Four ways telematics can help transport companies boost productivity

The number one motivating factor for businesses investing in new, disruptive technology is to increase productivity, according to new Webfleet research.

By using the latest technologies, companies can simplify and automate management and administration tasks, freeing up a business’ workforce to concentrate on their own core work.

In recent years, telematics has gained a reputation for being a vehicle for greater efficiency, rather than just a GPS tracking software, making it a staple for transport companies and the wider fleet industry.

Telematics is recognised as an effective, digital fleet management solution, which can be used to boost productivity by reducing administration, speeding up decision-making and simplifying processes.

Furthermore, it provides a wealth of easy-to-access data, which is not only crucial for staying compliant with regulations, but also for identifying areas for improvement, so that transport bosses can run their business in a frictionless manner and positively impact their bottomline.

Here, we look at the top ways telematics can assist transport companies in achieving a more productive workforce and overall smoother operation.

1. Reducing downtime

Anything that can reduce off-road downtime will boost productivity.

With telematics and its associated integrations, travel can be organised, monitored and managed remotely, meaning more jobs can be completed in the same timeframe.  For example, the number of trips needed to the office to collect job details is reduced as jobs are automatically sent to the driver terminal.

Countless time-consuming tasks also can be simplified by digitising processes, such as vehicle and maintenance checks.

This is something recognised by transport companies, as they increasingly turn to digitisation as a means of countering the burdensome nature of some crucial checks and administration.

For example, 51% of European transport companies now conduct vehicle checks and maintenance using an application, with the traditional paper method now favoured by only 35%.

Ensuring your tyres are in good working order is another way to optimum efficiency and ensure drivers’ and fleet managers’ time isn’t wasted unnecessarily.

Tyre monitoring systems, such as TyreWatch, can help increase vehicle uptime and save time on tyre servicing, as tyres are constantly monitored for underinflation or loss of pressure.

Slow punctures or shredded tyres risk taking vehicles off the road at inconvenient times – costing companies money and causing them to fail to deliver on customers’ expectations.

With timely alerts, companies can be proactive and prevent problems before they materialise, lessening the chance of an unexpected break-down.

2. Improving job dispatch

Data-driven routing and scheduling can help to boost operational efficiency by helping to reduce both the number of miles and time needed to travel.

According to Webfleet’ latest research, 57% of transport companies use satnavs with truck attributes to ensure drivers take appropriate roads for their vehicles, with 50% relying on training.

Routing and scheduling software seamlessly integrates with telematics to help enable truly dynamic planning and routing that takes account of all available data.

Companies can take advantage of data on historic journey times, up-to-date traffic information and estimated times of arrival (ETAs) to plan the most efficient driving routes.

Planning can account for expected congestion to help arrange jobs at times when the impact of congestion is minimised. As a result, routes that may be particularly affected by rush-hour traffic could be arranged to avoid these times of the day or start times might be brought forward to help drivers beat the rush.

When delays occur, plans can be adapted immediately, and customers kept informed via automatic text or email notifications to manage expectations, lessening the burden on customer services.

Telematics can also record when a vehicle is switched on, off or moving, meaning fleet managers can track if unnecessary stops are being made or idling is occurring.  Insights into driver behaviour can help identify trends and assist transport companies in understanding what areas that require improvement.  Targeted training can address these issues, which will, in turn, lead to a more efficient operation.

3. Using integrated systems

Although more than 60% of Europe’s transport companies now use remote downloads to manage their tachograph data, manual downloads are still relied upon by a significant minority, meaning HGVs are off the road unnecessarily during tachograph data downloads.

In fact, nearly 40% are spending between 30 minutes and an hour per vehicle on retrieving the data every month.

Webfleet recently launched a new addition to its suite of tachograph compliance tools to help transport companies avoid many of the problems commonly faced when dealing with tachograph data.

TachoShare is a remote download and archiving module that downloads tachograph data from vehicles and enables users to share data directly with their analysis software. While, with traditional, manual downloads, trucks need to be in a specific location equipped with the right downloading equipment, TachoShare gathers all the necessary information without disrupting the vehicle’s work.

This helps to keep productivity high and avoid administrative distractions while giving the user the tools they need to stay compliant with EU legislation.

TachoShare can also be integrated with the tachograph data analysis software of the user’s choice, which means adding it to an existing IT infrastructure comes with less disturbance.

4. Going paperless

By introducing paperless processes, companies can significantly reduce the administrative burden on both office staff and HGV drivers and offer a more streamlined service to customers.

Concrete company, Wright Mix, saw its productivity boosted by more than 25 per cent after switching to a paperless system for ordering and job scheduling, underpinned by telematics.

The company has been able to complete up to two extra jobs per vehicle each day and reduce administration with help from an integration between Webfleet’ solution and routing and scheduling software AGGSMART.

This digital system replaced Wright Mix’s previous manual booking and scheduling system, which relied on paper-based records and communication via phone, enabling dynamic job dispatch and workflow, automatic billing, customer ETAs and digital signature capture.

As well as seeing a 25 per cent increase in productivity and removing paperwork processes, the new system has helped streamlined processes, condense administration hours, and reduce ‘bad debt’.

Did you know that your transport company could benefit from free fleet management until the end of 2018? Click here to see how you can claim this new subscribers-only Webfleet offer.

Beverley Wise
As Webfleet Regional Director UKI for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, Beverley Wise has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, primarily within the leasing sector. She firmly believes that being a decisive leader is key to delivering great success. She likes to innovate with her mantra of "Ask for forgiveness, not permission," helping to move businesses forward. She has a strong work ethic and strives to be the best she can be, which she likes to instil into teams she manages, being fair but firm with a high degree of empathy. Beverley has been with Webfleet overseeing UKI sales for six years, where she has seen several changes. She is passionate about the future of the automotive industry, believing that the transition to electric or alternative-fuelled vehicles is a real game changer.

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