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How Telematics Could Benefit Your Business Fleet

If your business owns and operates a fleet of vehicles, telematics could have a number of significant benefits. Join us as we explain how.

How telematics works

Before we get into the benefits, let's look at the technology. Telematics typically works using a combination of GPS and mobile phone data. A ‘black box’ device is installed within the vehicle, which uses GPS tracking to obtain location data, among other things. This data is sent to special software via mobile technology and is plotted on a map. Fleet telematics uses this technology to monitor and map all of your vehicles and their activities in one dashboard.

Organisations with the largest fleets and the most complex fleet requirements tend to benefit most from the introduction of a telematics system. In these cases, businesses can save money, reduce workloads and minimise errors while increasing productivity and customer satisfaction levels.

However, even if you’re not running a large fleet, you could still enjoy some of the following benefits:

Easily Locate Vehicles, Drivers and Packages

Your fleet of vehicles may be used by employees to drive to meetings, to transport equipment and other items for work purposes, or to deliver goods and products to customers. In all cases, you have multiple vehicles out on the road, many of them taking different routes each time they’re out. 

With so many details to consider, it can be easy to lose track of vehicles, drivers and the items being transported, unless you carefully manage your fleet.

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Telematics systems use GPS tracking so you can easily locate each vehicle in real-time, so you’re never in any doubt. This data can often be accessed 365/24-7 via mobile applications, which can even rank drivers in performance charts based on different driving criteria.

Minimise Your Fleet Operation Costs

One of the tangible benefits businesses look for when installing and using fleet telematics is the reduction in fleet operating costs. One of the biggest, ongoing expenses associated with managing a fleet is fuel. 

By monitoring routes, tracking fuel consumption and optimising your fleet vehicle usage, it is possible to reduce fuel costs, minimise wear and tear on your vehicles, and even reduce the total number of miles covered – all of which saves your business money.

Minimising fleet costs may help to cover fleet telematics costs. In some cases, the reductions may be enough to outsource fleet management tasks!

Improve and Monitor Driver Behaviour

No matter how skilled and experienced a driver is, they may not adopt optimal driving behaviour. 

Erratic acceleration and braking, last-minute cornering and other bad habits can lead to an increase in fuel consumption and increase the chances they will be involved in an accident.

A black box telematics device can be fitted to a vehicle’s on-board computer so it can report on everything from driver hours to acceleration and braking. This information can be used to identify any areas that need improvement. 

Camera systems can also be added to work in tandem with telematics. The raw black box data can be assessed against video footage to get a clearer understanding of an incident. For instance, heavy braking might suggest the driver was late to react to traffic, but the footage might show something unexpected moving in front of the vehicle (an object, someone running across a road, an animal).

To ensure that drivers and employees welcome the telematics system, it is important to point out that the data collected will not be used to reprimand drivers. You can, however, use the data to implement a reward system and training programmes, encouraging your employees to make improvements.

Boost Levels of Customer Satisfaction

There are many ways that telematics can help improve customer service. By ensuring optimal routes, for instance, you can minimise delivery times, so customers receive their items faster. Plus, because you can track the vehicle and monitor where on a delivery route it is, you can share this data with a parcel delivery system. Customers can log into the system, check the progress of their delivery and stay informed.

A well-informed customer is a happy one, and a happy customer is more likely to use your services again in the future. They will also be more likely to give your name and company details to friends and family looking for the products or services you provide.

Manage Driver Hours and Details

A fleet manager not only manages the vehicles and routes driven, but they also monitor driver details and driver hours. A telematics system ensures your drivers do not exceed legal limits and spend too long behind the wheel.

Your fleet manager can also monitor factors like break times, route deviations and additional miles covered. 

While the clear majority of drivers are honest and complete routes efficiently and effectively, some may take extended or excessive breaks. Others may use the company vehicle, company fuel and company time, to complete personal tasks and journeys. Telematics makes it possible to monitor and manage drivers as well as vehicles and deliveries.

Potentially Reduce Fleet Insurance Costs

Black boxes have become increasingly common in private cars and for personal use. That’s because they have the potential to reduce high insurance costs, especially for new and young drivers, as well as those that have made claims in the past. That’s because driving behaviour and activity are closely monitored.

Some insurance companies offer benefits to businesses that have black box devices and telematics systems installed in their vehicles. Check with your existing insurer, or talk to One Broker to see if having black boxes fitted could save you money on your business fleet insurance.

For larger fleets, certain insurers will only offer access to their products if there is an approved telematics device installed and they are allowed to review the data to monitor driver performance. 

Safer driving also means fewer accidents, and this means fewer claims made against your insurance policy. Every time you make a claim, you increase the risk associated with your vehicle insurance. This increased risk means that you are likely to see higher insurance premiums, and vehicle insurance can be a major expenditure for businesses that have a large fleet of cars and vans. Keeping accidents down means reducing risk for insurers and this, in turn, leads to reduced insurance premiums for your organisation.

Want to discuss telematics for your fleet? Contact the team on 01223 792272.

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