con­ver­gent tech­nolo­gies

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - TELEMATICS FEATURE -

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.

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