The 3G network sunset is driving many fleet operators to replace their 3G telematics hardware with products that are compatible with 4G LTE. At the same time, many are examining and assessing the software and service of their current telematics vendors and evaluating the value of making a change from a legacy system to a solution that will serve them through network changes well into the future.
McKinsey & Company, a long-established U.S.-based provider of strategy and management consulting services across several industries, advises fleet owners to look more deeply than just comparing technology: “Often, however, companies find that despite their investment in telematics devices and platforms, the expected performance improvements don’t emerge. While it’s easy to blame the technology, in our experience many telematics programs are let down by disconnects within the organization.”
McKinsey’s brief, Driving value from fleet telematics, identifies Six Steps to Success that characterize successful telematics projects. Let’s take a closer look at four of the most critical steps.
Get the right skill sets
Dedicate capacity and resources to telematics (or leverage a partner)
Use the right metrics to get the most benefit
Optimize the relationship with your telematics vendor
McKinsey points out that to fully realize the benefits of a telematics solution, you need the right skill sets to interpret the data, identify opportunities for performance improvement and put that data to work to optimize your business. The promise offered by telematics is in using the data to drive the metrics that are most meaningful to your company. Some of these metrics may be built-in to the telematics solution. Others will require data and analytics expertise that many companies don’t have in-house. Establishing a close partnership with a company that specializes in fleet telematics and analytics might be the best approach towards getting the needed specialized skills and the experienced insight to fully realize the return on investment in a telematics solution.
Telematics data tells you what your vehicles and drivers are doing now. Companies need to be able to identify and respond to the dynamics of fleet operations not only in historical analysis, but see it in real time and be nimble in responding to issues. McKinsey points out that along with having the appropriate skills, it requires dedicated capacity and accountability to effectively do this. It’s not enough to just have the right telematics and analytics skills in-house. Fleet operations need dedicated access to those skills. If IT can’t dedicate the proper amount of capacity, companies should consider partnering with a company that specializes in fleet telematics analytics to implement the integrations and analytics. While you still need your own analyst in-house to interpret the analytics and recommend actions, you don’t need to hire an army of data analytics experts. A trusted telematics analytics partner can more efficiently provide those skills that aren’t needed every day.
McKinsey tells us “Organizations need to agree on the purpose of their fleet telematics program and align on the metrics they want to track and improve.” A telematics system can provide all the data you need, but your company’s executive team and fleet management must be on the same page with metrics that will be driven by the data. Working closely with an external telematics specialist that has worked with hundreds of companies on fleet telematics and analytics can help guide you towards the right metrics and how to drive data to measurable results. You’ll be able to leverage their valuable experience while saving time and money that might be spent figuring it out on your own.
McKinsey points out that it’s wise to leverage a collaborative relationship with your telematics solution vendor, both during implementation, and throughout operation. Some telematics companies have a network of authorized partners to implement, update and enhance their systems. Leveraging the authorized partner relationship gives your company full exposure to these advantages. When evaluating a telematics solution, always look for an authorized partner that can understand your business and put it at the center of the solution, effectively wrapping the telematics solution around your existing business model.
Keep a focus on how your enterprise will implement and interact with the solution
When you are assessing fleet telematics vendors and contemplating the value that each can bring to the table, always keep a focus on how your enterprise will implement and interact with both the technology AND the vendor. With a comprehensive fleet telematics strategy in place, companies have used data from telematics systems to unlock significant cost reductions and fleet performance improvements. The added value provided by a capable authorized partner can further support and nurture the success of your telematics project over the long term.
While more and more fleets are adopting Geotab’s open platform telematics solution to ensure they’ll have the technology foundation they need well into the future, many fleets are also choosing Gridline as their Geotab Authorized Partner to support them in getting the most value out of their telematics solutions. Gridline has the expertise to not only help you painlessly transition your telematics hardware from 3G, but also recommend technology choices that are right for your business to enhance fleet management capabilities and improve your bottom line.
Get in touch with us today to see what Gridline can do for you.