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Telematics and related route planning software can be frustrating, not really to use, but to interpret the results, and then make informed decisions based on the outputs.
Often, it is not that the system isn’t performing as you think it should, it is more that you aren’t using your telematics & route optimisation software to their full potential. And getting the results you want from your software doesn’t have to mean more money invested; all you may need to do is apply one or more of the following suggestions.
Integrate Systems: Improved Output for Informed Business Decisions
Software companies are typically specialists in one particular aspect of logistics or transport or fleet or operations, etc. So the vehicle tracking supplier does not offer a full telematics system, and the telematics provider does not provide a route planning system, and they in turn do not provide a fleet management system, and so on. Moreover, there is not one software company on the market that can provide all of the functionality above. However, when these disparate systems are linked so that data is shared, the combined output can provide companies with a significant source of competitive advantage.
Rephrase the Output: Work With Drivers and Planners
You can use the software to be more proactive in the way you improve the skills of your drivers and planners. Driving behaviour, as evidence by harsh braking, excessive idling, speeding, etc, can be used to inform drivers but has perhaps more significance when the ‘green’ environmental impact of their behaviour is explained. For planners, incident data can be used to create hot spots in ‘virtual’ routes that can be used in a simulation for drivers to ‘drive’ in preparation for them actually hitting the road.
Combine More Than One Channel of Data
A telematics system may contain far more data than that which directly relates to driver behaviour. Other data channels like real-time camera footage can all be used to supercharge and transform your system into one that can actually result in more informed and experienced fleet drivers. Planners can also view the route they have created, and assess the impact of road issues, such as, low hanging branches, sharp turns, adverse cambers, etc.
Let Your Drivers Contribute to Improvements
What can your drivers do for you? Actually, they can provide you with valuable information that can be used to improve operations, especially the route optimisation element. Regular feedback, and an appreciation of their input is a must. When drivers are able to log into a telematics or a route optimisation system from home or on the road the level and quality of performance feedback increases.
Think About the Future
If you are planning for growth you will also have to consider the possibility that you may grow out of your existing system. This realisation may be difficult to accept; after all, it may seem as though you just figured out how to optimise the results from your existing software and there was a significant investment in it. You may also be ‘comfortable’ with using the system. But reluctance to adopt a system that can work with the future size of your business – or at least integrate systems together – can actually end up costing you in the long run.
The best way to make sense of adopting a new system is to think of it as a long term investment. In choosing a more suitable, scalable system, you are investing in the successful future of your business.