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Fleet Com­plete looks to help lo­cals catch up on e-com­merce

Australian Transport News - - Contents - WORDS AN­DREW HOBBS

W ith long dis­tances and dif­fi­cult con­di­tions to cover, in many ways it makes sense that larger Aus­tralian com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly those in the min­ing and oil and gas space, were the first adopters of telem­at­ics tech­nolo­gies.

Ac­cord­ing to Michael Sey­chell, the na­tional sales di­rec­tor for soft­ware de­vel­oper Fleet Com­plete, us­ing the new abil­ity to track ve­hi­cles had been slower to take off among small- to medium-sized en­ter­prises in Aus­tralia.

“Prob­a­bly where we [Aus­tralia] are a lit­tle bit be­hind is in the adop­tion of this in the SME space – it hasn’t re­ally pen­e­trated in telem­at­ics so­lu­tions for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles,” Sey­chell says.

“We haven’t sold around the ba­sic propo­si­tion that track­ing your ve­hi­cles … is about safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity; that is why we are all here. It is hap­pen­ing now – that is where we are see­ing all our growth – but we are prob­a­bly run­ning a few years be­hind North Amer­ica.”

For Fleet Com­plete’s head of in­no­va­tion San­deep Kar, this has a lot to do with the ear­lier rise of e-com­merce in North Amer­ica, and the fact that it was now tak­ing off in Aus­tralia.

“Now the two worlds are col­lid­ing – re­tail­ing and trans­porta­tion are now fully in­ter­twined,” Kar says.

As such, many fleet op­er­a­tors and owner-driv­ers are in­ter­ested in mov­ing to­wards track­ing and trac­ing mo­bile re­sources, he says, as cus­tomer de­mand for con­nec­tiv­ity with the out­side world drove the op­tion of telem­at­ics.

“Aus­tralia is com­pet­ing with these global mar­kets which in some cases have ad­van­tages – for Aus­tralia to re­main rel­e­vant the ef­fi­ciency and ef­fec­tive­ness of the mo­bile ser­vice be­comes much more im­por­tant.”

BE­YOND COURI­ERS

From its hum­ble be­gin­nings in 1998 as a Cana­dian com­pany pro­vid­ing tech­no­log­i­cal sup­port for couri­ers, today Fleet Com­plete fo­cuses on the de­vel­op­ment of soft­ware for ve­hi­cle fleets as well as as­set and mo­bile work­force man­age­ment so­lu­tions.

This ranges from an ap­pli­ca­tion for stream­lin­ing pa­per­work to track­ing sys­tems for mon­i­tor­ing the safety of in­di­vid­u­als, of fleet ve­hi­cles and com­pany as­sets – such as heavy- duty ma­chin­ery.

The com­pany also pro­duces soft­ware de­signed to help man­age time, to track progress on projects and soft­ware for the man­age­ment of dis­patch ser­vices.

Sey­chell says the com­pany’s prod­ucts are de­signed to help com­pa­nies that have to con­sider cus­tomer ser­vice and pro­duc­tiv­ity when they are build­ing a value propo­si­tion.

“A clas­sic busi­ness for us is some­one who has 25 vans on the road and is do­ing air­con­di­tion­ing re­pair,” he says.

“We can help that busi­ness with their pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fi­ciency and how many jobs they can get to, how long they are spend­ing at each job – it gives the busi­ness met­rics about who their best per­form­ers are, who is get­ting more jobs in the day.”

This was the ap­peal for Saxon En­ergy Ser­vices, which em­ployed Fleet Com­plete’s

GPS track­ing de­vices and ve­hi­cle mon­i­tor­ing to main­tain over­sight of a 16-ve­hi­cle fleet.

Saxon qual­ity, health, safety and en­vi­ron­ment man­ager Michael Cas­sidy says in a tes­ti­mo­nial that Saxon pur­sued the tech­nol­ogy to help de­liver on a com­mit­ment to risk re­duc­tion and hazard man­age­ment.

“Fleet Com­plete’s stream­lined ap­proach made it easy to im­ple­ment its fleet man­age­ment sys­tem,” Cas­sidy says. “We ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that Fleet Com­plete con­tin­u­ally works with us to ex­pand our re­port­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties so we can fully utilise the jour­ney man­age­ment sys­tem.”

Fleet Com­plete started its ex­pan­sion down un­der with its ac­qui­si­tion of Ade­laide-based Se­cu­raTrak, which was one of the first GPS tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in Aus­tralia, back in Oc­to­ber 2016.

At the time, Se­cu­ratrak had over 25,000 sub­scribers to its ve­hi­cle track­ing and fleet man­age­ment sys­tems, all con­nected through Tel­stra, which served as the com­pany’s wire­less chan­nel part­ner.

Sey­chell says the Tel­stra re­la­tion­ship con­tin­ues un­der the new man­age­ment, with the com­pany work­ing hard to build a chan­nel busi­ness over that time.

“The thing about Aus­tralia is that Tel­stra is the dom­i­nant car­rier, so it is great to have them on board, and that has just been … how we op­er­ate, so peo­ple know that we are not go­ing to com­pete with our chan­nel or our car­ri­ers.”

For Kar, it is im­por­tant that the com­pany has a good re­la­tion­ship with the sin­gle car­rier in all the places it works.

“The en­tire ecosys­tem of our group is fu­elled by the lo­gis­ti­cal part­ner­ships that we cre­ate, and that cre­ates the base­line for rev­enue co-cre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties, so that is some­thing we take very se­ri­ously,” he says.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Today, Kar says he sees Aus­tralia as a very im­por­tant mar­ket for the com­pany as it plans to ex­pand around the world.

“There are a lot of over­laps and syn­er­gies be­tween our global op­er­a­tions and Aus­tralia,” he says. “We are look­ing at cen­tres of grav­ity from where we can launch into re­gions, so Aus­tralia is ma­jor for the Asia Pa­cific, not just based on the strength of its own do­mes­tic mar­ket, but also what we be­lieve we can do in the mar­kets in the re­gion, which are rapidly evolv­ing.”

While those car­rier part­ner­ships com­ple­ment Fleet Com­plete’s suite of prod­ucts, Kar says the com­pany also aims to build on those re­la­tion­ships for the broader ben­e­fit of their clients, and po­ten­tially other groups.

There is an ex­am­ple of this in the Fe­bru­ary launch of the com­pany’s Con­nvex plat­form, which will com­pile data from a range of sources, in­clud­ing the ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer, sup­pli­ers and other fleets of the same ve­hi­cle – all anonymised be­fore use.

This com­bined data, he says, will ben­e­fit fleet own­ers as well as orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers, sys­tem sup­pli­ers and af­ter­mar­ket par­tic­i­pants – along with the gov­ern­ments and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that look af­ter the roads used.

The scope in­cludes re­mote di­ag­nos­tics and prog­nos­tics, safety and ad­vanced driver

“What we are try­ing to do is make sure that we con­nect those driv­ers to the world out­side in a way that the driver can en­hance their in­come-earn­ing po­ten­tial”

as­sis­tance sys­tems, ride shar­ing, elec­tric ve­hi­cle mo­bil­ity, dig­i­tal freight bro­ker­age and video telem­at­ics, mo­bile re­source man­age­ment and ride shar­ing, among many oth­ers.

“[It] en­ables all par­ties in the sys­tem to lever­age its power and har­ness its an­a­lyt­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” Kar says.

“That en­ables them to ei­ther in­de­pen­dently cre­ate a rev­enue stream or co-cre­ate a rev­enue stream with Fleet Com­plete or an­other party.”

Kar adds that most telem­at­ics com­pa­nies helped driv­ers con­nect with their base of op­er­a­tions as well as the out­side world, which meant that Fleet Com­plete needed to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self.

“What we are try­ing to do is make sure that we con­nect those driv­ers to the world out­side in a way that the driver can en­hance their in­come-earn­ing po­ten­tial.”

One way of do­ing this was in find­ing spare load ca­pac­ity in trucks, Kar says – us­ing so­cial me­dia to source ad­di­tional loads for driv­ers so they could scale that rate along the way and gen­er­ate more in­come.

“So we are not only help­ing smaller fleets and owner op­er­a­tors to save money and re­duce the cost of their op­er­a­tions, we are help­ing them make money – and no-one else is do­ing that,” Kar says.

“It helps in cre­at­ing a new kind ef­fi­ciency gain in the sys­tem where truck driv­ers don’t have to rely on bro­kers… it is al­most like a big fam­ily.”

“If you’re an Uber driver you can plan when to work, how many hours … we try to of­fer the same kind of lat­i­tude to our driv­ers so they can plan their weeks or months in ad­vance, and spend more time with their fam­ily,” he says.

“In­di­vid­u­ally it is a ser­vice, but col­lec­tively it is a so­lu­tion.”

Left and op­po­site: Fleet Com­plete’s head of in­no­va­tion San­deep Kar; and na­tional sales di­rec­tor Michael Sey­chell

Above and be­low: Back in the day, Se­cu­raTrak gave Fleet Com­plete a lo­cal leg-up

Op­po­site: The Fleet Com­plete Web soft­ware has strong map func­tion­al­ity and is easy to use

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