With a healthy fleet analytics practice, logistics providers can become truly data-driven enterprises. What does it mean to be data-driven when it comes to fleet management, though? To answer this question, let’s first look at how companies have used GPS data over the past couple of decades.
In the early days of GPS, companies could only get basic information about the locations of their vehicles—but it was better than nothing. Companies could zero in on individual drivers and vehicles to spot situations that might affect their overall operations. For example, if a driver was speeding, the company would get an alert and a manager could provide coaching. Or if a driver made an unexpected stop, a manager could investigate the reason.
What we’re describing here is helpful, of course, but it’s a relatively basic use of GPS technology. Unfortunately, many companies still haven’t advanced beyond this level of use, so their fleet analytics needs are minimal. As Mckinsey & Company has recently pointed out, “Organizations often apply data-driven approaches—from predictive systems to AI-driven automation—sporadically throughout the organization, leaving value on the table and creating inefficiencies. Many business problems still get solved through traditional approaches and take months or years to resolve.”
But for those that are ready to make smarter, quicker decisions – and to transform themselves into data-driven enterprises – advanced analytics is the answer.
The Importance of Making Comparisons
Some companies have advanced along the spectrum of fleet analytics maturity and are now using their data to make comparisons between drivers. How is one driver performing in comparison to all other drivers? Compared to all drivers in their region? Compared to drivers who are doing the same kind of work? Or how is one vehicle performing—in terms of fuel economy and total cost of ownership—alongside others makes and models? Companies that make these kinds of comparisons can start to get much greater benefits from their data. Rather than simply flagging problems, they can begin to make broader-scale improvements in the way they work.
But as we all know, there’s no standing still in business. Several years ago, forward-thinking fleet management organizations began demanding better insights on fleet performance. They wanted to be able to look at data over longer periods so that they could establish benchmarks and then make comparisons to them. They needed to know whether their safety programs and utilization initiatives were moving the needle. That’s why we at Gridline focused on putting more relevant and actionable insights at decision-makers’ fingertips.
When fleet management companies want to assess how well their drivers and assets are meeting KPIs, they must form a comprehensive picture based on data generated by a host of systems across the enterprise. Only advanced analytics can provide the insights that allow fleet management companies to transform themselves into data-driven enterprises.
Embrace Fleet Analytics for a Complete View of Safety, Sustainability, and Savings
Using an advanced telematics solution for fleet analytics – and having the right partner and tools to capture insights you can turn into actions – can give your organization a distinct competitive advantage by helping you become a more data-driven enterprise. Instead of simply looking at raw numbers from one system, you can see rich insights from multiple systems at once. Whereas years ago, companies cared about getting information out of their systems, they now care little about where data is coming from and are far more focused on what that data is trying to tell them.
As our partner Geotab sees it, with fleet analytics, you can learn much about your performance in terms of safety, sustainability, and savings:
- Safety: How well are you preparing and equipping your drivers to stay safe on the road? Are you using the latest cameras to monitor driver behavior so that you can provide appropriate coaching?
- Sustainability: Are you running your fleet in such a way that you can easily demonstrate your compliance with increasingly stringent regulations?
- Savings: Are you doing everything you can to minimize idling, conserve fuel (as prices continue to skyrocket), and avert the need for maintenance on your fleet?
With advanced fleet analytics, you can stop focusing on systems and start to make connections between your various data points to form a picture of what’s really happening with your drivers and your fleet. For example, when you’re evaluating a driver’s performance, you need to be able to drill down into all aspects of their contribution to your bottom line:
- From a safety perspective, they may be rolling through stop signs or they may not be meeting all DOT requirements.
- From a sustainability perspective, they may be idling too long or speeding unnecessarily.
- From a savings perspective, they may be deviating from route plans in ways that add miles.
Organizations with mature fleet analytics practices can take in information from multiple sources, get useful insights about the bigger picture, and draw the conclusions they need to make better business decisions. Rather than fixating on one or two data points, they can see the overall performance of a driver or asset and make smart business choices around asset utilization, liability, and sustainability.
Ask Us About Becoming a Data-Driven Enterprise
The most important aspect of fleet analytics is turning insights into actions. Simply looking at raw data won’t give you the perspective you need to drive your business forward. But an advanced analytics solution—such as Gridline Analytics—will put you in the driver’s seat.
Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation.