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While most Australian businesses are using technology to assist their operations, very few seem to be utilising it to its full potential.

Or at least that’s the news coming from ACA Research, which found most organisations only remain on a low level of connectivity and are failing to meet an optimised or innovative level of technology.

Dr Steve Nuttall, the Automotive Research Director at ACA Research, said the findings could definitely be a result of fleet professionals being pushed with limited resources and budgets.

“Intensifying competition in the market is putting pressure on profit margins and means that businesses are having to do more with less,” he said.

“On top of this, businesses are also dealing with an increasingly demanding customer base, which expects a speedy and efficient service.”

What does technology mean from a fleet perspective?

The most common piece of technology making waves in the fleet industry is that of telematics.

Data from the ACA Research piece found 27 per cent of organisations tested are currently using telematics, while 29 per cent were interested in implementing it within the next twelve months.

This figure inflated to two thirds (66 per cent) when specifically related to fleets with 50+ vehicles, with specific interest in the health/education and construction spaces. The data found the recent interest in telematics has come from a concerted effort by fleet professionals to transform the efficiency and economic performance of their operations.

“Even small efficiency gains in fleet logistics can give a significant boost to a company’s bottom line,” Dr Nuttall said.

“Operating large and diverse fleets can be an administratively intensive process and any tools that help a company streamline its business processes are very valuable.”

Towards market maturity

The role of technology such as telematics will have a huge impact on the way that drivers and fleet managers ultimately connect in the future. The findings from ACA Research found a strong correlation between the most valued and most used features. Namely the top 3 areas that will assist in that area would be:

  • Vehicle tracking
  • Navigation
  • Route planning/scheduling

It is evident that fleet managers are wanting to receive both real-time and collated data to understand the whereabouts and actions of their drivers. To paint a real-life example, AfMA was delighted to award our 2017 Fleet Award to Tourism Holdings Australia (thl), with telematics playing a major role in their successful submission.

“In late 2014, we started installing telematics devices and TomTom screens to all vehicles in order to have better communication with our customers, reduce the number of accidents, and reduce repair and maintenance costs through influencing their driver behaviour,” Nicky Bree, Tourism Holdings Australia Commercial Fleet Manager said.

“We also wanted to increase the customer experience and provide our customers with more information while on-road.”

Is your organisation currently using telematics or planning to implement them within the next 12 months? Why/why not?