What do you think of when you hear the word telematics? Different people view telematics in different ways.
At its most basic, Tyler Mortensen, director of strategy and government, and Jason Walker, vice president of sales, at GPS Insight LLC, told attendees of the recent NationaLease Annual Meeting, telematics has a tactical application and an internal focus. At this level, the focus is on employee behavior and the location of the truck.
The next level of telematics is operational fleet efficiency. While this approach is still internally focused it factors in things like visibility, fleet efficiencies and saving money. It looks at things like idle time, fuel use, fleet utilization, etc.
The real value of telematics comes in at the strategic business level. At this level things are externally focused and includes people, processes and tools.
The real value of telematics comes when you can use the information you receive from telematics devices to enhance your corporate strategy. If, for example, you have safety as one of your corporate values, analyzing things like fast accelerations and hard braking can help you bring driver behavior more in line with your goals. Or you can use fault code information against PM inspections to see if you see failure trends in areas such as brakes. You can use this information to speak with drivers about being more diligent when checking brakes as part of their pre- and post-trip inspections. You can also ask technicians to put a little more emphasis on brakes when doing PM inspections.
If your goal is to operate a “green” fleet then the data you get concerning miles per gallon, percent idle time, engine speed, road speed, etc. can tell you whether your operational practices are aligned with your goals.
Telematics gives you a great deal of data that if used to its fullest can help you better align your actions with the strategic direction.