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  • 5 ways fleet data can advance your business

    Fleet Data

    Today’s telematic systems can collate a surprising amount of crucial data and insight which can be utilised productively to sustain the continued growth of your business. Real time data provides a mountain of opportunities, which if you take the time to delve into you can successfully reap the benefits.

    By knowing key metrics about your organisation, you will be able to quickly identify inefficiencies and work to improve both service and productivity.

    Walter Scremin, General Manager of delivery transport firm, Ontime Delivery Solutions, who have developed theirs own telematics fleet tracking system explains that "even experienced logistics divisions are often shocked by what is revealed under technology’s cold gaze.  Now, technology allows us to be proactive rather than reactive by tracking vehicles and anticipating issues.

    Technology should improve delivery times and lead to increased professionalism, greater accuracy in delivering items in full, undamaged and on time. These may take time to track as a measurable ROI, however responsive and efficient logistics businesses understand telematics and related technologies are what you make them. Those prepared to put in the effort and focus on efficiency – often on a daily basis – will shine under greater scrutiny, impress their customers and remain competitive."

    Understanding the power of your fleet data

    Review these five surprising ways that your feet data can benefit your bottom line and allow your business to grow.

    1.    Driver productivity. Fleet data can be utilised to help you understand the productivity of your drivers. It can help you to understand where savings and efficiencies can be made in terms of routing your fleet to maintain customer satisfaction and find the fastest routes or drivers to the job.

    “Once considered expensive to install, telematics and vehicle fleet monitoring is now more broadly available through a low cost and east to install plug-in device solution that syncs with a vehicle's on-board computer system to extract, store and deliver accurate real-time vehicle information including vehicle use, performance, GPS location, vehicle-specific fault diagnostics, fuel usage, instrument readings, sub-system data and more.” , Robin Fowler, MD of Leopard Systems.

    The information collated will provide visibility into the exact location of individual drivers and when jobs have been completed. Ultimately this will lead to providing more accurate estimations on times of delivery, allowing your business to be more responsive and providing clear opportunities to improve the communication and manage expectations of customers.

    By adopting a centralised fleet management system, you will have greater visibility of scheduled jobs and driver availability. Any last-minute changes to customer requirements are therefore fully transparent, allowing spaces to be filled with ease and efficiency. With this data you will be able to anticipate any important decisions and move in advance of your competitors.

    You can even monitor and understand vehicle unloading times, allowing you to accurately time how long it takes to unload a vehicle and see if any issues have arisen which can be addressed to reduce times and create greater efficiencies in the future.

    2.    Identifying job profitability. Through the analysis of recorded fleet data, you can identify and focus on the types of jobs that are more profitable to your business. By reviewing individual jobs and looking at revenue versus costs you can identify a sustainable business model of which to build future decisions upon and chase unexplored opportunities for your business.

    3.    Monitoring vehicle health. Fleet data can provide accurate and timely information on the status of all your vehicles. This will allow for regular maintenance to be scheduled and recorded in addition to highlighting any needs for repairs or issues that can be tackled prior to becoming a problem.

    You will be able to gather insight into when vehicles are getting close to their tax dates, monitor fleet insurance deadlines, understand the age of the vehicle and work on improvements in the fleet cycle, and even know when to change the windscreen wipers or address a dodgy tyre.

    Howard Williams, director of business process automation specialist Parker Software, suggests that "automation is a huge efficiency driver in fleet operations. This goes further than obvious menial task automation like data processing and inventory updates. Indeed, automation can speed and streamline almost any fleet industry workflow.

    Take a less typical example, like automated SMS alerts. With the right technology tools, fleet managers can create an automated SMS platform complete with translation and processing. This then allows for timely, admin-free communication between dispatchers and clients.

    A solid automation tool will integrate across your full technology stack. It can then monitor, track, and trigger relevant actions across systems. So, you can easily add timed and triggered SMS notifications into your fleet operations. You might set up a workflow that will push out an SMS to your nearest available mechanic when a vehicle defect is reported."

    4.    Improving fuel consumption. By monitoring your driver behaviour and looking at variables such as idling, speeding, rapid acceleration, routing, miles driven and unauthorised usage you can identify ways to improve fuel consumption.

    By integrating data from fleet fuel cards, you will also be able to identify things like lower cost fuelling options, or even instances of fuel card theft and abuse immediately.

    In addition to this, tracking technologies can help your business as well as the environment. This is not just down monitoring fuel being used. Aodhan MacCathmhaoil from Waster, informs us that they have rolled out bin sensors and truck trackers as part of their strategy to make their day to day running of the business more efficient, productive and environmentally friendly. By doing this, we are able to only visit bins that are full or close to being full and deploy the closest vehicles in our fleet, in turn removing wasted trips to half full bins and long distance journeys.”

    5.    Setting alerts to critical data. With the collation of fleet data, you will be receiving it is possible to set alerts to highlight and bring certain variables to your attention. Perhaps you would want to know when a certain driver is not obeying the speed limits, or when there is a deficit between fuel loaded into vehicles versus that of which has been claimed and paid for. Whatever the situation your attention can be brought to specific scenarios without needing to continuously monitor fleet data or the need to be sat in an office to receive this information.

    Joshua Lewis, the Managing Director of Dorks Delivered states "Paying attention to your real-time data is so important. At Dorks Delivered we often use this data to see where improving our clients business can be streamlined before we implement changes. Setting up alerts allows us to understand when changes need to be made. It also allows us to understand exactly how well our changes are working and whether we need to tweak our operations. Essentially we use our real-time data at every stage in our business process."

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