Fleet industry analysts are forecasting sales growth for telematics to rise to almost 6.5 million units by 2014. Developing realtime vehicle tracking innovation is recognised as a key factor by most private industry or public sectors operating fleet vehicles of any size or application when forward planning to maintain maximum cost efficiencies and productivity.
Technology now plays a crucial role in the global fleet industry. From local and regional SME businesses, equipped with a basic vehicle tracking device to national and world wide haulage and service distribution, deploying a full scale fleet gps tracking system.
While telematics investment is seen as a capital asset, most small to mid size fleet organisations enter the process with an entry-level vehicle tracker which supplies a basic ‘satnav’ application. Fleet managers and their control room teams quickly become aware that it is crucial to have full visibility of an entire journey history as it happens in realtime. A system upgrade to a full live vehicle tracking system enables streaming data to be directly relayed from the on-board diagnostics.
Consultation and full company workflow and costings analysis is a vital prerequisite in forward planning projected business growth to a required telematics performance. Provision of capacity must be to meet future fleet operational demands with added functionality, rather than simply address present concerns. A clear prefiguring of practical benefits will enhance productivity estimates matched to delivery capability. In addition, a selected software solution must be scalable or customised to fleet vehicle specification and intended usage. Economic urgency can very often focus on a main issue of fuel cost reduction to be achieved within the first time period of installed GPS tracking use, obscuring wider strategy needs.
It’s not uncommon for the immediate benefit to quickly fall away after a small short-term gain from initial driver reaction once a vehicle fleet tracking system has been installed. It is imperative that data must constantly be utilised and acted upon to inform the vital decision making process in order to see long term benefits. Key running cost reduction and productivity development can be most effectively implemented via necessary driver behaviour management. Company operating costs can be better controlled by ensuring that data is understood and acted upon on a daily basis.
In-vehicle diagnostics will monitor driving behaviours, such as idling, gear selection and engine revs, as well as measuring braking, acceleration and cornering. Installed routing software enables comparisons between actual and planned scheduling with geo-fencing limits, which can be pre-set for vehicle movements out of hours or prescribed journey areas. Also, a record of any unauthorised vehicle use can be kept.
Consultation with the telematics provider at very stage is vital, especially when planning integration with existing network infrastructures. Telematics purchasing is always vitally dependent on possessing full and accurate information, which aims to achieve the required cost reductions. A strategic implementation policy and assignment of responsibility for ensuring the entire process is carried out to agreed plan is a forward planning imperative.