Filling the Void: How Centralized Fleet Management Software Activates Telematics Data
Telematics systems have been logging data for fleet manager’s equipment for years, however, this information is relatively static when it isn’t incorporated into a larger system that allows for reporting and analytics. Integrating your telematics data with a comprehensive fleet management system allows fleet managers to turn static data into actionable information.
If you are currently using a telematics system to track fleet performance and are concerned your company is not making proper use of that data, you are not the only one. In this post, Fleet Cost & Care’s Technical Product Manager, David Thornton, discusses the problems telematics systems can solve and those it cannot. He also explains how centralized fleet management systems are essential in transforming data into action.
How does telematics help manage fleets of equipment across multiple job sites and multiple regions?
Currently, there are many GPS providers that enable fleet managers to track their units across job sites, projects, and regions; and, some have started working towards a more granular approach by incorporating unit components. This is being achieved through a variety of technologies including Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and Long Term Evolution (we all know it as the 4G standard – LTE). These smaller, long-life battery powered systems enable fleet managers to track their non-motorized components with considerable accuracy.
Filling the void: Fleet management software acts as a hub for this data, integrating unit and personnel information for scheduling, inventory tracking, and maintenance. It allows you to measure asset utilization vs. cost.
How can telematics systems help with service and preventative maintenance? Are they able to monitor unit status while being repaired?
Most providers offer some form of maintenance tracking, but they do not have or support a full maintenance system. For example, one provider may offer a solution for identifying a deficiency through their Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR); however, this information is relatively static and still requires verbal communication or active monitoring of a web application to identify and resolve.
Filling the void: A fleet management system offers end-to-end maintenance tracking solutions, from deficiency identification, automated communication back to a work order system, work order generation, and labor and cost tracking.
How can telematics reduce fleet costs and/or improve revenue margins?
Telematics can offer reduced costs through improved transparency in many areas such as fuel and driver safety. Keeping up with preventative maintenance can save a lot of money on repairs and extend the life of a unit, so that’s a big one. Increased revenue margins will certainly come as a second order effect of reduced costs.
Filling the void: Comprehensive reports from an integrated fleet management system will bring telematics data and all fleet costs under one umbrella. You can automatically have telematics data integrated and incorporate it with other costs to get a full picture of a fleet profitability. This full picture enables informed decision making on future capital investments and market diversification.
How can telematics do to improve personnel and document management?
Telematics can provide management with insight into employee performance, work duration, and safety.
Filling the void: In fleet management software, users can see, directly on the job schedule, how much time is remaining for cycle time, driving time, and on-duty time each day. There are also e-tickets and checklists that users access on a smartphone or tablet to list issues identified on the job, track signatures, and account for personnel on projects.
What will telematics systems be tracking in the future?
Telematics providers are constantly coming up with new ways to track data, including Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) levels, engine diagnostics, seat occupation, use of seat belts, video camera captures and many others.
Filling the void: As these concepts become more widely adopted, I suspect we will see their data points coming into a centralized management system like Fleet Cost & Care. There they can be tracked and reported in a multitude of ways to inform management on employee evaluations, capital investment, and other critical business decisions.
Telematics systems provide standalone data that provides limited value to siloed departmental users. Fleet management systems shine when they are integrated with telematics systems, bringing together critical data for fleet managers wanting to improve fleet productivity and reduce operational costs.
To speak learn more about our solutions, contact a fleet management expert.