Gaining greater fleet efficiency
Fleetmatics Group has released a new software-as-service (SaaS) platform designed specifically for mobile workforces.
The products that fall under the platform, including Fleetmatics REVEAL, are designed to offer a complete solution for service fleet and field service management to help businesses maximise their return on fleet and mobile workforce investments.
New for 2014, the platform delivers solutions, features, insights and applications that optimise how a mobile workforce gets work done, and how a business manages those mobile assets.
Additionally, the SaaS model allows Fleetmatics to collect and analyse data from across its customer base of approximately 22,000, with more than 445,000 actively subscribed vehicles, and then deliver historical and benchmarking information and insights back to its customers.
Fleetmatics REVEAL is a GPS vehicle tracking solution designed to drive savings and improve productivity for a mobile workforce. Fleetmatics REVEAL includes a set of features including native apps for iPhone and Android, which the firm says provides a clearer insight into field activity as well as driver behaviour and workforce productivity metrics.
Fleetmatics’ customers played a key role in the development of the new platform, and free training is provided to help users get the most from the system.
Quartix launched Safe Speed Pop-Ups, its latest upgrade to the Driving-Style Monitoring platform, last year with the aim of helping fleets to build an accurate risk profile for each driver.
Originally designed to improve the safety of the young driver in the insurance sector, the system has now been migrated to the Quartix fleet product. According to Quartix, organisations from virtually all private and public sectors are using this new development, including government organisations, police forces and emergency services to improve fleet safety and efficiency.
Using data from more than 40,000 commercial vehicles across 15.7 million road segments in the UK, the Safe Speed Pop-Ups are integrated within the Route Maps and show each driver’s speed against the speed of other commercial road users for the same stretch of road. On busy roads this is also matched in terms of time of day and conditions.
Rather than simply giving the speed at which the vehicle was travelling, fleet managers are able to establish how safe that speed was for that particular road segment.
It is statistically proven that accident risk increases exponentially as speed increases from the median speed of other road users – so Quartix believes this to be a much more important indicator of risk in the field than just comparing speed with the speed limit, which can be inaccurate for various reasons.
Trimble’s next-generation Work Management solution is a cloud-based software designed to enhance the productivity of mobile workforces through intelligent scheduling tools and performance analytics.
The new solution features an integrated suite of field service management solutions that includes Fleet Management and Driver Safety.
With these three technologies fully integrated on one platform, Trimble believes that businesses are provided with an end-to-end solution that delivers all the resources they need to manage their mobile operations.
According to Trimble, the Work Management solution, with its enhanced analytics and dispatch and task management capabilities, can help organisations increase field productivity and flexibility to ultimately transform the way work is planned, allocated, managed, reported and evaluated. This could lead to lower operating costs, increased efficiencies and improved customer service.
Some of the major features of Work Management include Performance Management Analytics uses GPS data, creating key performance figures designed to accurately measure performance.
Executive and Team Consoles show in-depth metrics at every level to compare and contrast performance and see trends over time, and the Scheduler optimises resources and routes and gives real-time visibility of the work plan.
In-day Exception Management warns of tasks at risk of being missed and highlights scheduling issues, and Intelligent Advisor recommends the most suitable worker for a task, minimising overtime, travel and missed commitments.
TomTom Telematics has improved the integration capability of its fleet management platform in the last 12 months, with the aim of helping companies to manage mobile operations more efficiently.
Access to the Bluetooth channel on the in-vehicle LINK device has been extended, allowing devices in and around the vehicle, such as mobile printers from partners, to be connected in the field and used to print documents enriched with fleet data including GPS location and job information, generated by the WEBFLEET platform.
A new, more rugged seven-inch terminal designed to help drivers capture more information in the field has also recently been launched, complete with signature capture technology, vehicle checking systems and barcode scanners.
According to TomTom, the extended WEBFLEET platform makes is easier than ever for fleet businesses to streamline their end-to-end processes. The company believes field staff and vehicles are becoming an integrated part of the overall fleet operation, with organisations benefitting from a single, fully-connected fleet and workforce management system.
In the coming year, TomTom has hinted that new integrated business applications can be expected, making use of real-time and historical information from the vehicle and mobile workforce. Also under development are new tools to help improve driver behaviour, with the aim of producing safer, more efficient fleets.
Last year Masternaut launched its next generation telematics platform, Masternaut Connect.
Refined over a development period of 18 months, Masternaut says the solution has a unique modular nature which gives companies the option of focusing in on any particular area and then building on the services over time, with benefits not just for fleet but across the entire business.
Fleet managers can use the software to help manage the total cost of ownership, as well as streamline utilisation, productivity and processes. From an HR perspective the software can contribute to training, improving work related road safety policies, compliance and application in reward and compensation programmes tied to employee performance.
Masternaut has also recently launched a Tax & Expense module, which could offer benefits including automation of mileage logging, data storing and improved accuracy to support expense claims and compliance regulations. Other modules designed to provide customers with even further detail are poised for launch later in 2014.
According to Masternaut, the telematics landscape has changed considerably since the company introduced its first generation telematics solutions. The growth of floating car data, advances in driver performance management, vehicle scheduling and data aggregation means there is more intelligence available to acquire – and more opportunity to harness it.
Telogis has introduced several upgrades and product innovations in the last year, including Telogis Fleet 11, Telogis Coach, Telogis Route Planning Suite and Telogis Appointment.
Telogis Fleet 11 features mobile application enhancements and new maps that are optimised for mobile devices, with the aim of helping supervisors to visualise vehicles, assets and workers in the field. Fleet 11 also delivers support for richer engine data and more advanced levels of alerting and reporting, derived from existing relationships with vehicle manufacturers.
Telogis Coach is another mobile application, and is designed to give both drivers and operators the same view of a driver behaviour scorecard. Using the system, Telogis says drivers can review their own behaviours and understand their successes and opportunities for improvement.
Telogis Route Planning Suite could help ensure that key customers are visited regularly and operations teams can more effectively manage last-minute orders, resulting in increased efficiency, revenue and overall customer satisfaction.
Telogis Appointment enables consumers to choose delivery windows that are most convenient for them, while reducing turnaround times by matching delivery slots to customers’ open times to receive goods, and automates ETAs to the receiving parties via text or email – all in real time.
The Telogis platform has certified SAP Integration, and has industry specific variants for Oil & Gas and Utilities.
In-Car Cleverness (ICC) is currently marketing a portable telematics device that is around the size of a large matchbox, but offers a multitude of management possibilities for employees in the field.
According to ICC, the device is easy to fit and, importantly, completely transferable between vehicles. This is particularly crucial to rental companies that need the ability to take the device off one vehicle and fit it to another. Traditional telematics devices are, typically, hard-wired into the vehicle, making them difficult and time-consuming to transfer from vehicle to vehicle.
The device also comes with a user-friendly app and automatically refreshes itself, immediately picking up all of the new vehicle’s data, such as mileage and any other basic information needed.
The ICC firmware has also undergone some major development. Importantly, ICC says it is now able to offer an entirely scalable and tailored package for customers, depending on their business objectives and needs.
So, for example, the ICC system can plot journeys of different employee types via a simple colour-coding system which appears on the portal. This allows the company to manage the journeys of any employee , helping to pinpoint inefficiencies in personnel time.
Forensic reconstruction software is also a key area of development, and could help insurers better understand what went wrong in the event of an accident.
TRACKER’s partnership with Garmin facilitated the launch of two upgrades for the TRACKER Fleet product earlier in the year – TRACKER Vision and TRACKER Vision Sprint.
These new additions partner TRACKER’s technology with the back-office expertise of Garmin’s satellite navigation units. TRACKER says that, in effect, this means fleet customers using the Garmin range of sat navs will now have the functionality of fleet tracking and all the benefits that encompasses – such as job allocation and fleet reporting, journey playback, customised alerts and integration with fuel cards, combined with Garmin functionality such as digital traffic alerts and advanced navigation features.
TRACKER Vision also includes two-way messaging, task management information sent directly to the driver’s screen, job scheduling and statistics to help operators manage employees working remotely in the field.
‘With this new product, and more exciting developments on the horizon, we are extremely buoyant about the future for TRACKER telematics. So confident are we of the power of our offering, we recently launched a Fuel Savings Guarantee programme, which ensures businesses feel the same confidence we do about our telematics solution. With this we promise a minimum 10% fuel saving within the first year of using our fleet telematics solution or their money back,’ comments David Wilson, sales, services & marketing director at TRACKER.