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Driving Value with MiX Telematics

Telematic offerings can vary greatly from company to company. But, the most forward-looking companies are focused on driving efficiencies, mitigating security risks, increasing safety and improving operational compliance by integrating telematics into their business.

Fleet management should be tied to your business priorities to maximize revenue and efficiency while minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO).

Fleet managers should rely on telematics to proactively flag vehicles for maintenance, track vehicle location, manage fuel use, monitor driving habits to improve safety, and meet compliance requirements.

Step 1: Highlight Key Objectives

As a fleet manager or business owner, you’ll no doubt know that smart telematics can help you reduce costs, increase safety and uncover new efficiencies. Imagine if you could also add new business objectives to your list, such as greater employee productivity, revenue growth and improved customer interactions. Standalone telematics is probably already delivering savings, but integration provides new and untapped opportunities.

Step 2: Build ROI Model: Productivity

Hours saved by eliminating manual tasks such as managing paper logbooks,  time saved through route and schedule optimisation + improved customer satisfaction due to faster response time = more revenue from more visits or work orders per week

How will you know if your investment in telematics is a success? Start by identifying qualitative and quantitative metrics that can enable new efficiencies. Examples might include number of stops per day, increase or decrease in fuel costs and other fleet expense, or reduction of overtime hours as drivers navigate traffic to complete their routes each day. The following are other suggested areas where metrics can prove ROI:

Maintenance - Measure and extend the life of your fleet. A 5-10 % improvement in the overall life of an asset can save between $30-70k. Reduce vehicle downtime by proactively tracking maintenance schedules and optimizing for productivity and vehicle longevity.

Productivity and revenue – Improve productivity by automating telematics data entry. Field sales and service teams that use integrated telematics eliminate 80 percent of manual tasks like tracking mileage, determining their best routes and logging activities post-sales or post-service call. Fleets that use route-planning software see an average of 13% increase in customer visits per day.

Step 3: Build ROI Model: Cost

Safe driving lowers Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)  – crash costs range from $74,000 to more than $500,000 in hard costs. Safe driving reduces costs. Monitoring a number of different driving behaviors such as time of journey, speed, cornering, acceleration, braking and familiarity of routes using telematics can reduce insurance costs by 25%.

Customer experience – It costs much more to win a new customer than it does to expand the business you do with an existing one. And, the competition is just a click away. Research shows that 55% of customers would stop using a company’s products after just two or three late deliveries.

Lower wasted fuel costs – Idling costs fleet owners between $5,000-$12,000 per vehicle per year in addition to adding unnecessary engine hours, which have a negative impact on the environment. Companies can also increase fuel savings with telematics by monitoring harsh braking and rapid acceleration that wastes fuel.

Step 4: Select Suitable Solution - Futureproof Considerations

Once you have outlined your objectives and established the metrics by which you’ll measure success, you’ll need to select a telematics/fleet partner with the right technology, the right experience and the ability to integrate with your business functions. Also, think about what work needs to be done to get the data exactly where you want it. The following checklist will help you determine which partner is right for your fleet.

Configurability – If you don’t like the reports and information in your telematics portal, can you change it?

Scale – How many/what types of devices can your deployment support? Is there a limit to the number of devices that can be supported at any given time? Can the solution scale to meet the needs of your business in the future?

Data & storage – How is your telematics data stored? Hosting your data on a cloud-based platform can be cost effective and efficient. Will your drivers have access to the data via an app that can also score their driving behaviour from this data?

Device options – What variety of devices can your solution support? How flexible is the intake engine? Can you normalize the intake streams into a logical output? Does the solution support a variety of hardware to cover the differences in your fleet?

Normalisation of data – Different vehicles and telematics devices transmit data via different protocols. Can your partner help you normalize that incoming stream of values (i.e. speed, odometer, idle time, etc.)?

Security – Where and how is your data hosted? Who has access to it? Do permissions align with your corporate security structure?

Rules engine – Does the vendor provide flexibility with customizable, rule-based automations?

Simple visualisation & reporting – Having collected all this data from multiple sources, how is it visualized? Do you have access to interactive dashboard of frequently updated data? Or are you still offered only basic reporting?

Integration of data – Consider whether your fleet management company can integrate your data into your ecosystem, including your driver scorecard. 

Step 5: Business Ready

You may be ready to hit the ground running with your telematics implementation, but your infrastructure and business rules engines may still need work. The following activities will help you prepare for the project.

How to prepare: Take these steps to make the transition easier for your business. And don’t be afraid to lean on your fleet management company’s expertise to help as well.

Assign vehicles to key business segments – Segment your vehicles and their associated data to align with the departments in your organization that use them.

Define reporting needs – What reports do you need to see? What is the most important metrics for you to track on a real-time, daily and weekly basis?

Set business rules that manage driver behaviour – Set rules that drivers understand, and that telematics can track. For example, what does your company consider speeding – one mile over the limit or 20?

Define boundaries – Establish geographical business areas.

Define clear roles, performance expectations and goals – Assign key stakeholders at every step of implementation to ensure appropriate processes and accountability.

Step 6: Build Execution Plan

Implementation, if not well-executed, can be the downfall of even the most well-laid plans. A review of the following areas will help you gain an understanding of implementation strategies, support requirements, project timelines and acceptance requirements.

Engage the stakeholders – Who will benefit most from the integration of telematics into your business? Do they understand the need for the new approach and are they bought in? Do they (or should they) have a role in the project?

Look for efficiencies – What business processes can be automated or stream-lined as you integrate telematics? How will you prioritize and measure this automation?

Consider what other systems will be affected – Is there a need to integrate other applications or services? Can your vendor help you navigate this integration, if necessary?

Let your FMC be your champion to lead the project – Who is the project “lead” within your organization that will serve as the liaison with your fleet partner? Who needs to be involved to ensure success of the project?

The convergence of telematics and your business processes is a leap forward for fleet managers and business owners who support them. Fleet drivers are the revenue engine of most companies. Finding synergies between your telematics and fleet management can introduce new efficiencies. It reduces costs while providing the opportunity for greater customer engagement and increased sales. Automation provides managers access to a more complete view of employee activity and results. Finally, telematics integration increases safety and compliance, and helps companies maximise the return on investment of fleet vehicles.

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