Understanding Your Fleet Telematics System: What Are Your Vehicles Telling You?

Managing and maintaining a large fleet of profitable vehicles is no easy task. As a vehicle fleet manager, you’re on a perpetual quest to simultaneously maximise productivity and reduce expenditure.

Therefore, to create a more cost-efficient, reliable and safe fleet operation that outperforms rival companies – a deep understanding of how your fleet is functioning is crucial.

In fact, the intelligent use of tangible information about your company vehicles will inform and clarify business decisions that help generate better returns.

FLEET TELEMATICS SYSTEM FOR INTELLIGENT INSIGHTS

Fortunately, modern fleet telematics solutions unlock new revenue streams by using accurate real-time data to improve productivity.

Investing in a cutting-edge fleet telematics system will likely pay for itself when the data gathered is applied effectively and proactively to solve problems and streamline operations.

With a fleet telematics system device in every vehicle, sending real-time data to a secure cloud-based management system – that generates relevant reports, automated alerts and key performance metrics about fuel, repairs, usage and operation – you’ll feel ‘in touch’ with your entire fleet.

In essence, your vehicles are communicating real sure-fire ways to optimise efficiencies and save money; your fleet telematics system simply provides the means to help you listen.

So, what are your fleet vehicles telling you?

Here are several key responses to know and act on:

1. WE NEED TO USE FUEL EFFICIENTLY

Fuel economy is a major, if not the most important, factor for companies to manage and control when running a profitable fleet of vehicles. The cost of fuel is high and fluctuates unpredictably, therefore every effort to save fuel will help boost profits.

On-board fleet telematics GPS vehicle tracking, when integrated with map navigation systems, offer powerful ways to enhance fuel efficiencies such as:

  • Optimised routing and navigation planning substantially reduces travel distances and fuel use
  • Re-routing trips in light of traffic data avoids congested roads and reduces the likelihood of being stuck in traffic idling, thus saving time and fuel
  • Smart route planning for delivery vehicles arranges drop-off locations in the most energy- and time-efficient order
  • Intelligent dispatching using vehicle GPS data matches the closest operators to each job location in real time, reducing the distance to jobs, saving time and delighting customers through responsive service delivery.

Furthermore, because fleet telematics systems calculate individual vehicle fuel consumption with great accuracy, and can sync with company fuel accounts and on-board payment cards – fuel theft can be detected and, better still, prevented.

Likewise, data relating to fuel slippage and other fuel performance factors is valuable for informing decisions on better vehicle use and minimising fuel costs.

2. WE NEED ENGINES THAT RUN WELL

Indeed, maximising engine efficiencies saves on fuel costs, yet well-running vehicles offer additional cost-saving benefits.

In short, an efficient, healthy and well-monitored engine spends more time on the road, and is less likely to breakdown and become sidelined for unexpected repairs.

Vehicle telematics systems help fleet managers keep engines in top working order and increase savings by:

  • Issuing service reminders at designated engine hours used, kilometres travelled and/or days since last service
  • Creating engine diagnostic, odometer, delivery and driving reports – to improve servicing decisions and ensure that only necessary or worthwhile ‘extra’ repairs are done
  • Detecting changes or abnormalities in specific engine metrics that may flag a problem, allowing it to be promptly fixed before becoming a bigger problem
  • Repairing engines for more efficient fuel use. 

Understanding the current engine status of fleet vehicles makes co-ordinating what vehicles to service when, versus what to keep on the road, easier. Proactive preventive engine maintenance via intelligent scheduling reduces the likelihood of inconvenient and costly breakdowns.

Additionally, the rich detail of engine data collected by the fleet telematics system, aside from enabling better servicing, helps optimise spare parts inventories – so everyday items such as replacement fluids, filters, belts, hoses and so on are on-hand ready for timely repairs.

3. WE NEED TO BE FULLY UTILISED

As a capital expense and depreciating asset, productive use of every vehicle in your fleet is essential.

To do this effectively, fleet managers need accurate up-to-date information to support decisions such as:

  • What vehicles are doing the most, and least, work?
  • How can we optimise vehicle use accordingly?
  • Which vehicle assets have expended their working life?
  • When should they be traded in?
  • What type of new vehicles will be best to replace old vehicles and add the most value to our operations?

A better understanding of vehicle and equipment asset usage via a fleet telematics system leads to:

  • Selling off what you aren’t using
  • Reducing and optimising daily running and maintenance costs
  • Reducing insurance and registration costs on idle or under-used vehicles
  • Identifying new ways to maximise fleet efficiencies.

Occasionally, some businesses lose track of what they own. Then – in order to fulfil their services uninterrupted – they pay to hire an equivalent asset, effectively spending double and sabotaging profits. Thus, clarity on held assets saves unnecessary rental expenses and improves business revenue.

Day to day, the GPS vehicle tracking from a fleet telematics system pinpoints all vehicle asset locations on a map in real time. This enables:

  • Vehicle assets and drivers to be monitored, and jobs to be assigned appropriately
  • Dangerous or unsafe roads or territories to be avoided; for instance, due to bad weather, road works, traffic accidents or other avoidable delays
  • Co-ordinated and rapid on-the-ground responses to arising issues based on mission-critical intelligence.

Plus, if a vehicle gets stolen, your fleet telematics system will instantly show you where it is, minimising recovery costs, recovery time, insurance claims and downtime losses.

4. WE NEED TO BE DRIVEN SAFELY & EFFICIENTLY

The final factor influencing your vehicle fleet’s performance and your bottom line is how your drivers operate your vehicles. Fleet telematics systems can be used to alter individual driver behaviour, enhance driver productivity and optimise whole-of-fleet efficiencies.

Aside from less engine wear and tear, less maintenance costs, less traffic fines and lower insurance premiums when your vehicles have good safe drivers, a fleet telematics system can further improve driving behaviour and unlock extra revenue.

Strict rules can be implemented to change driving behaviour for better fuel consumption and, more importantly, for safer driving to minimise accidents and the associated expense of repairs, downtime, injuries, increased insurance costs and so on.

A fleet telematics system can detect individual driver and vhicle data such as:

  • Speeding and harsh braking of potentially dangerous and costly driving, to highlight where driver improvement is needed, plus monitor and reward good driving habits
  • Unnecessary periods of engine idling and wasting fuel, to determine how to improve the way vehicles are used and, thus, adapt operations to ensure less idling occurs
  • Identifying vehicle faults via compulsory pre-trip inspection reports, to ensure that potential mechanical hazards are repaired and OHS compliance requirements are met before the vehicle is driven

Furthermore, a vehicle fleet telematics system designed to enhance driver safety and vehicle efficiencies provides:

  • Optimised routes and workflow predictions that support staff to work effectively, reduce overtime, reduce driving times and improve fuel efficiency 
  • Real-time in-cabin alerts that notify drivers of unsafe and/or inefficient driving so they can make prompt corrections and improve their driving
  • Vehicle re-fuelling data that is monitored, recorded and authorised to keep banking and personal information secure, plus minimise fuel losses from theft
  • Automated up-to-the-minute reports and monitoring to support drivers to comply with EWD fatigue management and other vehicle inspection laws, for peace of mind and better performance.

In summary, fleet telematics systems offer comprehensive fleet management control – to ensure better use of vehicle assets your company owns; continually unlocking extra revenue and optimising your fleet operations. Talk to Leopard Systems today  about implementing a scalable fleet telematics system that will enhance your business operations.

Leopard Systems Win Dual Asia-Pacific Awards For Top Performance

Leopard Systems, Australia’s leading enterprise mobility solution provider, received not one, but two esteemed awards at Zebra Technologies Corporation’s annual Channel Partner Summit held in China in May.

Leading a field of over 150 major Asia-Pacific APAC resellers and partners, Leopard Systems was recognised as Zebra’s highest performing APAC Partner Of The Year and APAC Service Partner Of The Year.

Ryan Goh, Vice President and General Manager of Sales at Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific, and Joe White, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Mobile Computing at Zebra Technologies Inc presented the awards to co-Managing Director of Leopard Systems, Robin Fowler, at a special ceremony at Guilin’s Shangri-La Hotel.

The accolades honoured Leopard’s success in attaining major contracts within the APAC region, and providing superior service support to their Zebra hardware customers. 

“This year everything aligned for us. We were fortunate to secure multiple 1000+ Zebra device contracts with several major Australian and New Zealand customers that added up to around 14,000 units sold, helping put Leopard Systems well ahead in the regional channel,” said Robin.
The coveted awards mark a prized achievement for Leopard Systems since revolutionising their support services in hardware fleet management and supply chain mobility over recent years.

“We’ve really concentrated on better serving our large corporate customers. Supporting and cultivating these partnerships has resulted in a significant number of new contracts providing Zebra devices, as well as accompanying service warranties, being purchased,” said Robin.

Further, recent changes to expand the Australia/New Zealand awards to include Asia and Pacific countries has substantially raised the bar for achieving industry recognition. Hence, receiving the APAC awards cements Leopard Systems’ strength and continuing focus to provide world-class end-to-end solutions.

At the Summit, Zebra Technologies announced a future priority to build cloud data services that greatly enhance the ‘supportability’ and functionality of their mobile computing, printing and scanning devices.

“It’s exciting to partner with a global leader such as Zebra Technologies because their innovations directly improve business for our customers. With better cloud data services, we’ll be able to manage and monitor device fleets in even more detail, with enhanced control, leading to greater business visibility, improved efficiencies and more opportunities for our customers,” Robin commented.

Leopard Systems offer innovative mobile device management services and sophisticated mobility solutions for largescale enterprises requiring high-level hardware, software, technical and professional support. 

Leopard Systems Awarded:
APAC Partner of the Year – 2019

From Left to Right: Joe White – Senior Vice President & General Manager Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies;  Robin Fowler – Managing Director, Leopard Systems;  Ryan Goh – Vice President & General Manager, Zebra Technologies APAC

Leopard Systems Awarded:
APAC Service Partner of the Year – 2019

From Left to Right: Bill Burns – Chief Product & Solutions Officer Global, Zebra Technologies; Robin Fowler – Managing Director, Leopard Systems; Ryan Goh – Vice President & General Manager, Zebra Technologies APAC

 

Enterprise Mobility Best Practice For A Major Australian Department Store Retailer

Enterprise mobility best practices for retail mobile devices

How To Securely Deploy & Manage 2000+ Mobile Devices Across Multiple Territories

Chosen as the trusted partner, Leopard Systems have been instrumental in delivering new handheld Android mobile devices, along with a mobile device management (MDM) and ongoing MDM monitoring solution, to one of Australia’s largest department store retailers.

With expanding operations in new locations and a growing need to enhance their enterprise mobility ‘best practice’ efforts including secure digital communications, rapid data access and reliable functionality, a robust and flexible mobility management solution was required.

Aside from a great saving on capital infrastructure costs through LeopardCare Monitoring, the retailer also achieved full visibility of their 2000+ mobile assets, actionable insights to fix issues quickly, and a seamless system for future device and software updates.
Consequently, Leopard Systems implemented their secure MDM solution, LeopardCare Monitoring, for the large fleet of handheld enterprise-grade mobile devices used across the retailer’s Australian and New Zealand operations. These mobile computers are primarily utilised by retail store and warehouse staff to deliver efficient product stocktaking and inventory management capabilities.

The challenge: Letting go of legacy

Building on the previous year’s procurement and roll-out of 2000+ rugged Zebra TC70 mobile devices, running the Android operating system, the challenge for the retailer was how to successfully transition away from an archaic, increasingly cumbersome mobile device management (MDM) platform, that had become historically entwined in the organisation due to the company’s old legacy Windows Mobile devices.

This ageing MDM application was severely impairing operations.  After persisting with the legacy platform for 12 months, the retailer consulted Leopard’s MDM specialists for advice and a strategy for the future. Unfortunately, the legacy MDM platform was limited in its functions and extremely vulnerable to security breaches.

Leopard Systems advised that the old mobility management application would not provide the best business outcomes for the retailer’s new Android devices.

Android is now the preferred platform for enterprise scale mobile fleets
Additionally, the excessive cost and capital expenditure to run dedicated servers for the old mobility platform was becoming a financial burden to the retailer. The costs associated with hosting, licensing and maintaining the servers, training and hiring staff to adequately monitor the entire system, forced the retailer to re-assess how MDM management could be better managed and funded in the future. 

To retain a competitive edge in the retail market, plus harness the speed and efficiencies of new technologies, the retailer decided to update and migrate their mobility management to LeopardCare Monitoring – to optimise their investment in new Android hardware.

Navigating the Next Generation

By choosing to upgrade to Android, it was Leopard’s role to help the retailer navigate the next-generation of enterprise mobility best practice, and transition the new Android devices to a robust and secure MDM mobility management solution in readiness for years of efficient operation and business growth.

Compared to the previous system, the new Android devices can be updated remotely in a seamless and systematic way, thus keeping a large fleet of mobile computers connected operationally, up to date with security patches, firmware releases and new features. Remotely updating many devices simultaneously was impossible on the retailer’s old system.

Likewise, Android continuously updates every quarter, so ensuring these updates are correctly installed on every device is important to achieve the best mobility results.

The ‘enterprise mobility best practice’ solution

To deliver enterprise mobility best practice for the retailer, Leopard Systems sought to future-proof their MDM management within a flexible, robust and effective system, implemented in four weeks.

Dedicated Leopard Systems personnel and our comprehensive LeopardCare Monitoring service unite to deliver the latest enterprise mobility best practice. 

The retailer’s mobile device fleet was kept secure and fully operational via a hosted ‘paid connected device’ model, offsetting prohibitive licensing, server and human resources costs.

“Our technicians monitor the entire system 24/7 via incoming alerts and notifications to our Technical Services headquarters. We continuously detect the health of all the devices in our care. Our technical mobility management team then take proactive steps to rectify any issues arising before they cause user problems and/or business disruptions”, said Chris DeLeon, Systems Engineering Manager for Leopard Systems.
In the case of this major Australian department store retailer, Leopard Systems incorporated the following enterprise mobility best practices into their MDM solution:

  • Mobile security to keep company information secure and private by implementing correct measures for controlling access credentials, applying policies, preventing data leakage and eliminating virus attacks on networks, devices and apps. 
  • Cloud computing to affordably and rapidly store and retrieve company information, via various networked platforms and devices, from any Internet-enabled location for remote users.
  • Monitored infrastructure to adjust for real-time network bandwidth consumption and prioritise network traffic, across different locations and multiple devices.
  • Monitored fleet network to rapidly and effectively diagnose complex problems via remote real-time communications, and also to manage the mobility network effectively for superior coverage, up-time and visibility.
  • Mobility management interface to connect services and manage devices easily; linking databases, transactions, deliveries, inventory and other business systems for enterprise mobility best practice compliance, compatibility and administration.
  • Data analytics and reporting to understand and monitor device use in real time, as well as update and improve infrastructure and systems according to user experiences.

In essence, by setting up LeopardCare Monitoring for the retailer’s entire device fleet we achieved enterprise mobility best practices via a streamlined, fully monitored, cloud-based MDM solution.

LeopardCare Monitoring is a professionally managed service, powered by SOTI MobiControl, that delivers a robust enterprise mobility best practise tool for our clients.

SOTI MobiControl’s ‘single pane of glass’ management dashboard is designed to streamline our technicians’ capabilities and improve MDM troubleshooting of diverse mobile device types and operating systems in difficult environments (e.g. mobile label printers).

For example, we can detect how many devices have been offline, how many are in use, what’s their battery status, is a battery expiring due to age, etc, then take proactive steps if we identify an issue, such as sending out a ready-to-work replacement device, loaded with the latest company solution, ready to replace a failing device.

The convenience of being able to manage stock from the floor in a large department store
Often, we find problems before the customer is even aware of them, saving time that would be otherwise wasted fault finding and, therefore, keeping operations running smoothly.

Achieving best practice mobility results

With 1700 mobile devices currently up and running, and 300+ devices to connect in the next month or so, the retailer’s new mobile security and mobility management solution will support more than 50 retail stores and numerous distribution warehouses across Australia and New Zealand.

Compared to previously not knowing what type or how many devices were in each store, now the retailer has complete visibility of all device assets and insights on how well they are operating.

Importantly, new rugged Android devices with professional mobility management provides a future-proof mechanism for seamlessly updating devices in the field.

For example, the retailer can now easily and automatically upgrade each device to the latest operating system, because the network is well-equipped to handle the heavy load – i.e. a 1.5 GB file per device for up to 2000 devices simultaneously. This processing was out of the question on the former mobility management platform.

“Leopard’s core strength with LeopardCare Monitoring is our attention to detail during the Design and Implementation phases of delivering a solution. Understanding all the technical, business and operational factors allows us to prepare a seamless and robust integration with no impact on day-to-day operations and, ultimately, with the goal to provide an excellent customer experience,” said Mr DeLeon.

Furthermore, the consistent ‘managed service’ costs of LeopardCare Monitoring becomes an operating expense and helps with cashflow forecasting. By removing the expense of buying and running servers, purchasing licences for servers and no longer paying a full-time engineer’s salary to manage and maintain the system and infrastructure, offers major cost benefits. Before this, the retailer was paying these costs but not receiving the full benefit, nor the best solution outcome for their requirements.

Lastly, the peace of mind and confidence that every device in the retailer’s fleet is connected and being monitored 24/7 cannot be underestimated. Circumventing a device issue quickly and effectively is vital to achieve efficient warehouse and store operations for optimal stock inventory management.

For more information about mobile security and MDM monitoring for your Android devices, particularly if you operate in a retail environment, talk to Leopard Systems today.