Telematics: take the fast lane to better return on investment

Telematics offers significant benefits to organisations of all types – but only if they know how to use it effectively

As telematics continues to revolutionise supply management and distribution, the European market, which is the most advanced in the world, is set to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 15 per cent over the next five years, according to research consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Against a background of rapid growth, companies are increasingly looking to use telematics to do more than simply manage their assets. Instead, some have begun to use the technology to optimise the services they provide to their own customers.

Forward-looking companies are, for instance, auditing their individual systems in a more coherent, co-ordinated way that combines both the output and intelligence garnered from different systems to enable managers to make better informed decisions.

They can do this, among other ways, by linking vehicle management and activity management information to what is going on elsewhere within the business. But they also need to define their target return on investment (ROI), argues Marc Trollet, managing director of MiX Telematics Europe, a leading global provider of fleet management, driver safety and vehicle tracking solutions.

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“Most companies don’t have the time and resources to collect and analyse reams of telematics data, and to try and turn it into actionable information they can use to make impactful decisions,” he says. “They need to be clear about how they’re going to use this data, and to have well-defined goals and milestones that can be used to measure progress towards those goals.”

Stephen Ash, operations manager of Sheffield City Council, a MiX Telematics customer, says: “We’ve been able to optimise our routes, save time, save on fuel costs and deliver better customer service. I’m confident we’ll continue to see a growing number of benefits as time goes on, but we’re happy with what we’ve achieved so far and we’re now looking at other ways in which MiX Telematics can help us.”

It’s not just in the UK that MiX Telematics Europe is providing cutting-edge solutions. A top field and service maintenance company in France has reduced overtime claims by more than 80 per cent demonstrating an ROI ratio of one to twenty.

In Eastern Europe, one of MiX Telematics’ customers recently won an award in 2015 from the European Transport Safety Council after implementing outstanding measures to improve road safety at work.

In Belgium, a leading public transport provider working with one of MiX’s channel partners has enjoyed not only efficiency and fuel improvements, but also drastically reduced the number of injury claims by close to 70 per cent due to safer driving practices and increased passenger comfort.

MiX Telematics, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and now has offices in South Africa, the United States, Brazil, Australia and the UAE, as well as the UK, was founded to help companies to set and achieve these goals, and get proper ROI.

“Working across a wide variety of industries in multiple countries around the world means we have the understanding and expertise to support our clients as they learn how to really get the most out of their vehicles and drivers. Significantly, our truly worldwide profile means that we are almost unique in being able to support the largest multinational organisations through our global footprint,” says Mr Trollet.

The company is often brought in to handle every aspect of the introduction and management of a telematics programme. For example, work councils and trade unions will always need to be involved in the rollout of any new systems that directly affect their members. Telematics is no different and the MiX team of consultants act as intermediaries. They’ll explain how the system works and the benefits that it can offer to drivers.

Similarly, drivers’ workshops are used to engage and influence company drivers’ attitudes and behaviours. They’ll consider issues such as fuel consumption and carbon emissions as well as customer service and road safety.

Based on an implementation process, which included intensive consultation, MiX Telematics helped Martin Brower, the restaurant chain logistics service provider, to set new driver behavioural targets, resulting in fuel savings of up to 10 per cent, reduced risk of accidents by 70 per cent and a cut of 15 per cent in wear and tear across its fleet. Similarly, since it introduced MiX Telematics systems in 2008, Go-Ahead London has seen an improvement in fuel performance of 12 per cent.

“Getting drivers engaged in a process of continuous improvement boosts accountability and delivers tangible business benefits,” says Mr Trollet. “At MiX, our training programmes feature a mix of presentations, demonstrations and interactive sessions. We teach customers to use the system themselves so they can extract the information they need.”

MiX Telematics professional services give users the power to modify reports to create the format that works for them. With their advanced business intelligence tools, MiX consultants guide their clients so they can create actionable intelligence.

“We provide solutions for multiple industries, and we’ve set up integration platforms and have specialists who are expert in meeting the different needs of each of those industries,” says Mr Trollet. “Our flexible API [application programming interface] platform also offers customers the capability to extract their data and utilise it within their own systems or those of their partners. We offer a consultancy service to assist with integrating our solution with other applications.”

Paul Birkbeck, general manager of transport provider GBA Services Ltd, says: “We selected MiX Telematics in 2015 to replace our existing supplier because MiX offers a personal service that focuses on helping us build a solution rather than merely selling us a product.

“We’re working with them to design and implement a temperature management solution that monitors and measures high-value cold-chain goods being transported across Europe. Their proactive approach to looking at our business and how we can add value together is refreshing and innovative.”

As well as setting up their telematics systems, organisations from around the world are also using MiX, which currently has more than 560,000 subscribers in 113 countries, to ensure they see continual improvement once those systems are in place. Its embedded consultancy service has been designed for organisations that want long-term support with their telematics data management.

“Successfully implementing a telematics system requires experience, industry know-how and a robust project plan,” Mr Trollet concludes. “Our team of project managers have developed an industry-leading implementation project plan that ensures companies achieve the ROI they’re looking for, and the project is delivered on time and to budget. That’s why more companies are working with MiX Telematics and why MiX’s customers are continuously asking for more going forward.”

For more information please visit mixtelematics.co.uk

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