Most fleet operations rely on telematics solutions. However, not all of these solutions are created equal. If you want to maximize your investment, make sure your telematics solution provides you with these five essential features.
1. GPS-Based Full-Fleet Visibility
One of the most common features in a modern telematics solution is GPS tracking and the full-fleet visibility it provides to dispatchers, drivers, and fleet managers. Dispatchers can send the right vehicle at the right time based on the location of each vehicle in the fleet. Drivers know precisely how to get to their destinations and avoid high-traffic areas. Fleet managers can see bottom-line improvements through miles and fuel cost savings as well as decreased idle time when vehicles are dispatched and driven efficiently. Ultimately, the comprehensive visibility that comes with having a GPS-based telematics system helps you provide your customers with accurate arrival and departure times while giving your team the flexibility to meet last-minute customer demands.
2. Real-Time Communications
Just as important as tracking your fleet of GPS-monitored vehicles is the ability to communicate with them in real-time. A web-based interface that can receive real-time data is essential to managing current vehicle activity and generating reporting metrics. This information enables more agile decision-making and informs the most dynamic dispatch requirements.
3. Actionable Driver Data Reports
Your data needs likely extend well beyond a simple location report. A full-featured telematics solution provides comprehensive driver data reports on speed, location, and harsh braking that keep your drivers, inventory, and the public safe. If you’re regularly noticing some red flags, it might be time to invest in a telematics-based behavior management tool. An in-cab driver coach can provide real-time assistance to drivers who consistently exhibit concerning behaviors. This resource gives driving instruction and feedback based on telematics-generated data, and it’s a lot cheaper than placing a human instructor in all your vehicles.
4. Secure Asset Management
Your telematics solution also plays a crucial role in managing your physical assets. A 2020 CargoNet report estimated stolen commercial vehicle cargo or equipment in the US and Canada above 1,600 incidents, a 16% increase in activity year-over-year. Over 60% of events involved theft or attempted theft of cargo, with the average cargo theft worth over $160,000. Even if a stolen fleet vehicle is recovered, fleet managers and company owners still must worry about the possibility of damage inflicted upon the vehicle and stolen equipment.
Real-time vehicle tracking and geofencing in your telematics system can help you stop criminal activity. A good geofence will alert dispatchers if a designated vehicle goes outside the bounds of a predefined delivery area. Fleet managers should be able to set a custom perimeter around their delivery area and then deploy real-time alerts in the event of a breach.
5. Agile, Cloud-Based Infrastructure
Telematics systems generate and manipulate a lot of data. If your business lacks the server or computing power to handle massive amounts of data, you might need a cloud-based telematics system. A cloud-based SaaS licensing model lowers the barrier to entry and delivers a highly configurable, mobile-friendly solution. If you lack the IT expertise to manage a sophisticated telematics system, don’t worry. All the upgrades, malware prevention, and version control are typically handled by the company that hosts the software.
That frees you up to focus on getting your inventory from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. And when your fleet starts growing, your cloud-based telematics solution easily scales with it.
A Safe, Simple, and Scalable Solution
It’s not always easy to select the right solution that matches the needs of your unique fleet. Creating a truly connected truck with minimal issues requires an integrated telematics solution that includes compliance, automation, and mobility. The added safety, increased efficiency, and decreased mileage of a scalable tracking solution can provide tangible ROI for years to come.
If you’re looking for end-to-end visibility and real-time communication for your fleet, start with PDI logistics solutions.
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