Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Telematics 2013

The Fleet Business Authority

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Panoramic Fleet Management ➤➤➤ matics make it easier to handle issues with estimated times of arrival. We know where drivers are at the click of a mouse. Being able to track the entire tow either locally or long distance allows us to provide additional customer service. We can actually allow our customers to watch their particular tow online, for a set period of time. This takes the call away from our dispatcher and allows the customer to see the progression." For Foster, telematics help improve safety and productivity, which translates to better customer service. "Telematics not only help us ensure that our drivers are driving safely but also help us understand if work has been allocated appropriately and drivers are routed properly," he said. "A driver that may be exhibiting poor or problematic driving may not have a route that is optimized, which is leading to the problem in the frst place. Telematics help us to see that problem, understand it and address it, which in turn leads to better drivers, more productive employees, and higher customer satisfaction." The impact of telematics on customer satisfaction can play out differently depending on the industry. For one HVAC company, having telematics allowed them to implement a policy in which the appointment was free if a service person arrived fve minutes late. Not only did the move mean better customer service, it also differentiated them in the marketplace. For a utility company, it might be getting the lights back on faster. Whatever the industry, the potential for improved customer satisfaction is limitless. Safety on the Road With the ability to track unsafe driving practices like hard braking, fast cornering, rapid acceleration, and speeding, telematics devices tell feet managers a lot about whether their drivers are staying safe on the road and following company guidelines for driver behavior. "When it comes to safety, telematics help us manage driver behavior and ensure that our drivers are operating their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner," Foster said. "A safe driver is a driver that is good for your bottom line — and for the environment too. Safe drivers are able to help you minimize risk, maximize the life of a vehicle, and save on fuel by maintaining safe speeds. Telematics help us with all of that. Not only am I able to get basic GPS information, such as where a vehicle may be and for how long, but I'm also notifed if a driver neglects to use his seat belt or if an air bag is deployed." With increased visibility into driver behavior, telematics have also helped Foster enforce safety policies. "To be completely truthful, I didn't know how bad of a driver I was until I saw my own driver scorecard," he said. "But, with telematics, we're able to see how our drivers are doing from day to day and use 18 THE CONNECTED FLEET GUIDE 2013 that information as a coaching tool to help them improve if necessary. Telematics help when it comes to risk assessment and give us a better overall picture of what a driver's habits really are. It also allows us to be proactive in a very strategic way. While we still offer regular training and routine reminders about our safety policies, if we see via the data that a certain driver needs more, we don't have to do blanket training; instead, we can target our training and help that driver improve." Drivers' Personal Safety On top of preventing accidents through improved driver behavior, telematics can also help ensure the safety of drivers in the event of breakdowns — especially in rural areas. Schepis' drivers at the VA Medical Center often drive to remote areas to pick up or provide medical care to veterans, so naturally he and the drivers worry about their safety out on the road alone. "Much of Kansas looks like everywhere else in the state, so it is reassuring to them to know we can fnd them," Schepis said. "We had a vehicle break down at a rest stop and the tow truck could only take two passengers with it on to the city they were going to, leaving one lonely guy waiting in the rest stop in the middle of a feld in Kansas. And it was the middle of winter. We were able to check for the closest vehicle and call them to detour to pick him up." Quality Stops Beyond vehicle and driver behavior, telematics data can also be integrated with other data — say, sales metrics — to learn how to maximize the quality of drivers' stops. For instance, a pharmaceutical company might learn from the data that sales reps who make 30 minute stops have higher sales ratios than those who stop for 15 minutes or an hour. Armed with that knowledge, they can coach their reps to time their visits accordingly, and in turn see high productivity and sales. "We have looked at average stop time and continue to monitor that for deliveries," said Brian D. Campbell, President, Campbell Oil Company. "The system has allowed us to develop KPI (Key Performance Indicators) for the drivers and we are rewarding them if they hit certain thresholds." Theft While telematics can tell us much about what a vehicle is doing while it's in use, sometimes the data is just as valuable when it's at rest. For instance, construction sites are often in remote locations or can be large in size, leaving them susceptible to theft. The

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