Telematics – a core tool in Fleet Management

By: Ashish Gulati, Country Head, Telit India

In the Indian scenario, National & State highways are full of surprises due to inaccurate road engineering, untrained drivers, road users having different road usage perspective and lack of roadside facilities. This is a recipe for accidents and therefore understanding the risks in a journey and the road environment through hazard perception is very essential. It is very important to maintain vehicle upkeeps, driver training and tracking mechanisms and behavioral studies through Vehicle Tracking System or Data Recorders of drivers. Their timely monitoring will definitely enhance the effectiveness of transportation of men and material. This would have a direct impact on improving operational cost effectiveness for companies

Hence, the need of the hour is a modern fleet management system which helps in maintaining and operating vehicles effectively and efficiently with minimal investments. This can give companies an edge over competition especially during periods of financial hardships where any saving can help companies go a long way.

Usage of Telematics in Fleet management System has been a boon to fleet owners in managing their entire caravan with ease and in keeping track of their trucks and vehicles. Managing fleet drivers effectively can help companies save large amount of losses each year. Through driver training, telematics systems and effective fuel management systems, fleets can reduce costs and mileage while maintaining the same level of service. Tracking systems are becoming increasing popular with fleets as these can reduce costs when it comes to driver management and simultaneously helps in running a more efficient fleet. Furthermore, with the help of data feed back to the fleet management system, companies can create profiles of the drivers. This helps in keeping track and the identity of the drivers who are not disciplined in driving and time management and are becoming an expensive resource to the company.

Telematics usage in Fleet management systems can not only track over speeding drivers but also help drivers with better route planning to ensure timely delivery of consignments which saves time and money for the company. It connects monitors and manages vehicle operation from a centralized web-based IoT portal that seamlessly integrates with enterprise applications. It has modules for cellular connectivity and for location tracking which are used for managing drivers and fleets. Transportation and logistics is an industry where Telematics/ IoT are widely deployed in order to remotely monitor fleets and assets in transit. Under utilization, pilferage and timely maintenance are the major problems in this industry and GPS tracking devices are designed to address this issue.

Fleet Management Telematics is transforming business operations and engagement with customers. All the companies who manage fleets can use fleet telematics to collect real-time information like location of their vehicle, usage of fuel, speed and mileage of the vehicle and the last insight into drivers behavior to optimize the routes, increase productivity, control fuel costs, reduces operational expenses, improve driver safety, increase fleet security and remotely diagnose maintenance requirements.

Fleet managers are tasked with constantly watching their fleet’s bottom line, while also ensuring that the vehicles are operating efficiently and are available to accomplish the mission of any particular fleet. Fleet drivers are one of the major elements in that equation which can help improve overall fleet metrics, or drive them into the ground. Thankfully, there are several strategies fleet managers can implement to increase driver productivity. In the end, all efforts made by fleet managers to improve driver productivity are aimed at one thing i.e. protecting the company’s bottom line. While driver productivity is important for service and delivery fleets, the asset uptime is what’s paramount. It’s crucial to businesses in managing their total cost of operation to deploy services that keep the vehicles on the road.

One of the best things fleet management system has done is to enable vehicle owners to keep the real time track of their trucks. GPS installed in the trucks which now is a standard feature of fleet management system tells the exact location of the truck. It has made operators bring transparency in their delivery system as they can tell clients precise delivery and estimated time. Fleet manager’s now-a-days need to run their operations with optimum efficiency, especially when it applies to mission-critical challenges such as high fleet operations costs, recurring repairs and frequent vehicle downtime. Herein, Vehicle Diagnostics allows managers to remotely monitor vehicle performance, engine malfunctions and driver behavior to improve vehicle reliability, security and reduce costs.

Fleet Management system has been an effective innovation for the trucking industry which has not only improved the efficiency of operations for operators but has also managed to align the operations. It is bringing transparency in terms of business which is needed for building strong business bonds. However vehicle telematics and fleet management system still have a long way to go as these technologies are still at the initial stages of acceptance in the Indian trucking industry.

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