Business time for telematics
No matter what size vehicle fleet your business operates, a telematics system can help reduce costs and increase profitability through greater efficiency of your mobile staff. First, what is telematics? If you’re new to the management of company vehicles, you may not know much about the technology. Global IT research and consultancy company Gartner describes […]
No matter what size vehicle fleet your business operates, a telematics system can help reduce costs and
increase profitability through greater efficiency of your mobile staff.
First, what is telematics? If you’re new to the management of company vehicles, you may not know much about the technology.
Global IT research and consultancy company Gartner describes telematics as “the use of wireless devices and ‘black box’ technologies to transmit data in real time back to an organisation. Typically, it’s used in the context of vehicles, whereby installed or after-factory boxes collect and transmit data on vehicle use, maintenance requirements or automotive servicing.”
Sean Willmot, editor of NZ Company Vehicle magazine, explains that merely transmitting data in real-time to a home base only scratches the surface of what telematics is capable of. The technology has been around for a number of years, and in 2019 it is more refined in its capability than ever.
“A telematics system as it applies to vehicles, records data and then sends that data to a storage/retrieval computer or allows a black box to receive information from home. It can also store information for later assessment,” says Willmot. “Typically, this data includes average speeds, fuel use, acceleration levels, idle times, braking tendencies and cornering habits – all of which can be used to reduce fleet costs and increase profitability through greater efficiency of your mobile employees.”
He says there is also a significant consideration for the safety of drivers, as measured by their driving habits and monitoring their location whenever they are off site.
When you consider the benefits of a modern telematics solution, it’s difficult to contemplate running a business fleet, no matter what size or complexity, without one. Outcomes include a reduction in infringements or collision damage, improved productivity with a significant reduction in lost time, better communication with field staff and savings in fuel and service parts.
Fuel savings are especially important as organisations come under increasing pressure to lower their carbon footprint to address climate change concerns.
But looking ahead there are even more exciting times ahead for telematics.
Writing for Dataconomy.com earlier this year, Diksha Dutta highlights the effort to connect telematics to the Internet of Things (IoT) and how telematics solution providers can benefit from cloud-based management services.
“The critical question is how the data generated within a vehicle will effectively interact with data from the outside world through connected devices.”
We are all waiting for an era where vehicles will not only drive themselves but also talk intelligently to us, she says (who remembers the 80s TV series Knight Rider?).
Dutta’s talking about the delivery of additional services, such as emergency or information services to improve the whole driving experience.
Fleet operators are increasingly emphasising energy saving and vehicle safety measures, she adds. “At the same time, they want to ensure business models which can reduce the TCO, which covers acquisition cost, operational cost and depreciation. This is where connectivity-as-a-service can help telematics service providers.”
Today, fleet management continues its steady evolution through the telematics platform.
Our advice? Choose a service provider that has the technology and flexibility to future-proof your business fleet requirements for the long haul. Talk to customers of a particular provider you’re interested in dealing with. And ask lots of questions around installation, servicing, product interfacing (with other systems), and what assistance, training and motivational tools they can provide to help get your drivers on board.
Successful vehicle advertising looks like this
We’ve all heard the benefits of using vehicles as advertising tools, but if you want to truly capitalise on these benefits, you need to make sure it’s memorable – that doesn’t mean cram, crowd or overcomplicate the creative. So, to give your vehicles (and your business) the best chance of success, here are some tips to ensure you get your vehicle signage right every time.
#1 Be Concise
Think of your vehicles as moving billboards, this could be the only chance you get to capture attention in a big way so avoid the temptation to go all copy-heavy. People won’t be stopping in car parks to read chunks of text, and you certainly don’t want to be distracting other drivers. This isn’t the time for detail, it’s the time to give prospective customers a nudge and a bit of a taster – just like billboards do.
That means:• Logo. • Tagline or Marketing Message. • Website. • Phone number. And that’s all.
An obvious one (but one you can’t afford to do badly): make the visuals impressive. Ditch small images in favour of one core visual or a bold print, something that carries real impact. If the design you’ve dreamed up includes any intricate details or is a photograph, pattern or certain shape, watch out for door handles and the surface area of the vehicle. Trust us, we’ve seen plenty of great designs get ruined because of things like this.
#3 Tell Them What to Do Next
Treat your vehicle’s signage like you would any marketing copy and finish off with a quick call to action. Remember, your vehicles are an extension of your brand and if you want to maximise exposure, you need to tell them how to reach you. Don’t be tempted to plaster your vehicles with every mode of communication though, pick a phone number and URL – that’s it.
Lastly, when rolling your brand out across a number of vehicles or large fleets, always keep an eye on output consistency and quality control. This is where using a nationwide partner can really add value to a campaign. Speedy Signs has 25 branches nationwide, so we’ve got the country (and you) covered!
Optimise Safety, Productivity and Profitability
Health and safety have been at the core of EROAD since the company launched onto the commercial market almost a decade ago with the world’s first nationwide road user charging system. The accuracy and security required of a system originally developed for regulatory compliance, has ensured EROAD’s products and services can be relied on and why government agencies and auditors accept reports generated through the EROAD system.
Complexity made simple through EROAD’s one platform
EROAD’s in-vehicle telematics solution (EHUBO) collects data from the vehicle which is then transmitted via
a secure cellular link and appears in a cloud-based web portal (Depot), for customer access and easy reporting.
As well as reducing time spent on compliance reporting, EROAD’s one technology platform is helping transport operators reduce the frequency and seriousness of incidents. Data collated by the company shows that EROAD’s total NZ customer base has reduced their over-speed events by 47 percent. Customers are noticing these reductions – both
owner-drivers and company-owned vehicles.
EROAD’s systems are really easy to use, and the gamification approach makes them enjoyable to interact with. The driver-facing screen on EROAD’s NZTA-approved in-vehicle hardware, Ehubo2 uses colour coded feedback and audible alerts to encourage drivers to immediately adopt safer driving behaviours. It monitors the key variables indicative of bad driving: over-speeding, harsh braking and cornering and sharp acceleration. It also alerts drivers when they should take a break to prevent fatigue and enables easy communication with drivers, with encrypted messages that can only be read when the vehicle is parked.
Customers can easily access their information through a cloud-based web portal, called Depot. This enables fleet managers to identify and address underlying driving behaviour issues, supporting driver training and reward programmes, as well as helping companies meet regulatory Health and Safety obligations. The gamification approach enables drivers to compare their results with others through the Leaderboard service. This uses collated data in factors including harsh braking, rapid acceleration, and speeding events from the entire EROAD driving population. This data is then categorised into a driver star rating system (five stars equates to the top 10 percent of drivers) enabling organisations to benchmark their drivers and compare their star ranking.
The security of the EROAD system enables EROAD to offer a Safe Driving Rewards program with selected insurance providers. If the driving records provided in the EROAD system show that drivers are among the top 25 percent of safe drivers, as identified on the EROAD Leaderboard, then the transport operator might be eligible to have their insurance excess waived if an accident does occur.
The internationally prestigious Brake Fleet Safety Award was given to EROAD in acknowledgement of the positive impact the company has in creating safer drivers, vehicles and roads. The products and services EROAD deliver are easy to use, accurate, reliable. Understandably, there are some who consider EROAD the safer choice for both drivers and business.
Management on the Move
For many small businesses, especially those in the service industry, a lot of the work is done outside the office. Staff may visit multiple clients a day or work across multiple sites. Adopting the right technology can help manage staff, fleets and vital information.
Small businesses (under 20 employees) generate 28 percent of New Zealand’s GDP and employ over 600,000 people, according to government reports. And leaders in using mobile technology are pulling ahead of the competition. The 25 percent of SMEs that use mobile services more intensively tend to grow revenue up to two times faster than their competition, according to a BCG report.
GPS based fleet management technology from companies such as Teletrac Navman give you detailed information on your fleet and staff movements. Combining this technology with custom-designed tablets and devices gives mobile workers a digital tool to efficiently record and complete tasks wherever they are.
Make it mobile: Running a small business can require your attention at any time, day or night, and anywhere. Employees or customers may call and ask for information that can be sourced from mapping solutions, workflow forms or vehicle maintenance tracking. It’s important to find a fleet management software that’s hosted online, so it can be accessed wherever you are – on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
Invoicing and timesheets: Combining GPS tracking with mobile devices helps you to populate job invoices and staff timesheets quickly and accurately. Telematics data from each vehicle includes mileage and timings for each site visit. Using an electronic form on a mobile device, staff can add any details such as parts used and send straight away to the back office to process.
Maintenance: Use the software to track, record and set alerts for important details on your fleet such as vehicle registrations, WOFs, RUC licences, and maintenance schedules. Keep vehicles in tip top shape by setting alerts to service vehicles based on kms travelled. Reviewing the vehicle history gives insight into the fleet, such as which vehicles are costing the most in repairs.
Safety and compliance: A safe fleet is a cost-efficient fleet. Speeding fines, vehicle wear and tear or even damage, excessive fuel use – it all adds up. Get insight into driver behaviour through metrics like speed, harsh braking and acceleration and use it to build and enforce safe driving policy. Set up alerts on in-cab devices to warn drivers immediately when they breach a set speed limit. Teletrac Navman customers have reported huge savings in speeding fines by implementing driver alerts.
Job management: GPS enabled map viewer enables managers to view all drivers and vehicles in real-time to pinpoint exact locations and dispatch the closest available person to the job. Accurately answer customer inquiries based on location within seconds and inform customers in advance if there is a delay.
Streamline all areas: Around New Zealand, many small businesses are already using GPS telematics solutions like Teletrac Navman to discover new ways to automate routine tasks, reduce paperwork and timesheet reporting, ease routing and improve their customer service.
Is it time your business joined them?