Before we talk about Telematics policies, we must know the reasons why telematics came into play.
The growth of the automobile sector has carved a special place in India and many other countries. With the increase in demand from people of different income groups, the automobile industry has set out a path for many businesses and manufacturers.
Transport business is the backbone of any Economy.
Due to the growth of the automobile sector, the transportation business has evolved into various verticals like logistics, Agricultural, taxi business, cargo, transporting livestock, HVAC, Packers & movers, travel agencies, school buses, grocery transport, courier service, mining, oil & energy and a lot more.
Logistics industries started to fulfill the demands of domestic & international markets. In particular, 3PL has risen to popularity in delivering goods and services with transparency. The mushrooming of logistics business began to face issues related to accidents, pollution control norms, fuel theft, missing assets, late delivery, and route diversion.
Earlier, all the fleet managers must rely on the driver’s word of mouth to know the vehicle’s whereabouts, route status, fuel usage, and delivery status. All their fleet activities, trip reports, vehicle reports are recorded manually. The manual process had led to slower work progress, less efficiency, and faced high maintenance costs.
To eliminate the loss of business, fleet organizations switched to digitalization to meet the customers’ future needs. There is no doubt that the logistics industry is in the process of up-gradation, digitalization and automation through telematics to tackle their business challenges.
Importance of Telematics in the truck business
The fleet managers manage around 5- 5000 vehicles in a fleet required to see and take control of all the activities of the entire operation. Telematics comes into play to stream the real-time data through mobile or computer to monitor and give instructions when there is a call to action situation.
Telematics is all about achieving Efficiency, Productivity, Compliance, Safety & Security.
Most truck companies had adopted the telematics system to gain the supply chain visibility and made use of it to streamline their business in various operations like,
- ENSURE SAFETY OF VEHICLE AND DRIVER
- KNOW THE WHEREABOUTS OF VEHICLE — VEHICLE TRACKING
- IMPROVE THE DRIVING STANDARDS AND DRIVER PERFORMANCE
- PREVENT FUEL THEFT AND REDUCE FUEL USAGE
- OPTIMIZE FLEET OPERATIONS
- REDUCE MAINTENANCE COST
- ANALYSE DIGITAL REPORT FOR EVERY TRIP
- EXPENSE MANAGEMENT
- EFFECTIVE SERVICE ANALYSIS
- YIELD GOOD ROI
The need for Telematics policy for business
The fleet transport runs on the road because of drivers. The Telematics devices like GPS tracking, Fuel Monitoring system, and Fleet management system are installed for their safe driving and to improve business performance.
The output data from the telematics devices are generated as a report. The digitalized report helps to cross-verify with existing reports to identify the mistakes in fuel usage and the damage done to vehicles due to driving patterns.
The analyzed report helps to communicate to the appropriate driver to rectify their mistakes by improving their driving style.
The telematics policy helps to increase your business performance with good ROI by sorting out small defects in the fleet performance.
A well-established policy assists to harmonize the business. It helps to attract stakeholders and magnify the company’s reputation.
A guide to Telematics Policies
1.Define Aims & Objectives
The most important thing to be considered to set your organization’s goal is ROI (Rate On Invest). To understand how money is invested in installing telematics devices and what ROI will you get.
Get more analysis on the events that had impacted the fleet performance so far. By gathering details of your fleet daily trips, fuel consumption (miles/gallon), vehicle idling before implementing telematics in your business. Cross verify the details with earlier reports to quantify the ROI.
Set realistic goals like reducing idling time by 10% or economize fuel usage by 5% based on vehicle trips. With ROI, create KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to make continuous improvement in your fleet.
When it comes to organization, everyone has roles and responsibilities for a particular operation, for example;
- Senior-level managers have to organize goals and responsibilities based on their business prospects.
- Mid-level managers must ensure that the employees are adhering to the policies by monitoring them on a regular basis.
- Drivers need to abide by the guidelines for their own safety.
The managers should review the progress of work based on long and short-term goals, the activities happening in the fleet operations and the follow-ups with drivers.
3.Set the defined expectations
When it comes to policies, it should be communicated clearly to the employees individually about their duties and responsibilities to be followed.
The purpose of setting policies is to ensure safety, improve efficiency, reduce costs, protect the driver and give a clear picture of defined expectations from the employees to operate the telematics for better productivity.
The purpose of Telematics installed in the vehicle is because of the requirement of the fleet. It is best to provide training programs to the drivers to use the vehicle and procedures to operate telematics devices. Create levels of users as per the established group of vehicles.
5.How to set Telematics policies for drivers?
- The organization should establish its expectations on drivers to use telematics while driving the vehicle.
- The policy should provide guidelines to operate the telematics system correctly to protect both the driver and the company.
- The driver should take responsibility for any damage that occurs to the telematics devices.
- Guide the drivers on using safe roads and convey the drivers not to do over-speeding, harsh driving & acceleration, idling, and distracted driving.
- Offer the requirements to drivers like training, coaching to reduce the risks.
- Point to mention about the risk involved (accidents, damage to the company reputation, vehicle damage, disobeying traffic rules) if they don’t comply with the policies and the possible consequences of those risks.
- Compensation and insurance must be mentioned in case of unexpected accidents that are not caused by the company’s driver.
- Motivate the driver through performance appraisals to achieve fleet success.
- The drivers should verify the pre-trip inspection checklist as a safety practice to mitigate the issues arising during the trip.
- The policy should be reviewed and signed by the driver before driving a company’s vehicle.
6.Encourage employees to check for regular feedback.
Most wear and tears occur due to improper driving resulting in heavy maintenance costs. With the help of Fleet management software, it is easy to see the driver’s performance.
It is a best practice to have accomplishments like bonuses, increments, and appraisals to use the telematics systems effectively.
Regular feedback from fleet managers about their driving behavior helps to reduce the sudden vehicle failure and maintenance cost.
Evaluate and review your aims & objectives achieved so far. Analyze the changes you want to bring to improve your Return on Investment by using the telematics data.
Ensure to designate someone to receive suggestions and complaints from the employees and consider their concerns. And also, it is advised to have legal guidance while creating the policies and procedures.
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