The world of technology moves fast, and if you don’t keep up it’s easy to feel out of the loop. In the world of logistics, telematics is changing the way haulage companies manage their fleets and resources. But not everyone is jumping on board. |
What Are Telematics?
First things first: what is this technology, and what does it do? Though telematics has been on the logistics scene for several years now, the field is broad and complex. Telematics – the word itself being a marriage of telecommunications and informatics – is a blend of telecommunications, vehicle technologies, road transport, road safety, electrical engineering, and computer science. That may sound like a lot to be getting on with, but the integration of these fields is part of the appeal of this modern technology.
Under the umbrella of vehicle telematics you’ll find such tools as vehicle tracking, GPS navigation, integrated hands-free cell phones, fuel management, and a lot more. These tools help to improve efficiency, productivity, and safety – all key strategic concerns for haulage companies.
Why Aren’t Some Haulage Companies Using the Technology?
Think about this: if you have the capability to manage your fleet more efficiently with the help of tools that track fuel usage, mileage, speed, driver behaviour, and schedules, why wouldn’t you use it?
It may sound odd, but many haulage companies put in the effort toward searching for suitable telematics systems and installing it in their fleets but then don’t put the technology through its paces. Though the majority of fleets in the UK have some sort of telematics system installed, many are missing the benefits of this technology that could be uncovered with proper attention and management.
There might be any number of reasons why haulage companies aren’t using telematics to their full extent. Perhaps the company can’t allocate the resources, time, or personnel to managing telematics data; or perhaps there simply aren’t enough people at the company trained to use the new system.
By not using telematics or not using them to their full potential, haulage companies risk higher insurance premiums and fail to evidence liability positions in case of loss or damage. Not to mention, they also miss out on improved safety and productivity in their fleet!
Getting the Most Out of Your Telematics
Whether you’re thinking of getting a telematics system for your fleet or simply looking to optimise the usage of the one you have, it’s important to be informed and to have a management plan. The proper use of this technology generates a huge amount of (useful) data, so you’ll need to hire or train someone who can analyse it and make sense of it all! (Alternatively, you can outsource this job to a fleet risk management company.) After all, the most important thing about obtaining new technology is learning how to use it.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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