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Fleet management can be tricky, especially if you have a mix of vehicle types, vehicles of different ages or assets other than vehicles that you need to track. Newer vehicles may come with standard integrated telematics and location-based vehicle tracking. Older fleet vehicles, however, require aftermarket solutions added on. Assets (both powered and non-powered) will likely need additional software, as well.
Telematics is becoming more accessible, helping fleet managers organize all aspects of their fleets through a centralized system. There has been a major shift toward the use of web-based applications that pull all information into one-easily accessible dashboard. These applications provide critical operational feedback in near real time, allowing fleet managers, supervisors, owners and dispatchers to make more informed decisions based on actual data.
However, GPS-based fleet tracking is only helpful as a management tool if you apply it to all vehicles and assets within your fleet—otherwise, you're missing out on the full benefit of what location-based software can do for your bottom line.
One single telematics dashboard is the answer
One of the biggest boons of investing in asset and vehicle tracking software is that the benefits scale exponentially as you roll it out across your entire fleet. The savings you realize in fuel, maintenance, and efficiency for one vehicle or asset quickly stack up. That’s why it’s best to implement a web-based asset tracking solution for all fleet trucks, cars and other assets at the same time.
Here are specific benefits you can achieve for your fleet operations by implementing a GPS-based telematics platform with a web-based central dashboard:
- Effective mobile coordination: Easily coordinate crews and dispatch to a jobsite, monitoring their progress along the way while gaining a holistic view of job status and fleet issues.
- Smart maintenance: Generate vehicle maintenance alerts for your own service department or local dealer. Help improve the accuracy of your preventative maintenance program to control costs while saving unnecessary maintenance costs.
- Near real-time vehicle locations: With your entire fleet on a single dashboard, you'll be able to see all vehicle locations and know for sure that you’re dispatching the closest available vehicle to a job.
- Greater cost control: Gathering accurate, near real-time data about your entire fleet could help you obtain telematics based insurance discounts. It can also provide valuable metrics to determine the cost advantages of different vehicles within your fleet—new vs. old, diesel vs. gas, hybrid vs. naturally aspirated, etc.
- Identify assets no longer needed: With all assets tracked, you'll quickly identify disused vehicles or machinery no longer being utilized and determine which could be sold for capital gain.
- Improve driver behavior: No employee likes to feel as if they're being treated unfairly or differently from other staff. By deploying telematics fleetwide, you can measure driver performance based on the same KPIs like hard braking and aggressive acceleration, and implement consistent driver training to improve fleet safety.
- Compliance adherence: The use of ELDs can make it easier for truck drivers to stay compliant, automating the recording of on-duty, off-duty and driving operations. Because the hardware is directly connected to the vehicle, it improves the accuracy of HOS logs and can reduce the chance of fines for missing or out-of-date logs, or for exceeding the daily limit.
- Hours of service accuracy: Set up hour tracking to manage legal driving hours and help improve the accuracy of trip scheduling to keep drivers within legal HOS limits.
- API integration: Integrate with other enterprise systems, such as SAP, using standard web-based APIs (REST, SOAP etc.). Help improve the speed and accuracy of data collection for your payroll, HR and CRM solutions.
Order your vehicles with built-in telematics
You can’t manage what you’re not measuring, and there are some easy ways to connect your vehicles to telematics and start receiving data on your entire fleet today. For example, Ford Telematics™, the factory-installed telematics solution, can be retrofitted to a lot of used Ford vehicles, not just new trucks. So if you've purchased new Fords fitted with Ford Telematics as part of your fleet, you can easily get your existing Ford vehicles retrofitted and track all your assets on the same dashboard.
Vehicle performance is collected in near real time, then processed using a secure web-based application that presents your fleet data visually, providing you with near real-time alerts and actionable reports. This helps to easily see ways you can potentially reduce your fuel, labor, and maintenance spend.
Is it time for telematics?
There might be a number of reasons why your fleet hasn't entirely converted to telematics. Perhaps you’re running a trial project to compare the value of implementing location-based software. Maybe you’re costing out options and determining when to make the switch. Or perhaps you’re planning a fleet-wide vehicle upgrade and prefer to wait until that’s complete.
According to McKinsey, around 15% of vehicles now come with telematics installed as standard, and there are estimated to be 100 million telematics units in operation around the world. The global market for fleet telematics hardware, software, and services is forecast to become a $75 billion industry by 2025.1 Whatever the reason, whether you have a mixed fleet or a modern one, there’s never been a better time to embrace telematics as the market continues to grow.
See how telematics can help you orchestrate your fleet to achieve more from less.