Implementing IVMS: A Top Down Approach in Fleet Management

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August 7, 2019

When it comes to promoting the safety of your fleet drivers and compliance with all federal and state regulations, a top-down approach is critical. Creating a safety culture must start with your leadership and be consistently enforced across the management of your entire fleet. In-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS) technology complements and supports these efforts by automating processes and tasks that were previously done manually.

Let’s explore what an IVMS is, how it works and ways it can be leveraged to improve your investment and deliver added value.

What is an IVMS?

An IVMS is used to track and transmit driver behavior, activities and key vehicle metrics. It combines a series of electronic vehicle tracking devices and a central computer software system. The devices connect to a vehicle OBD II port and transmit telematics and GPS vehicle tracking data back to the central software system, which fleet managers use to keep records of driver behavior, monitor compliance and maintenance and analyze data to make decisions.

What data does an IVMS capture?

The data captured by an IVMS can be invaluable, allowing managers to seamlessly monitor and manage a large mobile workforce. For example, an IVMS can track data specifically related to driver safety and behavior such as speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration, seat belt use and more. IVMS can also capture additional metrics including compliance with ever-changing government regulations like the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate, Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) and Hours of Service (HOS).

It can also be used to improve dispatching and driving routes and provide preventative maintenance reminders. This helps to improve fuel efficiency and promote the overall safety of your entire fleet. But an IVMS is more than just GPS devices and mobile client software. Implementing an IVMS is a program that fleet managers can leverage to boost safety and realize serious cost savings.

Why invest in an IVMS?

An IVMS can be a key part of a safety culture program. That’s because it’s proven to help improve worker and asset safety, enhance visibility into your fleet and tighten compliance with state and federal regulations. In fact, one study found that risky driving behaviors declined significantly when drivers were monitored by an IVMS and had their behavior coached by supervisors and with in-cab warning lights (NCBI).

3 easy ways to reap ROI with an IVMS

Following are three key ways that make implementing an IVMS well worth the investment:

1     Increase driver and asset safety

Because driver management software is part of an IVMS, it helps fleet managers improve driver and asset safety. They can use it to measure driver performance and leverage coaching tools to help drivers improve unsafe behaviors. Alerting workers of risky or aggressive driving behaviors on the spot helps them to hone their driving skills and enhance safety records.

For example, studies show that accidents drop by almost 50% when speed is reduced by five MPH (SSTI); so real-time alerts to tell the driver to slow down can help to significantly decrease crashes, injuries and fatalities.

2     Improve fleet visibility while saving money

Fleet dash cams and GPS tracking give fleet managers total visibility and live views into their assets and workers. Fleet dash cams with HD video and driver data provide context behind driver behavior and into crashes. When unsafe driving behavior occurs, the dash cam video helps provide an understanding of what happened before and after an incident. Video evidence can be used in the event of a false claim, which can impact the total cost of an accident and insurance premiums.

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With live video powered by artificial intelligence, driver behaviors are categorized as a collision, danger, hard driving, low risk or undetermined. This real-time tracking information can be used by fleet managers to protect commercial vehicles and coach safer driver behavior.

With near real-time GPS tracking systems, you’ll gain insight into the vehicle location and status of every single asset and worker within your mobile workforce. Whether you run a landscaping business with 25 employees or a trucking company with 1,000 employees, GPS fleet tracking provides valuable data that can help you save money.

For example, trucking fleets save an average of 25% on their annual fuel spend when implementing Verizon Connect GPS tracking for trucks1. Fuel costs are reduced thanks to the IVMS GPS features that:

  • Reduce unnecessary and excessive idling
  • Improve routes and reduce mileage and fuel consumption
  • Support driver coaching to be smart about fuel use
  • Identify and report areas of fuel waste per vehicle
  • Protect against fraud and theft of fuel cards

3     Strengthen compliance with federal and state regulations

An IVMS helps to simplify and automate your DOT and FMCSA compliance, including driving hours and inspections. ELDs are connected directly to your vehicle to automate logging to a mobile app on a smartphone (Apple iOS or Android) or tablet. The e-logging device data recording into the logbook app can then be checked in a roadside inspection or used to prove compliance in a DOT audit. Electronic DVIRs are used by drivers to complete and sign off a full inspection, and the software is smart enough to make sure drivers are taking the time to do a thorough inspection.

Going the next mile: Implementing an IVMS

Deciding which vendor to go with is the first step in the process of implementing an IVMS for your fleet. Ongoing support and the costs of hardware and software are a couple of important considerations when making a decision about which partner to choose. However, one of the most common issues fleet managers face when implementing an IVMS are the objections their workforce often has against using technology and changing the traditional ways of doing things.

That’s why establishing a company-wide policy and procedure for IVMS usage is essential to success. Making it a key element of your safety culture strategy will help your staff understand how important it is to follow company policy. Documenting these guidelines for protecting driver privacy should also be part of your plan.

Resistance to change can be difficult to overcome, but selling the benefits of an IVMS and proving ease of use are easy if you choose the right vendor. Contact Verizon Connect today to get started.

Sources

1 “Benefits After Effective Deployment of Fleet Management System” Frost & Sullivan 2015

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