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5 Ways Connected Cars Can Improve Fleet Management Reporting

Fleet managers are faced with several challenges impacting efficiency and cost. Here are five of the most common results you may be obtaining with reporting by leveraging telematics and workflow automation.

Fleet management reporting is key: unfortunately, most fleet managers find themselves mainly immersed in tasks that are time-consuming and little related to the bottom line.                                                         A recent GR ADVISORY survey including over 600 EU companies found that Fleet Managers believe a complete, timely and integrated reporting is a priority for a proper fleet governance, yet over 70% still rely upon Excel sheets. Fleet managers are frustrated by the inaccuracy, time ineffectiveness and potential for error that handling reporting manually often results in. Optimizing fleet reporting is crucial for companies that operate fleets of vehicles and mobile workforce. It is a business activity that is often overlooked and can have a significant impact on the business. 

How can telematics impact fleet reporting? How can telematics help fleet managers to consolidate historical databases to analyse fleet data, identify trends and support sound decision making, ultimately generating more productivity and safety? Diagnostic and on-board localization technologies generate 5 main benefits that would be otherwise impossible to obtain. The result is unique thanks to the combination of continuous data transmission and low impact on internal processes, combined with the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

1. Fleet sizing – Defining the right number of vehicles to perform business services, both to serve customers and for internal use (corporate car sharing and pooling), is top of list when starting an optimization project. Telematics allow you to build a sound mapping of vehicles utilization the driver’s habits: frequency of use, timing, locations most required, opportunities for sharing. Dynamic data update allows you to understand whether fleet sizing, often undisputed over the years, is correct or, likely, you have potential to downsize some business areas and allocate the excess to new projects or to other rising business areas.

2. Customization of fleet contracts – Cost per kilometre is a key cost driver in long-term leasing, the most popular acquisition method, especially for large companies. Fleet managers are therefore required to forecast the expected mileage: a hard task, that is subject to many potential changes over the contract duration. The information can be obtained from refuelling report, yet data accuracy is often poor and maintenance is manual and time consuming. Accessing actual daily mileage data enables fleet managers to better manage contractual flexibility and to calibrate durations and distances based on real needs, avoiding over and underutilization.

3. Consumption and emissions – Most large companies are currently preparing programs for the green transition of their fleets to be rolled-out by 2025: CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by up to 50%. Measurement of actual emissions is still a big unsolved problem. And so is the analysis of actual emissions over time. Most green car programmes are based today upon the emissions and consumption declared by the automotive OEMs (WLTP cycle), but actual data can be very different from the real ones, depending on the use of the vehicle and the driving style. Telematics offers a timely and constant recording and delivers the actual Total Cost of Ownership of the fleet, rather than a proxy based on the declared data or an estimate based on a manual data analysis from the fuel cards.

4. Security and claims management – The claims management market is exceedingly busy at the moment. The industry is receiving a good sum of money by working on behalf of consumers. On the company side, fleet managers are often not aware of the accident ratio of their fleet. When the fleet is owned the task is outsourced to a broker, when the fleet is long-term rented the company is normally charged with and average insurance fee fixed upon an average corporate accident ratio (i.e. some companies pay in excess whilst others free ride). Insurance applications is one of the best items offered by telematics. It is now possible – through A.I. – to build an effective driver safety plan based on real data as well as to get an insurance cost related to your actual trend rather than the average corporate fleet loss index. Your fleet will then benefit from reduced cost, improved safety and better corporate responsibility management.

5. Cost control – Real-time data transmission enables the control of several costs otherwise difficult to monitor: fuel expenses and the use of fuel cards, vehicle’s efficiency, the prevention of breakdowns and malfunctions. An important part of the achievable savings on variable rental costs is linked to driver’s behaviour: these costs are difficult to control and reduce without constant monitoring and proactive actions.

As connected devices become prevalent, the technology to create and support a connected car ecosystem becomes more advanced. The connected car is the fastest-growing technological device after the smartphone and tablet: we can only imagine the range of capabilities we are going to experience over the next years. As of today, your fleet can already gain productivity and cost reduction through a powerful and reliable reporting enhanced by telematics.

By Mauro Serena – Partner, GR ADVISORY

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