Today, more than ever, managing and reducing costs is front-of-mind for business owners. Managing costs was the top business challenge identified by 42 percent of all respondents in the Teletrac Navman 2018 Telematics Benchmark Report. The challenge of growing revenue followed closely (36 percent). It’s probably no surprise that the survey results found payroll to be the largest expense area with 72 percent choosing it – this figure jumped from 55 percent in 2017. Automation is a key factor in reducing costs – and to do that, businesses need integrated technology. Automation will save time spent on menial tasks, like paperwork, so staff have more time for specialist tasks, relationship building and strategic planning.
Does all your tech talk?
A major focus for digital technology and software providers is on integrating with other platforms that businesses use daily. When choosing a digital system to invest in, businesses to take into account what other software or technology it can easily work with. It makes sense to choose technology companies with a proven track record, a large suite of capabilities and a focus on developing and growing their products. In the years to come, currently available technologies, such as sensors, microchips and heart rate monitors will be adapted and evolved to meet specific industry needs. More individual technologies will be brought together into singular solutions to increase automation and efficiency.
Telematics for a connected fleet
A comprehensive GPS tracking system pulls data from various sources in the vehicle; engine data, location data, tyre pressure monitoring and more. Using an in-cab device, drivers can also feedback additional information to the office, such as filled out forms and checklists, signatures and images. Data from the whole fleet feeds back into a central software platform to give an overall view. The fleet data can then be fed into other areas such as invoices and quotes, compliance documents, and maintenance and driver behaviour reports.
GPS tracking and job management software
Northland-based firm BPS Plumbing work on a variety of water-based infrastructure projects. Director Russ Louie installed a GPS tracking system, and integrated it with his job management software Smarttrade, which covers job costing, quoting, scheduling, timesheets and invoicing. “With the integration between Smarttrade and Teletrac Navman we’re keeping on top of invoices. I’m monitoring big jobs on a weekly basis, checking the costs against the quote – the ability to do this is priceless,” says Louie. The integration greatly reduces paperwork and allows Louie to focus on managing the business. “Before the integration we were prehistoric, it was so clunky and time consuming. Now we are efficient, fast, and responsive. I can see where invoicing is going really quickly, so I can project cashflow much better,” notes Louie.
GPS tracking and logistics management systems
A.J. Tutill offers transport, storage and logistics services and operates a fleet of around 42 vehicles across wider Auckland. Operations Manager Neil Bowman found that integrating the ICOS LIVE freight and logistics management system with GPS tracking provided a more efficient service to customers from job bookings through to delivery. “The customer logs in to ICOS LIVE and places their job booking,” says Bowman. “We see the job come up on the big screen on the wall. The jobs are dispatched out of the ICOS LIVE system to the Teletrac Navman device to the drivers. The process of choosing the driver is done by the dispatcher, and things change rapidly as we are very responsive. Somebody could have an urgent job and we have to prioritise. Even if four jobs have already been allocated to a driver, we would change plans and send them to the priority job.” This attention to detail sets the tone for the business and keeps the focus on customer service sharp. “ICOS LIVE integrated with Teletrac Navman provides a timeline for customers from pick up through to delivery,” continues Bowman. “Customers don’t have to phone or email us, they can just log in and check on their delivery themselves any time they want to.” Well-integrated telematics technology streamlines business and gives owners and managers a connected big picture view — keeping the business competitive.