Telematics survey found key problems to address

 

Telematics survey found key problems to address

Source: FleetAnswers In a recent survey of fleet professionals who are currently using telematics systems, fleet managers indicated that the overall satisfaction with their investment in telematics was not as high as it should be.

Only 47% of those who responded to the survey indicated that they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their telematics service providers, and 28% of them reported feeling neutral about their service providers. This was after investing millions of dollars and working with some of the industry's top telematics service providers.

With the ELD Mandate looming, more and more fleets are implementing telematics systems in order to become compliant, so a closer look at what is making these fleet professionals unsatisfied is critical to help others make better use of their systems or make better choices for service providers in order to avoid similar disappointment.

There are four key areas where fleet managers reported dissatisfaction or disappointment with their telematics systems and service providers.

  • Lack of Support from Service Provider a Key Area of Dissatisfaction

Several of the respondents indicated the support received from their telematics service provider was a key area of disappointment.

In fact, "lack of accountability" was the most commonly cited reason for poor satisfaction. Service providers who did not deliver service on time or as promised, or who made unrealistic promises were all key reasons for this.

In addition, poor after-sales support and follow-up when issues occurred, were also cited as areas where improvement was needed. Fleet managers justifiably felt that the size of the investment they made into telematics meant that the telematics provider needed to be accountable to deliver services as promised.

To minimize this problem, fleet professionals should search for a telematics system backed by proven support. This will ensure that the help they need is available when needed, and that they are not left wanting when a problem does arise.

  • Lack of Management Support

The lack of support from service providers was not the only reason for low levels of satisfaction with their telematics experience. Lack of support from management was another key reason. Many respondents felt that not enough administrative help was given to assist them in systems training, guiding, or in analyzing the reports. Some respondents wished for a dedicated line of support in the form of staff or team to help with implementation, analysis, and operational diagnoses.

Majority of survey respondents (52%) reported using telematics data for decision making and operational diagnoses only occasionally. 24% of respondents rarely or has never used telematics data to inform fleet operations or decisions, making their investment in telematics seemed like a poor decision.

Dedicating more resources or requiring more support from service providers to assist fleet managers in interpreting and utilizing data telematics to improve fleet operations and inform policy changes would go a long way to increase satisfaction levels.

  • Lack of Segmentation

Too often, respondents felt that their GPS or telematics system was designed as a one-size-fits-all system, requiring them to purchase comments or features that they could not use. This, they felt, drove up the cost to implement the system, and detracted from their overall satisfaction. For example, some wished to have analytics separated from communications, without having to purchase both if only one was needed. Many respondents also felt the lack of custom reporting was a main source of disappointment. Even if some respondents were willing to pay for a custom report, they were not always provided in a timely manner.

This is a particularly vulnerable point for small businesses who are shopping for telematics systems. Many systems are designed for large fleets, with components that a smaller business does not need. Finding a provider that can offer this type of segmentation will help the fleet manager save money.

  • Poor Accuracy of Reporting a Continued Problem

Some fleet managers reported that poor accuracy was a continued concern. When using real-time data from telematics systems to make decisions in the field, fleet management professionals need to know that they can trust the data they are receiving.

More reliable and consistent data with accurate reports is necessary to improve satisfaction across the industry. Interestingly, for those who indicated they were satisfied with their telematics, good quality data was the most commonly cited reason for high levels of   satisfaction. This shows that to get a good return on investment from telematics systems, reliability and quality data are both critical.

  • Ease of Implementation Still a Struggle

Implementing a telematics system is not always easy, especially when the fleet is comprised of seasoned drivers who are used to doing things their own way. Improving the ease of implementation was a major pain point for the survey respondents. Lack of data integration (e.g. with current systems or meter readings) was a reason for dissatisfaction for 50% of the survey respondents.

Fleet managers who are shopping for a telematics system and service provider need to look for one that provides ongoing support through the implementation process, complete with thorough team training, to help reduce this frustration.

What Does This Mean for Fleet Professionals?

Fleet professionals are going to have to embrace telematics under the latest fleet regulations, and as such they need to find a company that will deliver a satisfactory experience. By understanding these areas where companies were unsatisfied, today's fleet managers can make better choices for their own telematics investment.

For more details and deeper analysis (e.g. data segmented by industry), read the full 2017 Telematics Survey Report.

Read this article for a closer look at the positive aspects of telematics will also help fleet professionals make better choices for their own fleet

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