1/27: Construction Executive
A recent study by Frost & Sullivan found that telematics solutions can reduce fleet maintenance costs as much as 30 percent. If the fleet manager is not reporting back with results that meet these standards, there is a good chance he is not taking advantage of everything fleet management solutions can offer.
End-to-end fleet management technology provides a suite of solutions including real-time engine reading, mobile integration, cloud computing and emerging technologies in social telematics. Combined, they provide increased efficiency, improved driver safety and a better ROI than ever before. But it’s crucial to know that achieving the maximum ROI might mean adjusting business processes.
THE 24/7 MECHANIC
A study by Fleet Answers found that vehicle maintenance costs companies between $1,000 and $3,000 per year for medium-duty trucks, and nearly double that for heavy-duty trucks. Fleet managers want to reduce that number, but know safety and vehicle health always come first. Instead of playing the guessing game, the manager plays it safe and sends the driver straight to the mechanic, racking up charges. What’s the alternative?
Modern telematics provide in-depth engine diagnostics capabilities, giving a real-time snapshot of what’s going on within each vehicle. Better yet, this crucial information is delivered directly to individual mobile devices anytime, anywhere.
Think of this diagnostics technology as a virtual mechanic who can assess whether an issue needs immediate attention. The virtual mechanic empowers fleet managers to make appropriate decisions on vehicle maintenance, which saves time and money on unnecessary checks, and lets drivers stick to work schedules when the check engine light comes on for minor issues. The virtual mechanic also can help diagnose serious issues needing immediate attention, such as vacuum leaks and overheating, keeping drivers safe and vehicles running properly.
OPTIMIZING FUEL USAGE
Unless the day comes when it’s economical to run an all-electric fleet, fuel will be an inescapable cost of doing business, but it also has become one of the easiest to mitigate. Modern fleet management solutions leverage route optimization to help drivers find the most efficient routes throughout their day, and also integrate this data with the management dashboard.
More recently, fuel optimization programs have made it possible to find lower-cost gasoline. These programs alert both manager and driver when fuel is low, and direct the driver to the lowest-cost gas station near his/her current location. Ten or 20 cents per gallon, per vehicle yields a significant cost savings over time.
A NEW STYLE OF MANAGEMENT FOR A SAFER FLEET
Vehicle accidents are both dangerous and expensive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says speed-related crashes cost more than $40 billion annually. This number also doesn’t factor in the cost of other types of crashes, let alone the increased insurance costs.
So how can risk be eliminated before it occurs? The answer lies in a shift in the tone of management. There’s a common myth that fleet management systems exist simply to monitor or spy on employees. While this may have been true in traditional GPS systems, new solutions—sometimes called social telematics—create mutually beneficial solutions to empower, improve and protect drivers. Social telematics provides drivers real-time feedback on speeding, idling, hard braking and other risky behaviors. Equipped with actionable data, drivers can modify their habits without being reprimanded by their managers.
Some social telematics solutions score driver performance on a 100-point scale built on performance in risk-related events, taking into account factors such as weather, terrain and other driving conditions, and assigning the proper weight to each event. These scores then can be used as a parameter for quarterly or annual bonuses.
Furthermore, driver scores can be posted to entire teams, encouraging drivers to compete with one another for prizes and bragging rights. It’s a complete paradigm shift: Employees no longer feel as if Big Brother is watching them, but are instead self-motivated to perform their very best every day on the road. The use of rewards has been proven as one of the single highest predictors of a positive organizational climate, which in turn has a direct correlation with productivity and savings.
The new generation of telematics solutions is having a huge impact on the efficiency, safety and profitability of fleets worldwide.
Original News item appeared at: http://enewsletters.constructionexec.com/