In the first blog in this series, we discussed how a telematics and data system can make it easy to conduct digital inspections. In this article, we’ll talk about an important feature that allows for digital inspections across a wide array of industries and companies: customization.
Customization is one of the critical superpowers of a telematics and data system. It makes it possible to flex the system, too, so that a company can tap into the data required to better manage operations while also supporting or automating processes that increase the value of the company’s hardware and software investment.
How Two Companies Making Digital Inspections Work
Let’s look at two examples of companies in the service industry with very different needs, but both of which realize tremendous value from their system’s customized digital inspection tool.
A dry-cleaning company operating a large fleet of delivery vans uses its telematics and data system to guide drivers through pre- and post-route digital inspections. While these inspections include evaluating the status and condition of the vehicles, identifying needed repairs and tracking preventive maintenance, they also extend to driver preparedness. For example, before starting their route, a driver needs to be sure to have two pens with blue ink. Using the form creator functionality, the company has created a customized checklist drivers can pull up and complete easily. These inspections are in addition to how the company uses telematics data to monitor the locations of its vehicles via GPS and to efficiently plan driver routes.
A large HVAC company, meanwhile, may extend its digital inspection capabilities to the HVAC system inspections their technicians complete during service calls. Like the dry-cleaning company, this company has created customized inspection checklists that technicians can pull up on an app on their phones. They can use this checklist to conduct an HVAC unit inspection, and even take and send pictures of the unit back to the home office, creating a paper trail confirming the inspection took place and creating a record of the unit’s conditions and service considerations. A field technician can even obtain a digital signature from the homeowner after reviewing the inspection details. Automated field reports can help the back office create bills more accurately and in real time without waiting for a driver to complete and return paperwork. This not only helps expedite and more accurately track field activities for the main office while reducing the need for another software solution to facilitate in-the-field needs. All of these automated, digital processes can have a direct impact on cash flow.
While these examples of customized digital inspection are both within the service industry, customization can be beneficial across an array of organization types, applications, and industries. (In the final part of this series, we’ll look at how the inspection tool can be customized to meet the need of construction companies with mixed fleets.)
Customization Starts with Asking the Right Questions
It’s worth remembering that customization doesn’t just happen. The telematics system must be customizable – not all are. Also, the company selling and implementing the system needs to have both the experience and expertise to customize it. This can mean everything from installing the correct hardware on your vehicles and assets, to writing custom scripts to make sure the hardware can all be connected to the data platform, to, as illustrated above, creating customized inspection checklists specific to your business.
Most importantly, a telematics system provider needs to ask the right questions, listen to your responses and concerns, and work with you to fully understand your needs and implement the system that does what you need it to do.
These things are all prerequisites for true, successful customization.