Barry White is president of Group Seven Consulting, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in field service and fleet management solutions.
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What are the key features in a fleet solution that help improve vehicle maintenance?
The behavior of the technician or driver is a direct reflection of the company’s operating model. A lot of what they are trying to do on the fleet side is understand where the vehicles are and look at utilization of those vehicles. There’s the potential there to buy fewer vehicles or to share vehicles.
When you get down to brass tax, they are using these systems to control speeding, control idle time, reduce accidents and improve their image. That reduces maintenance costs and reduces insurance costs, depending on what technology you are using.
How can fleet solutions help operators extend the life of their vehicles?
Fleet monitoring tells you how fast the vehicle is moving, how long it is idling, and things that are integrated with the vehicle BUS. Are the tires low? Are any type of warning lights going off? What happens when you reach five miles per hour above the speed limit from a fuel efficiency perspective, or does that correlate to the number of accidents?
They are looking for cost reductions based on behavior modification of the drivers. Based on the data you are providing and the feedback, you can improve performance.
What are some challenges companies face when utilizing these systems?
One of the biggest is driver identity management. If you are tracking somebody and using that data to provide positive feedback, you have to know who is in the vehicle. You have to know who is behind the wheel. Providing accurate data that is actionable is the most important thing that you can do when looking to add these types of systems to your vehicles.
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