Telematics and IoT
Have you ever stopped in a Starbucks for a cup of coffee and wondered how a business is able to serve millions of cups of coffee a day? Have you ever driven through a McDonalds and wondered about the logistics of serving billions of cheeseburgers?
If you bought a cup of coffee from Starbucks this morning or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s for lunch, that was possible thanks, in part, to a company called Golden State Foods. Golden State Foods delivers food, beverages, and food supplies to more than 125,000 restaurants, including Wendy’s, McDonalds and Starbucks, in 60 different countries every day – a task the company’s chief technology officer says would not be possible without telematics.
Golden State Foods CTO Guilda Javaheri spoke on the topic of using telematics for freight and fleet management on a panel at the 2017 North America IoT Tech Expo. Renaat Ver Eecke, president of Teletrac Navman, a global telematics provider, and Junior Barrett, VP of OEM Partnerships at Fleet Complete, joined her on the panel.
“We use telematics and IoT devices to monitor our refrigerated trucks and trailers,” Javaheri said. “We are using IoT to monitor our drivers’ behavior as well. We are notified of sudden braking, speeding or sudden acceleration. We are also able to monitor different temperature zones within the trailers, making sure they remain in acceptable range for food deliveries.”
Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the temperature in these trucks and trailers can be monitored and changed remotely, making for safer, more efficient food deliveries.
“We have a data-rich environment,” she says, but when it comes to managing that data, trouble lurks.
Telematics challenges: Data analytics and analysis
Javaheri says the challenge of using IoT in her business is correlating and combining many singular data sets and analyzing them for timely decision-making insights. These difficulties, she says, are exacerbated and intensified as IoT solutions advance and continue to generate large amounts of data.
That’s where Teletrac Navman comes in. Teletrac Navman is an end-to-end fleet management system that provides real-time vehicle location tracking, fuel monitoring, reporting and safety and compliance information to more than 40,000 organizations all across the globe.
According to Ver Eecke, the telematics software-as-a-service (SaaS) company collects and displays tens of thousands of singular data points and presents them in easy-to-read reports and dashboards in its cloud-based DIRECTOR software. But no matter how the data is collected and presented, it’s up to the end user to put that data to work, he says.
WATCH: Teletrac Navman president speaks about Telematics on IoT panel
“We’re an enabler of IoT,” Ver Eecke said of Teletrac Navman, adding that many challenges exist for deploying an IoT solution for fleet and freight management. The amount of data collected by these devices require companies to be exact in their deployments to be successful, he says.
“Think about the people who have to be involved along the way for you to get your return on these investments,” says Ver Eecke. Many of the metrics monitored by telematics in the fleet and freight management space, such as fuel spend and fuel burn, are highly dependent on driver behavior and how a driver interacts with the vehicle. Ver Eecke says he sees are two main ways fleet managers use telematics.
“One uses telematics as a stick and tells drivers, ‘Hey, I see you idling,’ and yells at them until they stop,” he explains. But he says more successful companies look at telematics differently.
“The ones who are highly successful about the long-term journey of continuous improvement actually recognize that the drivers are critical to seeing a return on investment, and incentivize them to be part of it,” he explains. By recognizing and rewarding drivers with excellent driving records, companies can use the data collected for good.