Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Achieving Expert Fleet Management is the Goal

Expert fleet management is achievable, even in smaller companies where the fleet manager has a variety of other responsibilities. With that in mind, we put a lot of effort into training clients to get the most out of their telematics systems. A few tips and tricks can go a long way toward improving fleet management. Every now and then we see something that tells us they really got it! Today was one of those days.

What To Do When Devices Stop Reporting

The “bones” of your fleet management system are in the device or vehicle list. Fleetistics provides the Device Status Table to monitor reporting devices and easily submit a support case to efficiently resolve any issues. Often, when a vehicle is sold or undergoing a lengthy repair, the customer will remove it from the database. Customers should make a Group for vehicles/devices out of service so they can ensure they are plugged back in and returned to service. If a vehicle is to be sold, traded, or scrapped, the GPS tracker should be moved to another vehicle. Utilizing unique and telling device names and a date is a trick a customer recently used to stay on top of administrative changes taking place.

We always coach clients to keep their spares and unused devices listed in the database, and to name them in a way that tells them what they need to know. Here is a perfect example! Creative naming puts a ton of valuable information in front of the Administrator for Database #1 without ever leaving the vehicle/device list. That contributes to expert fleet management. In contrast, the Administrator for Database # 2 can see there are 3 devices not reporting but is not documenting the “why?” that results in action being taken.

Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Just imagine the many ways creative vehicle naming can be used to foster expert fleet management. In this short list of vehicles for Database #1, the Administrator is reminded to order parts needed, call the insurance agent, make sure certain vehicles are not used, assign projects to the mechanic based on most needed vehicles to return to service… all while maintaining a complete list of active devices in the database.

Let’s face it, we all have way too much to keep up with. The Administrator for Database #1 has come up with a simple telematics system “hack” that fosters expert fleet management in his organization. Something as simple as descriptive naming of vehicles is saving that organization valuable time and resources.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Testing GPS Tracking & Telematics Systems

Are You Ready to Test GPS Tracking & Telematics Systems?

Preparing for testing a GPS Tracking and Telematics system feels overwhelming. One option offered by Fleetistics is a pilot program.  Pilots are a short-term test to confirm what has been presented to small fleets or fleets with fewer needs. Another option we offer is the SEP, or Solution Evaluation Process.  This option is attractive and beneficial for large fleets with complex GPS Tracking and Telematics needs.

GPS Tracking

The 60 day SEPs process ensures total clarity on all aspects of the deployment.  Clients are guided through everything from installation, to configuration, to training and support. By the end of the SEP process, customers know what issues can be resolved and the potential ROI to be captured by implementing GPS Tracking and Telematics. This process ensures a good decision is made. Don’t worry, a business analyst with over 20 years of experience and a highly trained sales team lead you through the process.

Customers that complete the SEP process are about 80% trained and have the knowledge to change their organization in significant ways using the fleet management data generated by GPS Tracking and Telematics. Moving into a production deployment is easy since most of the fleet configuration is handled during the SEP process. Examples of configuration include alert and reporting groups, functional area groups, rule creation and tuning, and zone import.

Quantify GPS Tracking & Telematics Systems Effectiveness

 

Generally, enterprise-class fleets preparing to make a major investment appreciate the SEP process and are willing to commit the time and resources needed to avoid costly mistakes. The SEP results make the business case for you by quantifying the expected return on investment. The SEP process is not just for private company but is also great for government agencies. Government agencies can significantly enhance the quality of an RFP after engaging in this process. 

In the video below, CEO Eron Iler and Senior Business Analyst Kim Thoman discuss the benefits of initiating a SEP into a fleet business and importance with the tools and expertise to understand the data which be used to change a customer’s processes to drive ROI with GPS Tracking and Telematics.

Tracking Large Fleet YT

A complete SEP takes about 75 days from installation to final evaluation.  In some cases it requires a limited financial investment.  Be prepared to invest some time and man-hours. A timeline is outlined by our business analyst and agreed to by the customer prior to starting. Regular meetings are held to review the project progress, and access to vehicles and field personnel is required to study operations, processes and implement change after the 30 day mark. Be willing to commit the time for upper management to keep up with the progress on an ongoing basis.

For more information on how Fleetistics can get your company started on a SEP, be sure to read more about it here and check out our Sample SEP Timeline below.

How to Get Started With A SEP

Sample SEP
Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Vehicle Speed Monitored By GPS

While there are certain times that speed is needed, what may really be needed is speed management for improved driver safety. And while there are various ways to determine speed, monitoring speed by GPS is here and now – and even the wave of the future.

In our modern times, technology has advanced to using satellites for GPS tracking, which measures the time and distance between points on the ground and calculates the speed  taken to move from point A to point B.

How Vehicles Calculate Speed

More Accurate Speed Management

But the real benefit of vehicle speed monitored by GPS is the lack of moving parts which can wear out such as tires, cables and tire pressure. Speed management must look at factors such as vehicle type, function, location, road conditions, weather, environment, and more.

This is what makes GPS speed more accurate than the OEM speedometer found standard in most vehicles, as well as older vehicles. However, GPS speed, sometimes, can be flawed, as it is dependent on satellite signals. If reception is blocked, speed calculations can be flawed or skewed, which, in turn, affects the data you will receive on your vehicles or entire fleet.

Test it for Yourself

Therefore, if there are no extenuating circumstances, especially no blocked signal, vehicle speed monitored by GPS is more accurate than and OEM speedometer. Factors such as tire pressure and wear  affect the OEM speedometer reading– so much so that  you can easily compare the two.  Just use  a smart phone to monitor the GPS speed while looking at the OEM speedometer in the dashboard. You will often see a 3 MPH difference between these two devices.

Take Speed Management to the Next Level

If you’re looking to see an improvement in speed management, adding dashcams to your GPS tracking and telematics takes it to the next level. Dashcams bring a visualization to the circumstances in which speed is an important variable. Dashcams can help answer questions such as “Was a vehicle driving too fast for the weather conditions?” “Did the driver accelerate to run the yellow light?” With dashcam video information, fleet managers can better evaluate a situation to determine the best course of action to improve driver behavior. Although fleet dashcams are an optional expense, many insurance companies are now requiring them to combat false accident claims and improve driver safe driving habits.

CrewChief Dash Cam with external driver facing camera

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Vehicle & Asset Telematics

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Analytics Lab and the Intelligent Zoning Experiment

Analytics Lab, what is it?

The Analytics Lab free add-in provides a platform for current Geotab users to test features currently under development. By using the Analytics Lab, anyone can participate in the development of new features being considered for addition to the Geotab platform. By rating the experiments and providing feedback, users are able to provide Geotabs development team insight into what is good, bad, irrelevant, or extremely valuable to end-users. User suggestions will influence the direction of future development.

How do I get it?

To install Analytics Lab, simply log into your MyGeotab portal, navigate to the Geotab Marketplace, and search for Analytics Lab. Once it pops up on the list, click to add it to your cart, agree to the terms, and click finish to install. It can be done in seconds!

How do I use it?

Once installed, click Analytics Lab > Catalog to see the current list of experiments. When you see one that interests you, click “try it” and enjoy what comes next. After using it, be sure to leave some feedback and if you found some value, give it a like.

Intelligent Zoning

Today we are going to highlight the experiment on Intelligent Zoning. This is one that just about every Geotab user can get some mileage out of. It can be used to make your current zones more accurate based on where vehicles actually stop, and it can be used to identify zones that have been overlooked or you have not yet had time to add.

Once you click the Try It button you will land on a page that lists the zone recommendations with a relevance rating. A high relevance score would indicate more frequent stops in that zone.

We chose the zone at the top of the list and clicked the Action Needed button to get a birds-eye view of the recommended intelligent zone.

We already had some rather large zones drawn around this office which are displayed as the dark gray zones. Geotab has determined that our vehicles consistently park in the much smaller zone outlined in blue. Stats are also displayed for the average number of stops per month and how many vehicles have stopped at this location. The graph shows us the trend is downward and below that some additional information on the duration of stops as well as driving time to the stop. All of that is excellent information we can use to better understand trips to and time in this zone.

Intelligent Zoning Action Needed screen

Importing the Intelligent Zone

From this point, we can use the Rename and? Import Zone buttons to make this recommended zone a permanent zone in the database. Additionally, we can choose to keep or discard the zones we previously used. Simply disregard recommended zones that are not relevant. So far, everyone we have shown this tool to has come up with a different reason to have it and a different way to use it. What is yours?

What’s next?

Be on the lookout for our next installment of the Analytics Lab series where we will take a closer look at fuel economy benchmarking.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics
Electronic Forms
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Vehicle & Asset Telematics
Electronic Forms
Mobile Viewing
Routing

Tell Us Your Story!

We Hear a Lot of Great Success Stories

Fleetistics is sponsoring a contest for a chance to win an Amazon gift card when you tell us your story. We hear lots of great stories from our customers, all kinds of stories actually. Things like amazingly quick recovery of a stolen vehicle, litigation avoided after a collision based on telematics data, and one customer reported discovering that his clients with the prettiest receptionists always received much longer stops than others.

Tell Us Your Story

With that in mind, tell us your story!

We want to hear your GPS tracking success story. Your experience could be exactly what someone else needs to know, so tell us your story for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Even better, have your story featured on Fleetistics’ Blog with a link back to your business. Only Fleetistics’ customers are eligible to win.

Put those writing skills to work and tell us your story today. Email it to contact@fleetistics.com. Deadline for submissions is January 29, 2021. We will select a winner from the submissions we receive to tell your story in an upcoming blog post. Your name, logo, and a link to your website (with your approval) will be posted as well. We look forward to hearing about your success with telematics and sharing your story with others. So send us your story today!