Telematics for Business
Telematics are being used more and more by businesses as they look to reduce their fleet risks. With useful data about vehicle and driver behaviour, they are a powerful weapon for any business operating fleet vehicles.
The systems have come a long way in a short time, whilst older systems still record basic information such harsh braking, rapid acceleration and speeding; new systems have taken this on to the next level by introducing parameters such as fatigue levels and cornering.
With technology constantly developing and costs ever decreasing, more businesses are fitting their vehicles with telematics devices.
Telematics systems that are used by businesses are seeing a tangible results with collision and claims rates decreasing. Fleet insurance companies are reacting by providing competitive rates at a time when general insurance costs are rising.
Other improvements not linked to insurance include fuel savings, reduced driver fatigue, sustainability initiatives and route productivity.
There really is a competitive edge for adoption by businesses. With fuel, staff and insurance costs spiralling it can help any business’ bottom line. The benefits far outweigh the costs and every business will want to get a return on their investment.
The question becomes how do businesses make use of the data available? Do they fully understand how to make the best use of the data produced? And can businesses just rely on technology to make their fleets run better or is more needed to embed it as part of their culture?
Implementing the Technology
Businesses should be ready to embrace the data produced and be clear on how to use this information. It’s true, there is an overload of information that needs to be understood before real benefits are realised. Choosing a good telematics provider who will work with the business is key to implementing the technology and making best use of it.
So what can you do with telematics?
Consider a haulage company with a fleet of 50 HGV’s, insurance claims costs going through the roof, collision incidents are on the increase and staff turnover is at an all time high. Without intervention the company will cease to exist, so how can telematics help?
Benchmarking Telematics Data & Setting Standards for Drivers
Telematics will allow a business to risk profile every driver, it can be based on the following parameters:
- Collision Data
- Failed Deliveries
- Fuel Management
- Accident Reporting
- Tachograph Data
The list isn’t exhaustive as each business should set its own benchmarks and parameters from which it can compare data. Initially transport managers will have key data that gives them insights into how the fleet is performing and which drivers or HGV’s are causing the most problems. Trends can be analysed and problems can be addressed immediately.
The long term gains are where telematics will help businesses. The data can be used to develop a safe driving culture, driver league tables and financial initiatives for safer driving and fuel economy.
Telematics should be seen as a positive and used as a coaching tool. It shouldn’t be used negatively with drivers being reprimanded for poor behaviours. Once drivers realise the systems will improve overall safety, with potential to earn rewards for positive driving, they are more willing to embrace telematics.
Having a policy that clearly states the purpose and use of telematics as well as driver expectations will also help communicate the the business expectations better.
Ultimately, behaviour will be driven (pardon the pun!) at management or organisational level which will lead to positive peer to peer support between the staff, with minimal intervention from transport managers – now that’s what I call a unicorn!
Whilst telematics isn’t a cure-all, there are many reasons to implement it. Used correctly it is fundamental to managing and improving driver behaviour. It needs to be backed up by a road safety culture with all staff having the skills, tools and appetite to make them safer on the road.