Verizon Connect fleet management system for better uptime and productivity
Businesses and customers are no longer taking a smooth running supply chain and their financial stability for granted after nearly two years of global upheaval. There is an expectation to do things better, safer and more cost-effectively as economies and borders are opening up in the wake of COVID-19. Technological adoption has been accelerated – and with that, fleet management is no exception.
The fleet management market in Europe is expected to grow by US$8.78 billion between 2021 to 2025 at a CAGR of almost 17%. In Australia and New Zealand, the number of fleet management systems in active use is projected to rise from nearly 0.8 million units in 2017 to almost 1.7 million by 2022 at 16.4% CAGR. The Verizon Technology Trends Report 2021 found that the adoption of fleet technology has increased by 8%, and 32% of businesses achieved a positive ROI in less than a year.
Advancement in telematics, a marriage of telecommunications with informatics, means fleet management isn’t just locating vehicles with GPS. There is so much more intelligence that it can gather about the vehicle, its driver, and the surrounding area to improve efficiency, safety, and productivity.
How does it work? A vehicle tracking device plugs into the OBD II or CAN-BUS port in the vehicle with a SIM card and onboard modem to connect to the internet and deliver the data it gathers to the end-users on the go or in the office. The data collected varies from location, speed and idling time to fuel consumption, vehicle faults, driver behaviour and more. In the case of Verizon Connect fleet management software, the data is interpreted by Verizon Connect servers and layered over a map in near real-time. The vehicle information and updates can be viewed via secure websites on desktops or through apps on smartphones and tablets.
What to do with all of this information? The drivers and managers can pinpoint problem areas and develop strategies to remove the issues and improve performance and, in turn, the bottom line. This can be achieved by knowing the whereabouts of the vehicle, what route it takes, how long it stops at an area, how fast it’s moving, how much fuel it consumes, and much more.
Here are some examples showing the benefits of using a fleet management system:
- Increase productivity without having to increase the workforce
A long established company, CBS Foodtech, is a hugely successful suppler to the food industry. It uses GPS tracking to monitor the location of all the vehicles in its fleet. This allowed it to reduce erratic driving and ensured that customers were being billed for the right amount of time for each on-site visit by technicians. Now, managers have the peace of mind of knowing that its engineers were where they were supposed to be. Verizon Reveal also shows decision-makers the best routes for all drivers the next day, allowing better allocation of resources and a better all-round customer service.
“Reveal is so handy for planning jobs in the morning or the night before. I can log on, see who’s going to be doing what job based on the area […] and create the best route for each technician. It makes it so much easier,” said Kyle Ford, Service Manager, CBS Foodtech Pty Ltd.
- Cut down on unproductive hours
Aussiemove International Movers in South Australia observed where its trucks spend their time to make sure that the drivers were not unnecessarily stretching their hours. This allowed the company to pay the drivers for their actual finish times and reduced payroll by up to 10%.
- Witness in case of accidents and disputes
While some drivers may initially be wary of the system going Big Brother on them, especially with the Integrated Video function, the recordings and footage could be their evidence should there be any disputes with customers or other incidents on the road. The office can receive alerts in near real-time and quickly check up on the drivers to ensure they’re okay and respond accordingly.
That’s exactly what happened to JBM Logistics – twice in rapid succession. “It’s really good. Whenever there’s harsh braking or harsh driving we get a notification straight away, can see what happened and contact the driver if we need to. Integrated Video helps us improve our drivers’ behaviour, ” said Harpreet Mangat, Managing Director, JPM Logistics.
- Protect assets from theft
The tracking devices are compact and discreet, making them easy to conceal on vehicles and other high-value equipment. Vehicle and contents worth around AUS$100,000 were recovered quickly thanks to Verizon Connect, a story making national news.
Greg Lake, General Manager at E & S Trading said, “One of our workers was walking through the warehouse and saw the door was up and a truck was missing. He rang the warehouse manager, who was at home and he flipped his laptop open, and the two guys at the warehouse jumped into the ute and, via his directions, he led them to where the truck was.”
Although the action saved the company needing insurance company involvement, the real saving was in time and customer satisfaction. E & S got the show back on the road, and business wasn’t affected.
- Discover new info and overlooked opportunities
Australian Road Services found out that its trucks were regularly off the public road network; hence it could accurately claim the maximum amount of Fuel Tax Credits (FTC) that it was entitled to. Previously, it didn’t even know it was missing out on an extra 25.8 cents for every litre of fuel it used off-road, and it was only claiming the minimum 15.8 cents per litre like many companies.
“After Verizon Connect made us more aware of FTC, we found out how beneficial it was to us and now we actually pay for our system just off the Fuel Tax Credits. Over the year we will have at least $10,000 back in our pocket,” said Dave Watt, manager of Australian Road Services.
- Covid-19 precautionary measures
Geofencing certain areas identified to have a high risk of an outbreak allows drivers and managers to plan alternative routes. Drawing a virtual boundary around a location of interest helps keep the drivers aware of any situation and apply the necessary caution to keep themselves safe and prevent spreading by having a record for contact tracing.
Those were just some examples of how a fleet management system can improve a business. The system isn’t just for big companies. Verizon Connect Reveal Starter, for example, is a plug-and-play solution for small businesses providing field services, transportation, and deliveries. Additionally, the technology is continually being upgraded, opening more functionality for business to streamline its routine while increasing uptime, cutting costs and enhancing customer satisfaction.