An insight to telematics

By Stephen Grundy

As a fleet manager, starting out on the road of telematics can be inundating. Stephen Grundy from Australasian Fleet Management Association (AFMA) member, Pinpoint Communications, offers directions.

As a tool to drive efficient productivity, telematics are commonplace in the logistics industry and have been honed as a way to provide remote safety to workers during the mining boom. Costs of telematics have dropped significantly with most systems now hovering around the price of a mobile phone per vehicle. As such, the attraction of ways to reduce costs and increase productivity within councils during an environment of tight budgets cannot go unnoticed. The question is how best to start.

Put simply, focus on safety, care for your staff, be honest and the productivity gains will flow. Exactly how much flow you’ll see is hard to measure in precise figures from clients, but anecdotally it’s an educated suggestion of at least 10 percent productivity gains.

Based on one-on-one interviews we have gained some interesting telematics insights from our customers. A Sydney metro council has said that, mobilising their ad hoc waste collection to field crew has reduced admin costs in one department by $200,000 and improved turnaround time from days to hours.

A regional New South Wales council has said manual odometer and engine hour readings were often late or inaccurate. They installed GPS tracking, and readings were automatically collected and reported. Drivers can focus on their workload, servicing is a more efficient process and ratepayers can rest assured their rates are being spent wisely.

Assessing the adoption of their technology by organizations so far, Pinpoint Communications has identified three key drivers of telematics. ‘Transparency of location’, the ability to see vehicles in real time, means tasks are allocated quickly and customer service is enhanced. Second, the ‘increased productivity of mobile assets’, leads to better decision-making about vehicle use and reduces the need for multiple phone calls. Lastly, ‘verification of time sheets’ provides precise details about activity and whereabouts of a mobile workforce, eliminating fudged timesheet records and reducing overtime claims.

The best way telematics are introduced is through staff collaboration, focusing on specific outcomes that can be measured and analysed. These systems have never been more accessible and affordable, and improved work health safety outcomes are priceless, ultimately saving both organisations and individuals.

Copy provided by the Australasian Fleet Management Association