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Fleet Management with Rugged Tablet PC and Telematics

Clearly, It’s useful to know where your assets are. But if you can also see what they’re doing, you can learn so much more to help you improve service and reduce costs. Rugged tablet PCs and related mobile devices have put data gathering right into your vehicles and your drivers’ hands. Now emerging application technology – telematics – can give you the in-depth visibility you need to proactively manage your operation.

rugged tablet pc transportation and logistics fleet managementThe transportation industry has been the most enthusiastic adopter of telematics so far, but private utilities and public works departments are now using these systems, as are healthcare providers, especially for remote-location telemedicine communication and diagnoses.

What’s the big deal?

Telematics goes far beyond GPS positioning, increasing your visibility by allowing you to capture real-time data about:

• Vehicle performance. You can record engine hours and odometer readings, to stay on schedule with regular maintenance. And you can receive instant alerts to trouble codes indicating impending problems or that an engine is out of tune and running too rich.
• Driver performance. You can also receive instant alerts to power take-offs, hard braking or unnecessarily aggressive turns or lane changes that waste fuel and risk accidents. Or if drivers are leaving engines running during deliveries.

Telematics expand real-time communication, too, using rugged tablet PC screens to show full-color 3D as well as 2D mapping or other displays. Drivers can stay in touch with dispatchers regarding customer and job completion details, shift hours and break times and interim availability, or any issues that crop up while they’re in the field.

Data and communications all work easily with the mobile tablets you already have in place. Since information is automatically and immediately uploaded, dispatchers and fleet managers can get a true and complete picture of current operations. Using this more detailed information, they can:

• Ensure routes are planned most directly and followed without deviation, reducing miles driven.
• Provide drivers with navigation details including street-view images that enable them to see landmarks and even the right building entrance to use.
• Reduce wasteful idling time.
• Ensure driver attention is focused on the job at hand, without personal or other unauthorized side trips that take time, waste fuel and run up engine hours.
• Stretch routine maintenance schedules, since vehicles aren’t racking up unnecessary mileage and time on the road.
• Produce scorecards that identify vehicle, driver and overall fleet performance, to identify trends, training opportunities and so on.

The bottom line?

Companies using telematics report as much as 30% lower fuel consumption. That’s particularly significant considering the high cost of fuel and the fact that, for transportation companies, fuel can represent the second-highest overall budget expense.

Productivity improvements that result from more efficient route planning and execution reduce labor costs and can eliminate overtime expense. Alternatively, you could increase revenue, since drivers are able to get more done during each shift.

Better control improves fleet safety. And not just obvious benefits such as reduced accident risk. Safer driving ensures you’re getting the most efficient fuel consumption, and it lengthens vehicle lifespan, saving ongoing operations costs and reducing capital funds needed for fleet replacement. Some insurance companies even reward safety enhancements with lower premiums.

You can even gain financial efficiencies by taking advantage of cloud-based telematics services. You’ll see a predictable monthly fee rather than having to invest in your own software, upgrades, etc.

With rugged tablet PCs, you already have the physical tools you need to improve visibility. Introducing telematics is the next Great Leap Forward. Finally, you can make fully-informed business decisions, day to day and for longer-term forecasting and planning.


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