As a small business owner, you may have looked at vehicle tracking technology, but perhaps only thought it is for those that manage large fleets, or seen it as an unnecessary expense. And perhaps you have not realised the benefits that tracking technology, also known as telematics, can deliver to any size fleet.
If treated as an investment, the return on the initial investment can be significant in fairly short times as it’s all about control, efficiencies, and productivity. In the long run, it can save you time and money, and provide peace of mind in the sense that there are eyes on your vehicle at all times. If you use telematics correctly – regardless of the size of your fleet – you will see a dramatic ROI within a short time. The bottom line is that telematics will help you make consistent improvements on your mobile operations, which means that you as a company stay competitive and profitable.
Here are a couple of examples of how telematics can benefit your business:
Fleet tracking and monitoring
Think of telematics technology as the eyes and ears of your fleet: a GPS tracking system provides a clear view of where your vehicles are at all times. You can track your vehicles in real time on a web-based monitoring system that you can access via your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
But it’s not just about tracking. Telematics companies like Ctrack also give you the option to include stolen vehicle recovery services as part and parcel of your contract. This means that you have a dedicated recovery team on hand to locate your vehicle if it stolen, hijacked, or missing. Vehicle tracking tools also have the capability to alert you when someone is tampering with one of your vehicle’s batteries, or when your vehicle is involved in an accident.
Powerful reporting tools
Telematics software can save you time and money with standard reporting tools that are specifically designed to give you the information you need to run your fleet costs effectively. Reports come with a host of options. You can, for instance, compare individual vehicle and driver performance, and identify issues such as poor fuel economy and potential fuel theft. These reports can be set according to your requirements, report only on extreme discrepencies, or highlight high risk items via SMS to three mobile phones as selected by yourself. Your driver is normally the key to most of your fleet’s performance. Settings key performance areas as an incentive for your driver, could help you save directly on high cost items such as fuel, tyres, and maintenance. The availability of this data, allows you to plan better for vehicle replacement cycles, and even help you to identify risks when involved in insurance claims against your company.
Ask industry experts to name the top five benefits of telematics technologies, and savings on fuel is bound to top the list. If you have a route management module in place, you can set up static and timed routes that let you plan the shortest and most efficient routes for your vehicles to drive. Combined with GPS navigation, you can help your drivers avoid busier roads and warn them early enough about delays from traffic incidents. Intelligent routing and planning also cuts down the number of kilometres travelled by each vehicle, which can reduce long-term maintenance costs and extend the life cycle of the vehicle.
One of the perks that comes with knowing where your vehicles are, is that you have the ability to assign the nearest available vehicle to any new job, allowing you to efficiently allocate new tasks as they come in. This has a big impact on customer satisfaction, as you can better estimate the time of arrival at a specific customer, making you more responsive to customer needs. Ctrack lets you plan and schedule your drivers’ daily movements based on historical route data. This has the added benefit that your drivers start their day knowing when and where they need to be with their task schedule.
*Ctrack has partnered with NSBC to give them preferential rates on fleet tracking. Members can get discounts of up to 20% on fleet tracking services. For more information, visit https://www.ctrack.com/za/nsbc-sponsorship/.