We discuss telematics a lot, which should be indicative of how integral it is to the fleet industry. Telematics has moved on from the standard GPS tracking—which is generally still a part of the overall package—to provide in-depth driver information, repair alerts, HOS, dispatch services, and preventive maintenance scheduling. It’s no longer enough to have a fleet with a general telematics package—you need a package tailored to your fleet and business needs. Ashley Sowerby, managing director, Chevin Fleet, discusses data management and the most- and least-used telematics features.
MWS: WITH SO MANY TELEMATICS PRODUCTS CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET, WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING AS FAR AS MOST POPULAR FEATURES?
The desire to track and record driver behavior, such as harsh braking, speeding, fast accelerating, and seat belting wearing, is increasingly popular, which is very closely linked to fuel consumption, maintenance needs, and accident rates. Fuel costs represent a large part of a fleet’s operating expenses after depreciation, so by integrating telematics with fleet management software, businesses are keen to identify the costliest behaviors in order to eliminate them.
Data collected from Chevin’s customer base shows that the best drivers can reduce costs by more than 12 percent, but the worst drivers can increase costs by more than 13 percent, which reinforces the value of measuring driver behaviors.
MWS: CHEVIN’S FLEET DATA MANAGEMENT LETS CUSTOMERS CONSOLIDATE DATA FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES. WAS THIS PRODUCT DRIVEN MORE BY CUSTOMER REQUEST OR BY INTUITING CUSTOMER NEEDS?
FleetWave was initially designed as a central fleet data repository and reporting system, managing the complete lifecycle of vehicles, driver, and associated assets, so the ability to leverage intelligence from other systems and applications is key for gaining complete visibility of the fleet operation.
The types of integrations that are available, however, have been influenced by our client base and their unique business requirements. FleetWave integrates with everything from telematics, fuel cards, and the lessors, to ERP, finance, parts, and inventory from almost every major provider.
MWS: ARE THERE ANY TELEMATICS FEATURES OR TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE BEING UNDERUTILIZED, BUT CAN HAVE A HUGE POSITIVE IMPACT FOR FLEET OWNERS/MANAGERS?
Telematics’ maintenance capabilities are often underutilized; however, there are big opportunities for preventive maintenance. For example, the data produced can highlight engine fault codes, which can be used to help to reduce on-the-job breakdowns, eliminating unnecessary downtime and allowing businesses to not only prioritize driver safety, but also make significant cost savings.
Going forwards, fleet managers should be ready make better use of these maintenance functions, especially as autonomous and connected vehicles start to flood the market and increased levels of data become available.
Perhaps more importantly, a lot of telematics systems don’t integrate with third party maintenance software, often rendering data useless—telematics data can be used productively, but only if it’s not held hostage and there is the means to integrate it with the bigger fleet picture.
MWS: CHEVIN’S FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE PUTS THE POWER OF EFFICIENCY IN THE FLEET DRIVER’S HANDS. WHAT KIND OF PRODUCTIVITY INCREASES HAVE FLEETS USING THIS PRODUCT SEEN?
When it comes to field service management, our product FleetWave Forms is primarily focused on removing costly paper-based methods used in the field to capture information—if data is captured by paper forms for every job, this can mean hundreds of paper forms that need processing. Replacing paper forms with digital ones will not only reduce administration burdens, but also help eliminate human errors, unreadable handwriting, and speed up the process a whole lot.
Ultimately saving time, fleet drivers can easily capture data—such as signatures, dates, images, and much more—on a mobile device, including tablets or smartphones, then automatically upload them into the FleetWave software in real-time.
MWS: CHEVIN CURRENTLY OFFERS VERY BENEFICIAL PRODUCTS. WHAT NEW/UPDATED PRODUCTS MIGHT WE SEE FROM THE COMPANY OVER THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO?
Chevin’s brand-new mobile app, FleetWave Forms, is due to be released and will continue to be significantly developed over the next two years. The easy-to-use drag-and-drop forms builder will allow users to create forms for almost any purpose, including DOTs; vehicle checks; proof of delivery; and risk assessments, and deploy them into the hands of field staff. The product is set to serve more business functions outside of fleet, for a greater level of functionality.