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Choosing a telematics dashboard partner

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The most important step in choosing a partner for a telematics dashboard is making sure you, the fleet, own your own information. While ownership of telematics data can depend on the service agreement, it’s your data, and you need to make sure you own it and can do with it what you wish. If you have a service provider that isn’t open to working with other parties to accomplish your goals, you might want to think about pulling your data and finding another partner.

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Here are a few tips to consider when choosing the right partner:

  • “Selecting a vendor that believes in open access to data through scalable APIs is crucial to the success of any telematics program,” said Mike Branch, vice president of data and analytics at Geotab. “Fleet data belongs at the board level and telematics data can assist a business in uncovering new opportunities and ensuring it is sailing down the right path. In order to do this, oftentimes hiring a data analyst or scientist can help your organization go leaps and bounds beyond where it is today. To do so, however, they will need to be equipped with the tools that allow them to explore in a big data environment, and leverage the requisite software tools and techniques to generate machine learning models, do fast data cleansing, and give you the predictive power to succeed.”
  • “When fleet managers are choosing a provider, it is most vital to find one that over time will provide the most thorough and detailed data through customizable options. The long-term performance of a fleet both in safe driving and in reaching KPIs and the bottom line should always be top of mind,” said Amin Amini, managing partner of solutions engineering at Verizon Connect

According to Amini, here are five things fleet managers should do when looking at any new provider: 

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  • Establish and prioritize goals for a dashboard that are most important to your organization;
  • Do research on all options and ask for referrals from existing customers;
  • Request a demo to see first-hand how the platform works, specifically for the most important features to your business;
  • Make sure everyone on the management team is on board with the platform and understands the goals associated with the new system; and
  • Get buy-in from drivers and emphasize the safety features that will most affect and benefit them.

Ask yourself, ‘What is my organization trying to get out of this?’ 

“Do you only want to satisfy ELD requirements,” says Terrah Stephens, product manager at Noregon, “or would you prefer to also populate your dashboard with applications like TripVision that provide constant, real-time awareness into issues affecting the health, safety or performance status of your trucks? Maybe you also want assistance with routing—the options are nearly endless so you have to figure out what best fits your company’s needs then do research to determine which telematics provider can meet those needs for the budget you can spend on a dashboard.

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“When evaluating dashboards, get input from all relevant members of your company or organization,” Stephens went on. “Ask maintenance what is important to them in their dashboard, consult with your dispatchers to determine what would make them more efficient, and then take this information to your prospective TSP to see if your company-wide needs can be met.”

More more on this topic, read: Drowning in data: How a dedicated dashboard can help

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