The rise of telematics technology is a dream come true for business owners managing automobile fleets. Faced with pressing issues, businesses are looking for ways to gain better visibility of their vehicles and, ultimately, reduce waste. Here are some challenges that drive the use of telematics with businesses.
According to Nasdaq, “It is estimated that many trucks idle for 4-8 hours per day, costing anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 a year in wasted fuel per truck while around 4.2 million drivers spend 110 hours completing paper logbooks.” Citing a report by AT&T, Nasdaq noted, fleet management solutions can: reduce idling time by an hour a day per truck, with a savings of over $25,000 a year for 20 fleet trucks; and, help avoid fines that can range from $150 to $25,000 depending on location.
It’s no doubt that telematics is an in-demand industry. The market is projected to grow from $9.54 billion in 2016 to $27.90 billion by 2021, MarketsandMarkets reported.
More and more businesses are seeking real-time information to manage fleets to reduce costs, optimize routes, detect maintenance requirements, and improve driver and fleet security. Key issues are vehicle location and speed and mileage.
Let’s look at what drove some of these small businesses to turn to telematics…
Imagine getting a job, but not being able to deploy resources to the project location because you can’t find your vehicles and don’t know if employees are available to take on more work.
This is exactly the frustration Jamar Power Systems (JPS), a San Diego-based company that performs solar power installations, general electrical wiring, and electrical integration, faced. The company was taking strategic steps to grow the business, but its leadership knew it had to make some serious changes to attain any real gain.
“For years, we weren’t able to locate where they were or when they were available to take on new jobs,” Desmon Edwards, Vice President at JPS said. “For example, if we heard about a job nearby, we couldn’t allocate resources accordingly because we didn’t know who was around or near the job site, or who was available to take on the job.”
Another frustrating issue the company faced was the inability to correlate time logs for worker hours.
JPS tried out a few options prior to turning to Automile, which answered the challenge by providing an affordable solution that offered: real-time location tracking, geofencing, accountability, security, all while working on a cellular connection.
Cody Bledsoe, Service Manager at Texas-based 855Bugs.com, works to make sure technicians are doing what they are supposed to be doing and using time wisely. Without a telematics tool, he faced a time consuming and ineffective task.
“Let us say we had a customer call and they need an emergency service done, we had to look at all of the technicians’ schedule hoping they were up-to-date” Bledsoe said. “Then we will call all of the technicians to see if they were indeed at the locations they were supposed to be and if they can get to that customer.”
What a hassle and headache. 855Bugs.com definitely needed a telematics solution and initially struggled to find the right fit. The company’s first trial didn’t bode well, leaving it without a tool to handle these blaring challenges for several months.
Now with Automile, Bledsoe said, “we can bring up a map and know where all our trucks are so I know that if I have a house that needs to be done in a neighborhood, I can see which vehicles are closest to this neighborhood and get someone over there as fast as possible.”
An added bonus: “I check the drivers’ speed all the time to see how fast they are going and that has helped,” he added. “The more I check it, and the more I tell them about it, the less now any of them actually speed.”
Seattle’s Macrina Bakery sends out 16 delivery vans in the wee hours of the morning – as early as 1 a.m. The vehicles make about 60 deliveries a day throughout the city to places such as Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, and some deliveries even require utilization of a ferry to cross water and reach customers on the west side of Seattle.
Scott France who is the CEO and Co-owner of Macrina Bakery said the company chose to turn to telematics because “we wanted to monitor the reliability of our vehicles. We also wanted to improve on the efficiency of the routes for the drivers, to make it easier for them to do their job. We wanted to monitor the vehicles to make sure they were being used in a manner that was best for the products being delivered.”
He’s astoundingly happy with the Automile product, which shows where vehicles are located, what routes drivers choose, and even run trip reports that can prove useful in case of an accident.
“Automile is a tremendous advantage to track things and to gather information we haven’t had access to in the past,” France said. “We now have information that we never had before, and we believe it will help us be safer.”