Telematics & Software: The Big Picture
Harness the power of telematics to access a whole new world of information.
Telematics is heaven sent for fleet managers who need to keep an eye on fuel management and driver behaviour. But the technology is capable of so much more!
According to Wayne Rose, Senior Vice President at Jim Pattison Lease, telematics can offer a broad range of insights related to maintenance, accidents, and driver behaviour, which are even more useful when combined with other information.
“We can integrate the data to provide lease cost, cents per kilometre, fuel and maintenance,” says Rose. “There’s information such as odometer capture, dispatch, routing and driver behaviour like fast starts, hard stops, and speeding.
“We can put it all in one database. Customers benefit dramatically by integrating the telematics data with the vehicle-related data that we’re managing for them, captured via our Fleet Card program offering.”
Productivity is an area where telematics can make a significant difference. “For example, how many customer stops has a driver made?” asks Kimberly Clark, Telematics Product Leader at Element Fleet Management. “How long are my technicians at those stops? Looking at those metrics can help you better understand the productivity of your field, and then maybe better plan your route.”
In sales organizations, that may be particularly useful. “How can we help a sales operations leader, a CRM tech leader, get analytics about what types of stops their reps are making?” notes Clark. “Are they within the right strike zone of the customer prospect that they’re targeting? Did they miss other opportunities when making visits? If we can proactively and seamlessly fill in those details in a CRM system, that will significantly enhance and help our sales fleets get smarter about what sales productivity looks like.”
At ARI, data from fuel cards is integrated into telematics systems. “With that information, we can look to how telematics events drive up fuel usage,” says Don Woods, Director of Client Information Systems at ARI. “That includes speeding, idling, fast acceleration and that type of thing.”
“We can put it all in one database.” Wayne Rose, Senior Vice President, Jim Pattison Lease
The fuel cards also help fight fuel fraud. “Sometimes, a driver may give their fuel card to their spouse or a friend or fill up their boat,” notes Woods. “We can tell where the vehicle was at the time of fueling, we get the point of sale information from the fuel card, and we do a match to see if the vehicle was actually at the gas station at the time they were fuelling. That can be an indication of fuel fraud.”
Route planning itself is invaluable to many fleets. “For customers in the service industry, if something has broken down, where’s the closest vehicle and what’s the fastest route there?” says Woods. “You also want to know who’s taking their vehicles home at night, and if the vehicles are being returned to the proper locations.”
Asset tracking is important to companies in the construction field, as well as oil and gas companies with “big yellow irons,” or big yellow trucks. “It’s vital to put an asset tag on those vehicles because you need to know where they are at any given time,” says Woods. “If you’re a big construction company, you want to know where your front-end loaders are. Utilization is key, especially since this equipment potentially costs six to seven figures.”