When you start implementing GPS fleet tracking and other telematic technologies, you discover its great potential for creating actionable insights. All types of vehicles and the drivers behind the wheel can provide lots of useful data for your business.
But once you’ve implemented the tech, being bombarded with reports and graphs without rhyme or reason can be a little overwhelming. If you don’t know what you want to measure and work towards, how can you get the best results from the data?
Here’s how to get started and lay down a solid foundation and get the best possible use out of your telematics.
Identify Your Risks And Needs
No two businesses are the same, which your needs may vary entirely from others in the industry. A great way to start with telematics is to put together your short and long-term goals. It helps you to figure out what needs to be tracked and measured, as well as know where you currently stand as a business. From there you can easily establish where you need to be and how to get there with the help of telematics.
The industry you operate in, fleet size, business location, customers, tasks and the kinds of assets you have will all factor into what kind of data you need to monitor.
Do you want to ensure delivery routes are as efficient as possible? Is your fuel spend higher this year than last year? Are drivers operating as safely as possible while out on the job?
By highlighting the aspects of the business that you want to improve you can put the most effective systems in place and track the insights that you need. With GPS vehicle software and equipment tracking, your business:
- is able to compare planned vs actual times in completing tasks to improve efficiencies
- can check engine diagnostics that monitor fuel usage and reduce costs as it’s used; or
- can see real-time alerts and scorecard systems that notify you of risky driver behaviours that allow you to make more informed decisions instantly.
From there you can isolate and highlight the most useful data, compile it into an easy-to-read report and make positive changes in the business based on the results. You can successfully monitor changes and trends to check that you’re improving in the areas that you previously identified.
Look At Policies And Procedures
No matter the type of business or fleet size, compliance is essential. The changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) make it critical to provide evidence that all necessary precautions are being taken to ensure safety. Even if an incident hasn’t occurred it’s important that everyone in the business is aware of all present legislation and requirements. This can mean having a specialist run a seminar or point your team in the right direction for relevant vehicle law to ensure everyone understands their duty.
Once your fleet management system is place and your staff have been successfully on-boarded, it’s extremely important to ensure business policies and procedures are present and up-to-date to include the use of technology. Telematics help by flagging potential safety or breaches to compliance regulations issues as, or even before, they occur allowing you to take immediate action. You can then eliminate or minimise behaviours that put your drivers and business at risk and demonstrate that your business practices effective safety measures.
Communicating to all your staff, both new and existing, these practices becomes your next step. As safety continues to become a constant concern for business, this all makes the difference with how you effectively manage risks across your fleet. Tracking each aspect that needs the most attention means you’re better prepared to mitigate risks and improve efficiency across the entire supply chain, both on-road or off-road.
Get Everyone Educated
Putting new tools in place without warning or reason can cause distrust and build a dividing line between your staff and management. Effectively managing change is an important factor when implementing new fleet technology. This way, you can face objections head on, ensure miscommunication doesn’t occur and reduce the disruption faced when implementing. Providing initial and on-going coaching and updating business practices that complement the technology are essential to get the most value of the system.
Let your team know why it’s important for the business to roll out telematics. Run them through demos of the system and allow them to offer feedback to help make the transition as seamless as possible. You can even have a specialist come to your offices and give an overview of the products and show exactly how that data is collected and displayed to continue to dispel any myths your staff may have about the solution. By getting everyone on the same page and trained on how to use the system, you can use telematics with confidence.
The best way to get value out of your fleet data is to listen. Whether it’s listening to the vehicles or the people in your business. An effective system isn’t one that’s set in stone but one that evolves and grows with your business. Telematics gives you a way to know what’s going on in the day-to-day and to take immediate action to make your business the best it can be.