The promise of a telematics system is understandably enticing. The ability to tap into the “big data'' that exists within your company and transform it into actionable intelligence to help you work smarter, operate more efficiently, ensure safety and compliance, and maximize profits is not only desirable but increasingly necessary in today’s complex, ever changing business environment.
The real payoff for their telematics investment fails to materialize for many companies. Where they had hoped to find clarity, they instead encountered confusion. Instead of simplicity, they battle complexity. Instead of getting easy-to-use telematics technology and tools, they struggle to glean valuable insights from their data.
Why Telematics Systems Can Fall Short
Why are so many companies missing out on the business-critical benefits they expected from their telematics system investments? Typically, there are three reasons why a telematics system will fail to deliver the expected results and deliver true business impact.
A provider who fails to plan for success. It’s not uncommon for those making the telematics buying decisions to be awed by the promises of what the technology can do and the array of useful data they will be able to access. Often, the telematics solution provider fails to help those decision-makers do vital pre-work to lay a foundation for a successful implementation. This pre-work includes planning a smooth rollout of the technology, determining the correct data to capture and who will have access to it, and defining how that data will be applied to improve fleet operations.
Examples of these shortcomings can include not establishing key performance indicators for data metrics or diagnostics, not providing adequate (or any) training to system users, and failing to communicate the business reasons for implementing technology.
Having different solutions for different types of assets. Companies looking to implement telematics across mixed fleets can run into problems if they have different solutions in place for different types of vehicles and assets.
For example, they may have an ELD system for large trucks on one platform and an ELD system for their fleet of vans on another. Because it may not be possible to seamlessly integrate the two platforms, the company can miss out on the benefits of aggregated data and not have a true single dashboard view of their entire mixed fleet data.
Not scaling properly. Similarly, companies looking to “scale up” their data ecosystem by introducing new sensors, diagnostics, or tools can face challenges because they mistakenly assume that the new hardware or system will be compatible with tools they already have in place.
The root of this problem often lies in investing in an inadequate telematics system or solution suite in the first place. Choosing the right telematics hardware is critical.
Realizing the Promise of Telematics
A good telematics and data system vendor should be a true partner, taking the time to ask the right questions to help you anticipate and avoid all these challenges. The partner should also have the knowledge, capability, and a powerful solution suite to help you work through them – or any other issues that arise – so that you can realize the return you want from your telematics solution.
A fleet management system is one of the best investments you can make for your business. And if you avoid the mistakes described above, work with a partner who will guide you to the best solution, and choose the platform that’s right for your business, you can realize the multiple benefits that come from being a connected, data-driven company