Telematics – An important tool in Fleet Management
Technology has gained trust and control over almost every sphere of our lives. Our facilities are turning smart, industries are transforming digitally and the lifestyles have become ever-connected. Companies battle to thrive on this wave of digitization, thereby continuously innovating and creating newer avenues of technology adoption. Telematics, a concept that combines telecommunications and informatics, is one such innovation that technology buffs bank on to fill the gaps and redefine fleet management.
Fleet management is the field of monitoring fleet costs, running conditions, downtimes and optimal decision making on trade–offs between fixed costs and running costs of ships, rail cars and commercial vehicles like cars, trucks etc. It includes a wide range of functions such as vehicle tracking, geo-fencing and diagnostics, route-optimization, personalized insurance, vehicle financing and preventative maintenance, driver behavior monitoring and fuel management, vehicle safety and health management. Telematics is the data science that puts together all the critical information you need for fleet management, right at your fingertips.
What is it that makes logistics efficient – the best technology, the right fleet management, uptime, quality or reliability? Well, it is the perfect synergy in networking the vehicle, the driver, the dispatcher, and the customer combined in an innovative complete solution to improve fleet efficiency and reduce costs. The fleet management solutions offer a host of features such as vehicle tracking , reporting capabilities that provide real-time information to all the members of the management ecosystem etc..
Integration of Telematics control unit (TCU) and/or OBDII dongle based solutions into fleet management systems not only aids fleet owners to better analyze their entire caravan from a single interface, but also helps them monitor driver activity. Fleet managers can track and gain insights into the driver’s behavior such as over speeding, fuel consumption and excessive hard braking and stops. Furthermore, effective route planning to ensure timely delivery of consignments can be done for saving both time and money for businesses.
A centralized web-based system connects, analyzes and controls the vehicle operations through integrated enterprise applications. Fleet telematics can be used to collect real-time data of the current operations like vehicle loading location, fuel consumption, vehicle speed and mileage to control fuel cost, reduce operational expense increase uptime and fleet productivity. For instance when a vehicle is loaded, the dispatcher gets an alert to close truck doors as soon as the loading is complete. The dispatcher can raise fuel or maintenance alerts to the driver and simultaneously pre-empt the next filling station or workshop about the arriving truck and its condition. The driver can use a remote assistance system that helps him to drive optimally. The dispatcher can also alert the final warehouse/port team about the arrival of the delivery and pre-empt them to clear the unloading dock/ramp well within time.
Following are some prominent benefits of Fleet Telematics:
- Control fuel costs
- Reduce labor costs
- Increase productivity/uptime
- Reduce operating expenses
- Increase fleet safety & security
- Preventative maintenance
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Reduce unauthorized vehicle use
- Savings on insurance
- Increased fleet life
Businesses across the globe are transforming through effective integration of telematics solutions into their fleet management systems. It is time for fleet managers to adopt telematics and take advantage of this technology to act proactively and not reactively.
Author: Debashis Panigrahi, Specialist (Telematics and V2X), Automotive Portfolio