You’ve spent the money, now what?
By Ginger Butz
Are you making the most of your telematics data? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. While countless companies have spent heavily in recent years to connect their assets to the cloud, most are still only gathering basic data such as speed, service hours and location. In fact, only 23% of those actively using telematics employ analytics features to make more informed, strategic business decisions. This might sound discouraging, but it should be motivating. The potential for a more data-driven approach is there, and it’s probably closer than you think.
Many initial telematics investments are driven by the promise of a short-term payoff, but more value lies in taking a long-term approach. It’s easy to assume the worst of your investment when drastic time and cost savings aren’t being realized. But over time—as with most data—significant benefits can emerge. Start by stepping back. Are you currently tracking basic vehicle metrics? These are a helpful starting point, but forcing yourself to dive deeper into fuel usage, idle times and more can open up new possibilities. For example: A construction company using this data cut its idling time by 37%, leading to 5,205 gallons of fuel and $18,000 in fuel expenses saved in one quarter.
FOCUS ON DESIRED OUTCOMES
Unsure where to start? Let’s look at four areas where focusing on business goals can help you leverage your telematics data to give you a competitive edge.
1. PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
Equipment malfunctions or breakdowns are a reality for any fleet. But they don’t have to take you by surprise. Looking at even basic data sets together—such as miles traveled and average speed and fuel consumption—can give a more holistic picture that helps you proactively address service issues, ultimately saving thousands in costly maintenance and downtime.
2. FUEL EFFICIENCY
It’s no surprise that 55% of companies using telematics reduce their fuel costs. So, how do you maximize your efficiency potential?
- Lower driving speeds – Not only can telematics remind drivers to slow down, but speed data and fuel usage over time can be used to calculate optimal speeds and driving habits/patterns.
- Reduce idle time – If idle time can account for up to half of total running time, then using telematics gives you a huge leg up in figuring out what percentage of total drive time represents actual work. Behavior training can help your driver team level up their awareness and substantially lower time spent inactive.
3. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Because telematics give a more complete picture of the equipment and materials at your disposal at any given point in time, leveraging this data can help save valuable time, resources and energy. With only a smartphone, contractors can divert drivers and materials to the job sites where they are most needed. This also helps optimize your capabilities, not spreading yourself too thin. Downsizing in areas where you’re over-resourced and investing where under-resourcing is holding you back allows you to scale more effectively.
4. SAFETY & COMPLIANCE
With the ELD Final Rule in place, the violation of electronic logging device laws is a threat all fleet companies need to avoid. Telematics automatically track hours of service (HOS), eliminating manual logs and saving thousands in potential fines. GPS technology also tracks when drivers cross state lines, maximizing reimbursements through fuel tax compliance. Finally, telematics can play an active role in accident avoidance, with 42% of companies reporting fewer safety incidents after monitoring driver behavior.
Many telematics users are seeing even further return on their investment through deeper data analysis, so these suggestions represent just a snapshot of the potential applications. Armed with common sense, creativity and clear goals in mind, companies can push past the initial hurdle of data fatigue and find new ways to make their telematics data work for them and not against them.
Low on resources or feeling overwhelmed? Seeking out expert help is also an option. We love empowering companies through connected technology and would be happy to connect.