It is fair to say that the term ‘big data’ is often misused. When applied to fleet data, however, it’s perfectly apt.
Taking telematics as an example, SaaS solutions such as WEBFLEET will process millions of data probes along with hundreds of thousands of messages and GPS positions every single working day.
Complex data sets are reported back to fleet managers in simple, meaningful, reports, enabling them to drive company-wide efficiency and productivity gains, safety improvements, and cost savings.
As the technology has evolved, alongside heightened levels of business connectivity, the opportunities to harness fleet data in ever more bespoke and innovative ways have soared.
Here we look at five of the more surprising, and lesser-known ways of using ‘big’ fleet data to boost the business bottom line.
Cracking down on fuel misuse
Fuel and driver management solutions that overlay fuel card transaction data with vehicle location, fuel consumption, driver behavior, and vehicle maintenance information can hold the key to greater levels of transparency and simplified fuel management.
Not only can this combination of data streams enable better control over expenditure by improving mpg visibility, but it can also help companies identify unauthorized fuel purchases or incidents of misuse.
Fleet managers, for example, can be immediately alerted should the location of a card transaction and vehicle fail to correspond.
Smarter mobility decisions
The evolution of intelligent mobility is leading to telematics insights on vehicle mileage and usage being utilized by employees to help them allocate ‘mobility budgets’ – monthly allowances set by employers – on the most appropriate and cost-effective modes of transport.
This might be their company car, use of the car-sharing scheme, public transport or even an electric bike. The concept of the mobility allowance, it seems, is a growing one, particularly in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Consequently, the role of telematics in mobility solutions is likely to escalate.
Cutting vehicle downtime with pre-emptive maintenance
Telematics systems can delve deep, reading engine diagnostics codes to warn fleet managers when a problem may be developing, enabling them to take a proactive approach to maintenance by calling vehicles in before significant issues develop.
Where systems are integrated with leasing providers’ fleet management platforms, this process can even happen automatically, taking the burden off the fleet manager and driver. Moreover, vehicle data can be harmonized across multiple manufacturers.
Notifications can be automatically sent to leased fleet customers, telling them when routine maintenance tasks, such as an oil change, are required. These notifications can be based on either vehicle mileage or time intervals.
An 18-month study carried out by Bridgestone and Highways England in the UK found that almost three-quarters of tire failings could be potentially avoided with improved inspection and maintenance.
By digitizing the tire and wheel monitoring process, the risks of human error are significantly reduced, allowing issues to be more easily identified before they compromise driver safety or result in costly vehicle downtime.
Insights to boost sales performance
An underperforming sales force can prove extremely costly to businesses – but identifying where improvements should be made can be a time-consuming task.
Fleet data can be particularly helpful in monitoring the effectiveness of a sales team. In many cases, it can act as an early warning system, enabling problem areas to be addressed before they become entrenched.
Insights, accessible to sales managers in straightforward dashboards or reports, can range from levels of appointments with customers and prospects to average appointment times.
Fleet management data can also be integrated with CRM systems. This allows trip data to be compared with opportunities, leads, and closed deals, meaning the effectiveness of every individual sales rep to be analyzed.
Making tax less stressful
Managing employees’ business mileage, expense claims, and associated tax liabilities can be a serious undertaking. Robust processes are essential; however, if businesses are to avoid falling foul of the authorities.
By detailing and providing evidence of exactly how many miles are traveled, by whom and when, telematics systems can help automate the administrative burden, improving accuracy and freeing up time for both drivers and back-office HR and finance teams. In doing so, drivers’ mileage claims can also be validated.
Via their in-car driver terminals or smartphones, drivers can clarify whether a journey is for private or business purposes.
Want to find out more about how fleet management solutions can help you get the most value from fleet data? Then get a free consultation with one of our experts.