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Fleet

Go Beyond the Fleet: Evolving Business Operations

by Mobeen Khan
As we approach December 17, over 3 million truck drivers are preparing to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. Under this mandate, commercial fleet companies must require their drivers to electronically log daily hours of service.

Having worked with fleet companies for many years, I understand the hesitancy that comes with major change. But change is coming whether we like it or not. And forward-looking companies can seize the opportunity to become more efficient, transform business operations and strengthen customer engagement.

The ELD mandate
Truck drivers are already required to record their hours of service, including on-duty, off-duty, driving or resting time. Most enter their hours manually on paper, which often leads to inaccuracies and errors. These mistakes can result in non-compliance, hefty fines and safety concerns.

In fact, one in every 15 trucks is involved in a crash, which accounts for $100 billion in damages. In addition, 33% of all roadside inspections in the US resulted in a logging violation in 2015 -- 34% of those due to a driver not having a required paper log.

Enter the ELD mandate and electronic logging.

Connecting people, vehicles and assets
The ELD mandate presents the opportunity to transform business operations. Consider a full-service fleet solution, for instance, that offers all-in-one fleet, asset and mobile-worker tracking and management with the Internet of Things (IoT).

An integrated and adaptable solution offers drivers a mobile application and takes you beyond fleet-centric operations by delivering near real-time data to a central hub. You're able to fully connect your employees, fleets and assets.

The cost benefit, crew visibility, and increased efficiency a solution of this type offers is unprecedented:

Employees: Market research suggests that telematics can increase workforce productivity and reduce labor costs by up to 12%.
  • Vehicles: Insurance companies have reported a 45% reduction in accident payout cost via the use of telematics.
  • Assets: Telematics technology can help a company reduce maintenance and repair costs by as much as 14%.
  • When considering a solution of this type, ask yourself:

    • Does this solution help my company holistically -- connecting my vehicles, assets and drivers/mobile workers on a single platform?
    • Can this platform integrate additional products and services, increasing the value and reach of my business operations? For example, does it offer push to talk communications/mobile voice dispatch, mobile forms, and mobile device management and security?
    • Would this solution connect my vehicles, assets and drivers to a network that offers a comprehensive ecosystem, simplifying purchasing and deployment, with strong distribution via direct sales and retail?

    The future, and transforming your business
    As we look at the automated vehicle future, fleet management must transform as well to adopt the latest technologies.

    As the fleet industry evolves, choose solutions and partners that will evolve with it. Over time, fleet management providers have gone beyond what was once a basic understanding vehicle data. They're now collecting data from mobile assets, sensors and more to further inform decisions and improve operations.

    With increased data comes an increased need for analytics, which leads to insights that transform business operations and strengthen customer relationships. These insights go beyond just fleets. They reach drivers, and they reach the assets that drivers transport.

    As we look ahead, this data will start to address recommendations for alternative fuel vehicles, charging station locations, and even predictive maintenance. It's critical that forward-thinking fleet management companies stay ahead of these industry trends in order to help their customers make informed decisions.

    Choose partners and solutions that take your fleet beyond the basics, and prepare your fleets to adapt to industry evolution. Look beyond existing requirements, and create the next generation of commercial fleets with IoT.

    — Mobeen Khan is the associate vice president of product marketing management for IoT Solutions at AT&A.

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