The “Big Brother” Theory

This theory tends to be the biggest concern for businesses about whether or not to implement vehicle telematics to their operations. You may believe drivers think it will invade their privacy or believe it to be a sign of distrust from management. Many fleet managers have close relationships with their drivers (some even are former drivers themselves) and may not feel it is necessary, doing more harm than good.

Debunking the Theory

First, it’s important to understand that the goal of vehicle telematics is not to get employees in trouble, invade their privacy, or show distrust; the goal is to improve your business. Measuring driver performance is another way to help your fleet be more productive, safer on the roads, and increase the company’s bottom line. All jobs measure employee performance, so why should a business’s mobile workforce be any different? If a business is not evaluating employee performance, it is likely that the fleet is not at peak performance.

Coaches Corner: 

Football coaches review tape with their team to make adjustments in order to improve the next game.

Sales managers review recorded phone calls to coach sales representatives to improve for the next sale.

NASCAR crew chiefs are constantly coaching the driver with various analytics to help shave time off each lap.

Writers have Editors to keep them on track with deadlines and proofread their work.

Budget Concerns

Some fleet professionals think that vehicle telematics is too expensive and that they don’t have room in the budget for this technology. If finding a solution is not a top priority for your organization, it may not seem necessary to incur this cost.

Show Me the ROI!

Yes, there is an upfront cost to a quality telematics solution, but it’s important to consider the long-term benefits you will receive. Quality vehicle telematics software can deliver at least 500% return on investment (ROI) when used to the fullest. Through increased efficiency, fuel savings, and decreased labor costs and theft, businesses have been able to receive 100% ROI in as little as a few months. Vehicle telematics helps businesses save money in a myriad of ways that it shouldn’t be considered an expense, but rather as a tool to reduce costs, reduce risk, and increase revenue.

It’s a Hassle!

It may also be the case that you don’t feel that there is enough time to devote to managing the software or you don’t want the vehicles to have downtime in installing the devices. These are legitimate concerns to have about adding more to your plate and losing revenue with vehicles out of service.

In the End, It’s Worth It

It’s one thing to know where your drivers are but an entirely different thing to know what they are doing. Do you know if they are speeding? Do you know if they are arriving at job sites on time? These are key issues that are unable to be addressed without vehicle telematics. At the end of the day, any hassle you may experience implementing the technology initially is outweighed by the benefits you will receive.

Implementing vehicle telematics takes organization and planning to be rolled out successfully. The good news is that a reputable provider should make this process as painless as possible.

3 Ways Your Provider Should Simplify Implementation:

  1. Provide professional installers to make sure that GPS tracking devices are installed correctly. A well-organized device rollout will ensure there is as little downtime as possible for your vehicles.
  2. Offer 24/7/365 technical support to walk you through and resolve any issues.
  3. Give you access to dedicated account management to guide you towards the ROI you are expecting and additional training resources to get your team up to speed.

A Barrage of Data

Big data tends to be conflicting for fleet professionals because on one hand, they know it encompasses valuable information about their fleet. On the other, they don’t know what to do with all the data they have access to. No one wants to waste time looking at information that is not relevant to their job responsibilities.

Six Degrees of Filtering

The problem isn’t too much data; it’s that the data isn’t being filtered in a way that makes sense, or at all. Think about it this way, your accounting department doesn’t need to view the same data as dispatch or maintenance, so why would they all have access to the same information? Filtering relevant data to each department or even each user will allow your business to best use the information gathered from the software and turn it into actionable intelligence. Giving people the information they need, when they need to see it, will help your business be more efficient, cut unnecessary costs, and generate the most ROI.

Which Side of the Coin Did You Land On?

When considering if vehicle telematics is right for your business, think about the challenges you face today and your long-term business goals. Telematics will give you the information you need to overcome today’s challenges and set up your business to be more profitable in the future. Remember that your competition will, if they have not already, implement vehicle telematics to their fleet operations, so don’t’ fall behind.

Help your business be more successful now and in the future by increasing revenue, reducing costs, and reducing risk.

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