Written by John Molamphy, Vice-President of Engineering, Verizon Connect
The world in which we live and work is changing dramatically. New technologies from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to data analytics are transforming how organisations in Ireland manage their operations, engage with customers and drive productivity and profits.
The emergence of what is widely termed the 4th Industrial Revolution is no more evident than in the significant growth of connected devices. It is estimated that more than 20.4 billion connected devices will be installed across the globe by 2020, and 100 billion by 2030. That’s a striking statistic that has repercussions for us all.
For businesses in particular, Big Data offers big potential. The explosion in data volumes offers entrepreneurs in all sectors new insights that can be leveraged to maximise efficiencies and drive cost savings. But, above all, harnessing the power of data enables your business to disrupt its sector and can help to ensure it enters the digital age ahead of competitors.
Harnessing the Power of Data
To those looking to transform, the key to unlocking the power of data is not only having a talented team and leadership buy-in, but the tools and technology to make the information valuable.
Businesses in Ireland that incorporate these vital elements in a Big Data strategy can reap the rewards of being empowered to identify, predict and even prevent future business challenges.
However, despite the rich opportunities of this new era of innovation, many organisations in Ireland have yet to embrace the value of data to support future growth and development. From engaging with customers, it has become clear that business leaders face barriers in adopting the means to leverage this important resource effectively.
This has become particularly evident for businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles.
Enabling Modern Fleet Management
Every minute of every day, a typical fleet generates millions of data points ranging from fuel transactions, maintenance records, licensing information and more. Transforming that data by developing a ‘connected fleet’ provides a constant stream of valuable information from the many activities involved in fleet management – from route planning, vehicle maintenance and workforce deployment.
Because vehicle data is so varied, the challenge lies in aggregating the data and harnessing its value to make informed, time-sensitive business decisions. And, up until recently, this process was difficult, if not impossible, due to the time it took to capture, link and analyse the data.
To harness this new opportunity, help is now at hand.
Innovations in the combined fields of telecommunications and informatics have helped foster modern tools for the collection of information relating to an organisation’s mobile assets – not only trucks, but cars and trailers too.
Through the adoption of a telematics solution, businesses of all sizes can be alerted when a driver is speeding, a truck diverts off its planned route or a vehicle lies unnecessarily idle and allows the communication of near route-change alerts to drivers.
Reaping the Rewards
Embracing telematics not only provides an up-to-the-minute picture of your current fleet operations, its value lies in planning for tomorrow. For those who translate these insights into actionable steps for future success, the opportunities can be almost endless.
Firstly, by tracking a driver’s behaviour, telematics helps a business to identify areas of waste and act upon them accordingly – helping to reduce fuel costs. By utilising a GPS tracking system, a leading small business in Dublin – Call A Wash – has saved over €10,000 in payroll costs alone by minimising unnecessary mileage.
Secondly, organisations can save money on maintenance with alerts based on mileage and engine use. This, coupled with information on driver behaviour, allows monitoring of vehicle wear and tear in order to plan and carry out preventative maintenance.
Thirdly, possessing near real-time traffic data affords the opportunity to boost productivity. By easily dispatching new jobs to the nearest vehicle, efficient route management becomes the norm, rather than the exception. This has been of particular value for the City Bin Co., whose 28 vehicles are now dispatched efficiently to a maximum number of customers whilst avoiding any overlaps.
And, perhaps most importantly, telematics results in improved safety for your most valued assets – your employees. With constant feedback about driving style and conduct, business leaders are in a better position to educate and retrain drivers about bad habits, such as speeding and late breaking.
Now Is The Time To Transform
With telematics, one of the biggest game changers in fleet management, now is the time to transform.
However, without the necessary expertise and tools, most companies will simply end up with a large database of facts and figures, but which will have very little impact. Instead, organisations should adopt an innovative telematics solution and put in place a comprehensive strategy to harness the power of data to transform it from mere insight into genuine opportunity that can fuel growth both now and into the future.
So, are you, as a business leader of an organisation in Ireland, prepared to let the power of data drive your fleet?