In today’s competitive business landscape, it is not only necessary to run a profitable but also highly efficient business. And thanks to technological innovations, we have access to cutting-edge solutions that help companies deliver products and services effectively.
The same goes for fleet businesses, wherein fleet owners have to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Hence, more and more fleet companies are deploying modern telematics systems to ensure effective fleet management.
Vehicle telematics provides real-time visibility into operations and data to optimise operations, thereby improving supply chain logistics and fleet management. Before we dive into how telematics helps in fleet management, let’s know more about telematics.
What is Telematics, and How does it Work?
Telematics is derived from two words–telecommunications and informatics. It is a combination of hardware and software that creates a network for fleet managers to communicate and manage vehicles on the road remotely. This way, they can monitor many aspects of fleet operations such as vehicles’ location, engine diagnostics, driving behaviour of drivers, fuel consumption, maintenance and repairs, and much more.
These systems provide insights on almost everything, such as idle time, drivers’ activities, or who is at fault in an accident. It helps fleet managers to eliminate the guesswork and make decisions based on factual data received in real-time.
Telematics systems operate on GPS technology and in-built vehicle diagnostics. GPS connectivity offers information on real-time location, speed, geofencing features, etc. Vehicle diagnostics provide insights related to vehicle performance, such as speeding, harsh braking, trailer temperature, etc.
The telematics device transmits all of this data over cellular networks to a central system, a fleet management software. The fleet management software processes the data and represents it to fleet managers in easy-to-understand visualisations. Moreover, they can view insights through a single dashboard in real-time and better plan their operations. Typically, the telematics hardware is connected to the OBD II or CAN-BUS port.
Furthermore, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made it legal for fleets to install basic telematics.
Role of Telematics in Fleet Management
Indeed, telematics provides a large amount of data that is significantly helpful in fleet planning and management. It ensures that fleets run smoothly and safely, improving fleet productivity, saving costs, and enhancing brand recognition.
Fleet telematics systems can help fleet managers adopt a digitised approach and automate tasks. Thanks to vehicle telematics, fleet managers can ensure optimised routes, reduce engine idle time, and detect unauthorised usage of vehicles. This helps them bring down unnecessary fuel consumption and related costs, as fuel is one of the major expenses affecting the business’s profitability.
Vehicle telematics also tells you about irresponsible driving behaviour such as excessive speeding to avoid speed tickets and fines. Moreover, reckless driving behaviour is a significant reason for higher fuel costs. You can provide additional training and improve your drivers’ driving skills.
Further, you can avoid expensive unplanned repairs as telematics systems notify you whenever a vehicle needs attention. Vehicle telematics ensures proactive maintenance of fleets by monitoring vehicle usage, cutting down overall maintenance costs. With real-time information on vehicle health, managers can plan and schedule routine check-ups in advance and avoid a pile-up of issues that lead to more cash outflow. Fleet companies can reduce operating costs, prevent unexpected breakdowns, and improve the longevity of vehicles.
Improved Productivity and Communication
Earlier, it wasn’t easy to get in touch with drivers on the road. But with the help of a telematics solution, fleet managers can know the location of the drivers in real-time, without calling them. This is very helpful in situations where drivers need the assistance of fleet managers.
Further, optimised routes ensure drivers don’t waste their time in traffic and travel long roads. As it is mandatory for all commercial motor vehicle carriers to use telematics to record HOS electronically, fleet businesses can ensure an automated system of drivers’ check-in and report. Fleet managers have easier access to data, getting rid of manual data entry processes and ensuring easy audit trail accountability for regulators. This way, companies can boost motivation within drivers and increase their productivity.
How would you know your drivers are wearing seatbelts or driving safely? With vehicle telematics, you can know all details of your drivers and have better control over vehicles. Telematics systems provide detailed information on driving behaviour and vehicle performance. Running a safe fleet business is very important for drivers and other vehicles or pedestrians on the road.
It can also reduce insurance premiums and claims costs. For example, in the case of an accident, telematics presents factual data to prove to insurers who is the person at fault. Fleet companies can claim damages easily without getting into any heated arguments.
Nonetheless, when drivers know they’re being monitored, they drive efficiently and ensure they are on schedule, reducing risks on the road—establishing safety standards within the company boost employee morale and the brand’s reliability.
It is pretty clear that fleet businesses have better control over their operations and overall business with a cutting-edge vehicle telematics solution. Studies have shown that fleet businesses have witnessed improved productivity due to telematics systems. Ultimately, it helps enhance efficiency and reliability, improve customer service and grow the bottom line.