The importance of tracking, visibility in an on-the-go industry

The importance of tracking, visibility in an on-the-go industry

What are some of the ‘hidden costs’ that are being revealed by customers who utilize this tracking software? 

In an era before cellphones and social media, parents relied on timely check-ins to stay connected with their children when separated. The frequency of these check-ins varied from family to family, ranging from as often as every hour to as limited as once a day. In my own upbringing, the rule was simple: play outside until mealtime.

What was once considered effective communication in the past is now being challenged by the capabilities of technology, which aims to keep us safe, constantly updated and well-informed. Translate the same concept to the heavy-duty industry. What was once a reliance on periodic maintenance and manual inspections has now evolved into a new era of real-time monitoring and advanced telematics solutions.

Similar to how modern parents can track their child’s location in real time through mobile apps, fleet managers now have access to comprehensive telematics systems that provide real-time data on the performance, health and location of their assets.

Moreover, staying connected to fleet operations means having access to valuable data and analytics. Fleet management software can provide detailed insights into vehicle performance, maintenance schedules, driver behavior, and other key metrics. This information allows fleet managers to identify areas for improvement, implement preventive maintenance measures, and ensure compliance with regulations. 

Equipment and asset whereabouts and its place in the commercial space continues to grow as more and more fleets are seeing the benefit of increased visibility and tracking. So how does increased visibility into fleet operations enhance productivity and efficiency? According to Kevin Aries, associate director at Verizon Connect, there are three main reasons tracking solutions are beneficial for business and one of the reasons why company studies shows that 96% of fleets find that GPS tracking solutions bring opportunity for business success. 

“It’s absolutely true that businesses that invest in fleet management solutions like Verizon Connect, they do get much better visibility of what’s going on with their fleet operations. And it’s also true that better visibility then leads to productivity and efficiency advantages for that business,” Aries said. “It’s actually one of the reasons why one of our studies shows that 96% of fleets find that these GPS tracking solutions are beneficial for their business. And for a lot of those businesses, it really comes down to three things in my opinion.

“The first is that better visibility gives them the opportunity to make better decisions about what they’re doing with their day. A fleet-based business by definition is constantly moving, right? So being able to quickly understand what the current status of your fleet is allows you to really redeploy resources in a more efficient way that’s going to benefit the productivity of your day. The second thing is it’s all about the vehicles. We know that vehicles are the biggest expense or one of the biggest expenses probably outside of employee costs that they have. And we also know that vehicles, they’re not perfect machines as much as we want them to be. They do require proactive maintenance in order to keep them on the road.”

With visibility into that vehicle data, you’re able to get data that will help you proactively plan those moments that you may need maintenance, things like miles driven, things like engine hours and idle time—metrics that can help drive towards better outcomes around maintenance.

“The last thing is really, of course, around the people behind the wheel. These are our drivers. And drivers, we ultimately want them to be safe. Just like we want our vehicles to be well-maintained, we want our drivers to be the best that they absolutely can be every time they’re getting behind the wheel,” Aries said. “Being able to have a fleet management solution like Verizon Connect would allow you to look at things like harsh braking, speeding, fast acceleration, and all of those are contributors, ultimately, to either accidents or wear and tear on the vehicle.”

What are some of the ‘hidden costs’ that are being revealed by customers who utilize this tracking software? 

“A few of the ones that I think about, with the first one being really interesting, is unauthorized vehicle use. And the reason why I think this is so interesting as a hidden cost is because we’ve really seen a significant increase in unauthorized vehicle use since the pandemic,” Aries explained. “That’s because employees are now way more likely to have a flexible schedule, or potentially not be asked or be forced to bring their vehicle to and from the office. 

“A second hidden cost that’s quite common is around idling. Yeah, idling, we all do it whether we’re texting somebody in the parking lot of a store or on a lunch break somewhere. It is a significant cost to that business, particularly when fuel costs are high. Studies have actually shown that better tracking and managing idling is a $15,000 savings per truck, which is a lot. And you can imagine what that looks like across several vehicles or several trucks.”

From saving money to saving time, having the valuable insights into the metrics that keep your fleet running can help you as a manager make informed decisions and identify areas for improvement to stay a step ahead in the industry constantly moving forward.

Fleet Equipment’s On The Road is sponsored by Wix Filters. Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every episode as we dive into the best practices and servicing information to keep your trucks On The Road.

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