FA Telematics survey shows (mixed) uses, metrics and ROI
Source: FleetAnswers Understanding the ways in which fleet managers are using telematics is crucial for both other fleet managers and those companies who create telematics programs. A recent survey of fleet managers regarding their use of telematics is helpful to professionals. In both of these areas, as it provides valuable insight into current industry trends.
The survey was almost evenly divided between fleet directors for government agencies and publicly or privately held commercial operations. Slightly more, 46.9 percent, of the respondents were fleet directors for government agencies, with 40.6 percent listing themselves as working for private or publicly held companies. Just 12.5 percent indicated they were in neither of these positions. A total of 64 people responded to the survey.
The Majority Used Telematics, but for Different Reasons
On noticeable trend in the survey was the fact that the majority of respondents indicated they did use telematics. A full 64.1 percent indicated their fleets used telematics, with only 35.9 percent saying they did not.
Interestingly, of the 23 who indicated they did not use telematics, the majority, 78.3 percent, indicated that they are considering telematics or plan to look for a system in the future. Only four of the 23 indicated they are not interested in a system, and one responded that the fleet had a system in the past but no longer uses it. Those who were not interested in using it indicated that their overseeing departments did not allow it or the way in which they used their fleets did not warrant the need for it.
For those that did use telematics and GPS solutions, the survey asked them to rank the metrics they could measure based on importance. The most important reason was to monitor driver behavior. This includes actions like idling, speeding, number of miles driven and unauthorized usage. Falling not far behind is the ability to monitor location information. Fuel management was the third most important reason, followed by accurate odometer and engine hours and asset utilization.
In addition, some fleet managers indicated they used the fleets for fuel codes and analytics, customer service and route management. The least important reason was insurance.
Most Important Metrics or KPIs
When asked to indicate what metrics they were monitoring, two were marked the most often, and those were idle time (85 percent) and speed against the posted speed limit (70 percent). Miles driven (65 percent) and fuel consumption (52.5 percent) were also highly ranked. Other metrics marked included hard acceleration/braking (45 percent), fuel transactions (30 percent) and seat belt compliance (22.5 percent).
Finally, the survey asked those who used telematics what direct benefits they found. This is important as it indicates the reasons fleet managers who are not using telematics should consider adopting a system. The biggest benefit, with 65.9 percent indicating they saw this benefit, was improved driver behavior. Increased fuel savings as marked at 58.5 percent, and improved driver safety received 46.3 percent rating. Other areas marked consistently included reduced emissions (29.3 percent), shorter delivery time (24.4 percent), reduced maintenance costs (19.5 percent) and lower insurance premiums (7.3 percent).
Yet in spite of these benefits, only 33.3 percent of the respondents indicated they felt they had received a return on investment from their purchase. This particular statistic indicates other more time is needed to utilize the products to see the ROI, or more education on the various ways telematics systems can save is needed. Overall, with the excellent benefits seen, fleet managers should move forward with confidence in selecting a telematics system.
Despite few respondents indicating a return on investment, most fleet mangaers indicated they were "extremely satisfied" with their telematics survey. Read part 2 of our telematics survey report series - Telematics Survey Indicate Poor ROI but Good Satisfaction Rating
Read part 3 of our telematics survey report series - Disappointments for fleet management programs help guide future purchase decisions