Exercise is great for our health so it should be easy just to go out and do some…. right?
Yet I’m one of the countless Brits who waste a combined £5.8bn every year on unused fitness equipment – everything from gym memberships to my spotlessly clean mountain bike.
Last year I stopped jumping from one fad to another, sat down and really thought about what I was doing.
I wanted to maintain my weight under 100kg, increase my upper body strength and build my cardio fitness. The real shocker though, was realising why I had failed. I don’t like exercising alone, I get bored with repetition, I bought a top gym package which I didn’t need and I haven’t a clue how to lift weights properly.
Finally awake, I began researching and started CrossFit. The workouts are in groups, every day is different, qualified coaches attend every session and regular classes fit around work. The result is that I began to enjoy exercise and started seeing the benefits.
Getting a grip on fleet fitness
So why is this relevant to your telematics system?
A survey in the US conducted by FleetAnswers.com asked 103 fleet professionals about the telematics system they use. When it came to the question of return on investment (ROI), 31 per cent said they didn’t have any and 34 per cent didn’t know.
So how has this situation arisen? Well, despite the obvious business benefits that can be achieved with the help of telematics, simply investing in a system isn’t enough. Like fitness programmes, you can end up wasting significant sums of money if you don’t give serious thought to what your business actually needs and how that system will help you achieve your goals.
This means it is important to outline your priorities before investing in a system and identify what issues affect your business.
If fuel usage is perceived as being high then it would make sense to find a system that allows driver behaviour to be monitored and assessed, providing clear KPIs for improvement. If productivity is an issue, it may be worth looking at a telematics platform that integrates with routing and scheduling software to allow the creation of smarter schedules, helping to optimise routes and get drivers to jobs on time.
Data holds the key to improvement
However, choosing the appropriate system is only the first step.
Even if the data provided by a telematics system is appropriate to need, change can only be achieved through proper use of that data.
This means it is important to speak to providers up front to determine what data is provided by each system and how that data might be used to help achieve the necessary improvements within your fleet.
If a plan isn’t laid out in advance, it is possible businesses may simply become overfaced by the variety and detail of the data provided by the system and will end up using none of it.
If your organisation employs a large number of drivers, do you have the necessary resource to process and analyse the available data? Even if such resource is scarce, data can be made more manageable if the telematics system is able to segment it into different reports.
For example, some systems can provide high-level, colour-coded charts to highlight general trends within your fleet, allowing you to quickly identify the overriding issues and then delve deeper into the data in order to identify root cause, perhaps in the performance of individual drivers.
Equally, smart software integrations can use telematics data to help enhance existing processes, such as routing and scheduling, without creating a greater administrative burden. Automated processes can help to cut down on the need for paperwork and manual record-keeping.
Whatever the challenges, it is a case of business leaders being 100 per cent clear and transparent on current and future needs, and setting a clear plan of action for use of a telematics system.
For their part, providers must be clear about what their products offer and provide the kind of ongoing support that is necessary to help customers get the most out of the technology.