Telematics may not be the most recent innovation in the fleet management sector, but it’s definitely one of the most useful ones. From increased efficiency and better monitoring to driver safety, telematics systems have numerous benefits.
With software entering the field, connecting your telematics system to an app or web portal is possible for easy access. Trackunit is one of the best tools in this regard. It lets you see your fleet’s performance and location in a centralized platform, allowing you to make swift and informed decisions.
So, how can telematics service providers enhance fleet management? Here’s our overview.
What is telematics?
Gartner defines telematics as the use of ”black box technologies” and wireless devices for real-time data transmission. The most typical use of telematics is in automobiles.
Telematics systems may be pre-installed in vehicles or added later. Such a system would collect information like the vehicle’s location, speed, engine data, and fuel consumption.
What are telematics providers?
A telematics service provider (TSP) is a company that provides services related to fleet operations such as advanced fleet tracking technology. The offerings of this company allow fleet managers to monitor their assets, optimize routes, and more.
Usually, telematics providers have a subscription fee payment model in which fleet managers have to pay a predetermined fee. It may be monthly, quarterly, or annually.
How to choose the right telematics providers
Over the years, many telematics providers have emerged with the increasing interest in the technology. Your choice of provider should depend on the following factors.
- Fleet tracking capabilities: Not all telematics systems are made for off-road vehicle fleets. Some are used by insurance companies, while others are for public transit systems and commercial fleets. Look for a fleet-specific system that offers robust tracking capabilities and can handle the complexity of your fleet operations.
- Scalability: Previously, GPS made up the majority of telematics systems. Now, we have additional technologies like IoT, RFID, and AI. Choose a provider whose system is scalable enough to adapt to new technologies.
- Fleet size: The size of your fleet matters in addition to the type of equipment you intend to monitor. If you are a small business, go for a single-user telematics solution. However, if you have a large fleet, you should look for an enterprise-grade system.
- Integrations: Telematics systems should be integrated with other software, such as ERP, CRM, and analytics. You don’t want a system that can only be used on its own.
Many companies also account for cost as their deciding factor. In a recent survey, 90% of businesses said telematics system benefits outweigh the cost. While cost is an important consideration, don’t let it hinder you.
How telematics providers can help enhance fleet management
Telematics providers can equip you with the systems that you can use to improve fleet management in the following ways.
First and foremost, you need to know where every vehicle in your fleet is on the job site. Let’s say you’re managing a construction site, and some of the equipment is rented while the rest is owned by your company.
You have to track both types of equipment to ensure they’re not stolen or misplaced. A telematics provider can offer you a system containing GPS satellites, cellular networks, receivers, and cloud-based servers.
You can install the system in the equipment. Then, you monitor their real-time location from your office.
Telematics systems also help you create geofences – virtual ”boundaries” that notify you when your equipment enters and exits.
Anyone who has managed a fleet knows there are two types of maintenance: predictive and reactive.
The latter is when you take action after equipment breaks down. Let’s say your bulldozer or excavator is not performing as expected. You check it and realize you have to repair the engine. What happens? There’s downtime on the construction site because the equipment isn’t available.
The second approach is predictive maintenance. Here, you predict when a piece of equipment is likely to break down and perform maintenance.
Telematics can help with that. The system collects data from various components in the equipment, such as engine performance, temperature readings, battery voltage, powertrain malfunctions, oxygen sensor performance, intake valve condition, speed, and more.
Based on these values, the system predicts when the equipment is likely to break down. So, you can schedule maintenance way ahead of time, preventing downtime.
Insurance risk assessment
Construction sites are huge operations where insurance is a must. Nowadays, many insurance companies use telematics systems to assess the risk involved in each project.
You can be a step ahead of them by getting telematics systems for your fleet. For commercial on-road fleets, this allows companies to show records of your equipment’s performance, speed, maintenance, and handling. If your stats are decent enough, you can enjoy a lower insurance premium.
Off-road fleets are also likely to have lower insurance due to predictive maintenance and geo-tracking features.
Equipment handler safety
How would you know if an equipment handler is following safety protocols on the job site when you’re sitting in your office? If the construction site is massive, it can be practically impossible to keep an eye on everyone manually.
Work with a telematics provider to set up a telematics system for your business. Such a system can identify poor equipment handling and operator habits.
You get two main benefits here.
First, you can see how the equipment is being handled and whether that has anything to do with its frequent malfunctions. Second, you can use the data to train your operators about safe handling and driving practices. Perhaps you need to go over the safety protocol or implement a new safety program.
In today’s tech-based world, fleet managers and telematics providers go hand in hand. The bigger the project, the more important a telematics system becomes.
In fact, it should be a vital part of any fleet manager’s strategy. Telematics is not just a way to keep your fleet efficient. It’s also what makes you better, safer, more transparent, and more compliant than the competition. Isn’t that what every fleet manager dreams of?