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For many fleet managers considering the introduction of telematics technology the return on investment can be difficult to estimate. Although the thought of introducing this kind of technology is an exciting prospect for fleet managers, research revealed that almost 60% of fleet managers delay investing in it until a clear ROI can be demonstrated.
Performance and Impact of Technology
Telematics can reveal many aspects of fleet performance and any measure of performance can be seen in a number of ways, from a baseline for the entire fleet, to individual drivers or for certain driver groups, for example. Establishing an “as-is” baseline of performance before conducting an ROI study is key in assessing the impact of introducing telematics technology. But which key performance indicators provide the best indication of a significant ROI.
The reduction in braking harshness, for example, can mean less wear and tear on tyres and can be measured over time. All fleet managers need do is monitor drivers identifying the worst offenders and managing them accordingly. The same approach is true for over-revving and excess idling.
Individual Driver Improvement
Of course, the introduction of automotive technology not only allows a fleet manager to see how their fleet is performing, but also allows the individual drivers in a fleet to get insight on their own driving skills. A fleet manager can choose to give their drivers full access to their individual driving data, and then monitor driving performance to see whether or not that data access has had any positive results.
Some companies introduce a ‘league table’ of driver performance rewarding the top performers with incentives. Many fleet managers would argue that the introduction of telematics and the transparent monitoring of driver behaviour has led to a change in behaviour resulting in cost savings – less idling, less harsh breaking all results in less cost – as well as fewer accidents.
Vehicle Maintenance = High ROI
Although indirect, fleet managers can see a high ROI by using the diagnostic data provided by telematics to manage vehicle maintenance. Diagnostic telematics data can be sent directly to either the fleet manager or technical to see where maintenance is needed. Some fleets may even be able to share alerts with outside service providers. The result is better covering of warranties on any newer fleet vehicles, as well as higher resale value, less vehicle downtime and reduced total ownership cost.
Elimination of Missed Revenue Opportunities
Telematics can also ensure that fleet managers realise higher ROI by alerting them to revenue opportunities that may have otherwise been missed. For example, unexpected delays in the form of drivers not able to arrive to a loading location before closing can result in not only lost time, but lost revenue. However, telematics can tell a fleet manager where the closest vehicle to the loading location is, and send that driver to pick up the load instead.