According to a report by Jean Phillippe Bouchard, an analyst with International Data Corporation, while big business might have begun the adoption of telematics devices first, it’s the smaller fleets which are now leading the way, with more than ever signing up for telematics services to help track where vehicles are and how they’re being driven.
In a chat with FleetNews, he said “The markets for fleet and workforce management products are under-penetrated, especially in the case of SMEs. This is changing quickly as businesses begin to recognise the tremendous value these solutions can create.”
While the savings potential for larger corporations operating hundreds or perhaps even thousands of vehicles are going to be measurably greater than those by firms with a handful, there are other benefits that are much more likely to be felt in those smaller firms. For example, large companies with enough vehicles to cover many regions or areas at once, won’t notice much improvement in driver response time or the efficiency of their vehicles. A firm with 10 or so trucks or vans, will be able to cover areas much more efficiently if it can send one to a location from the closest position. This improves response time to the customer and reduces fuel. That sort of micro-management isn’t as necessary for a mega-corporation, but at the smaller level, it’s very useful.
“As users become more savvy, next-generation solutions are filling gaps in demand and addressing the key pain points that businesses with mobile workforces deal with on a daily basis,” continued Bouchard.
In-fact, these smaller businesses are being seen as such a lucrative market for telematics firms, that specific products are being designed to cater to that client base. Fleetmatics, a company focused telematics firm, has just announced several new products aimed at these types of businesses. Reveal is a business telematics solution designed with smaller companies in mind, while Reveal+ is aimed more at the large corporations. Both of these however can be bundled into the Fleetmatics “work” software, which also manages invoices, customer databases and scheduling.
“This capability is powered by tens of billions of data points gathered through the system over the past several years,” said “Fleetmatics CEO, Jim Travers. “Whether for a business with five service vehicles or many thousands, Fleetmatics’ new platform helps businesses to be smarter about their mobile workforces and turn them into true engines for growth.”
UK based Fleetmatics is one of the fastest growing telematics firms in the world, with almost half a million vehicles currently part of its network of connected fleet vehicles. This is up by almost a third year on year. Revenue too is on the up, with a near 30 per cent increase on this same time last year. Most of this, according to Travers, is down to his company’s catering to smaller businesses, helping them understand and reap the benefits of tracking technology in a fleet.
Like several other telematics companies are looking to do also, Fleetmatics is pushing its smaller business package with a focus on driver empowerment. Its software allows the bosses to check in on what their drivers are up to, how they’re driving and where they are, but it also gives this information to the drivers themselves. They can even check and see how their driving is ranked, whether they’re braking too hard or accelerating too quickly, this can ultimately help keep them safe on the road – which is perhaps the most important benefit of telematics.