Don’t let your telematics system fail your business!
Tracking and telematics systems can cost a considerable amount of money and not utilising them correctly could mean that money is wasted.
The usual reasons that we see for not using telematics to the full potential is lack of time or training. But by investing this time and resource, you can improve fleet productivity and reduce various costs. Telematics needs regular input and monitoring; it will not produce results automatically.
How can telematics help your business?
Telematics can help you measure almost anything on your vehicle fleet and help towards achieving your business goals. This may sound overwhelming, which is why it is important to set objectives both before investing in a telematics system and also as your business changes and grows. Be clear on what elements you’re looking to monitor and how you will use the data to improve your business.
What can telematics tell you?
Many organisations use telematics just to track where their company vehicles are, but there are a number of details that can also be measured, including:
Harsh braking and steering.
Fuel consumption and potential wastage.
More efficient routes.
In addition, there are a number of other uses for telematics. In the case of theft, a vehicle or asset can be tracked, even if the battery has been disconnected. If a vehicle breaks down, diagnostics can be transmitted directly to the fleet manager or recovery specialists. It is also possible to schedule maintenance for your fleet, therefore providing you with advance notice to arrange replacement vehicles, reducing downtime and maintaining efficiency.
Driver behaviour is an important factor of telematics. Without it, you cannot accurately identify potential patterns of bad driving and correct them quickly. Telematics can become part of ongoing driver training programmes, helping to constantly improve your business.
Telematics systems also often fail because employees don’t buy in to the system and its processes. It can be difficult to get past the ‘big brother’ perception, so it is important to explain the benefits of telematics to employees. Safe driving methods can become a healthy form of competition between your drivers, with regular rewards to those who score highly. Staff can also be rewarded for providing suggestions that help to further improve safety or efficiency on the road.
Logging driving activity can take away the need to complete tachographs or business mileage, ensuring accurate records and that employees will be taxed correctly by HMRC.
Having the ability to analyse driving data can also help towards better future scheduling, thereby reducing stress on overworked drivers who are trying to achieve unrealistic delivery goals. Where disruption on the roads is identified, drivers can be notified via the telematics system and rerouted easily.
Additional automated messaging via telematics helps drivers to concentrate on the road without being distracted by phone calls or text messages. In addition, the ability to do away with paper delivery notes and replace with electronic versions not only saves time for the drivers but maintains confidentiality.
Insurance costs still high?
A number of our clients say that the reported insurance cost reductions were the main influencer behind investing in telematics but have then been disappointed when premiums don’t immediately reduce. Having telematics systems installed may cause a small reduction initially, but as time goes on your insurers will want to see an actual benefit to your business. If the number of claims or costs does not reduce with telematics systems, insurers will begin to question this.
It is therefore important to use the data generated by telematics to demonstrate how you are working to manage and
improve driver behaviour. Being able to identify causes of accidents not only helps to prevent future claims but can have additional benefits to your business and employees. If many accidents are caused by speeding, why is this? Are
drivers trying to achieve unrealistic targets because their routes are not optimised? Are they trying to catch up after an earlier delay along the route?
Accidents may also be caused by bad habits, or overly stressed drivers who are making mistakes. Telematics data can help to identify these potential issues and give you the opportunity to reduce the occurrences. Having this analysis and implementing change as part of your company culture will help to reduce insurance premiums over time.
I don’t have time to analyse my telematics!
Another reason telematics systems fail is because the amount of data available is overwhelming and your poor fleet or transport manager is already too busy to take on a new system of working. However, telematics will save time when set up properly and used in conjunction with a fleet strategy.
Having a clear strategy helps you to set objectives for your fleet and only use the telematics data that you actually need. Consider things such as:
Whether your vehicles are being used to full capacity.
Whether your routes are optimised for efficiency.
How adaptable you are to changing circumstances i.e. route changes.
How much your telematics are automated and if this can be increased.
How much of your data is digitised and if this can be increased.
Whether your telematics system integrates with other systems and if this can be improved upon.
If your telematics system is fully optimised and used correctly, it should help your business to become more streamlined and competitive.
Wrong system or lack of ongoing support
There are cases where businesses have invested in the wrong telematics system or a lack of ongoing support means that the system does not get used properly.
Here at FLEETSense, we provide a fully comprehensive consultancy and advisory service. We will first analyse your fleet requirements and usage, before creating a powerful solution to provide the right benefits and savings for your business.
We maintain a close relationship with all our clients, providing ongoing support and training as required. As your business changes and develops, we can deliver additional telematics systems or help you to understand how to interrogate the existing system to produce new data and reports.
One last point…. for directors
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act has been in force since April 2008 and a number of directors are still unaware of its implications.
If you’re prosecuted for a health and safety offence that has resulted in a death, the Court looks to understand whether you, as a director, are taking health and safety seriously. Fines are now unlimited and directly linked to business turnover, plus custodial sentences have a higher likelihood and are more severe, especially in gross negligence cases. The Court can also order you to publicise a conviction, which can be extremely damaging to your business.
Telematics systems can provide an early warning that vehicles are being driven dangerously or help identify drivers that are having problems. It’s therefore imperative that you use your telematics system, as a judge will not want to hear that you have a telematics system but have not used the data to identify and manage problems in advance.
If you would like more information on telematics systems, contact us today.