Things to consider when implementing a telematics solution

checklistThe implementation of a telematics solution will often result in an extremely rapid ROI. But the telematics solutions of today are quite a bit different from the solutions of yesterday. Fleet Managers can quickly find themselves swimming in data. And while most managers will be able to access the data they need to make minor improvements in their operations, many won’t be maximizing the value of their system to really drive improvement within their organization.

Determine goals and objectives

What are the key drivers to implementing a telematics solution? Are you looking to enhance driver safety? Wanting to reduce operating expenses? Do you need to meet compliance guidelines? (Prepare for the ELD Mandate) Quantifying ROI will require you measure before and after results. You’ll need to know your status for several months prior to implementation to best compare against future metrics. It’s also good to set measurable goals – like increasing driver safety by 30%.

Next you’ll want to establish KPIs – these will help you continually evaluate your success on each of the identified goals.

Gain Executive Buy-In

Gaining executive buy-in is critical. Your executive team will need to sign-off on the investment and from a long-term success perspective, they need to really believe in the solution and the value it brings to the organization. Top driven implementations bring rapid ROIs and higher overall levels of success. Buy-in from the executive team will also help get the entire organization on-board and have everyone working towards a common goal. 

Determine Accountability

Determine champions within your organization. Find people who really care about the challenges your organization is facing and have the drive to help resolve them. A project sponsor will advocate for a telematics solution at every step of implementation and can make sure milestones are completed on time.

Your management team will need to identify short- and long-term goals, set realistic ROI expectations, establish budgets, and ensure the necessary resources are available.

Involve your staff members by mutually identifying key concerns, and seek their input on which performance metrics should be measured.

Create a detailed plan

Prepare a full and detailed plan to implement your telematics solution. Incorporate your goals, develop a budget, plan-out timelines, resources and evaluation steps. Try and involve your overarching company policies in the detailed plan without expending too much manpower. Consider basing your plan on lean principles:

 

Identify the problem(s) you are trying to solve

Understand what your current state is

Define your future state

Build a plan to achieve that future state

Create standard policies and procedures

Hold people accountable to executing against the policies and procedures

Execute the plan

 

Be realistic

Work with a timeline that is realistic and achievable. It takes time to identify your needs, develop goals and objectives, create a baseline for measurement, short-list providers and then ultimately select the one that understands your needs best. And once you’ve selected your provider you still need to factor in the time it takes to implement your solution. Depending upon the size of your fleet, you may also need to create a detailed schedule to address how/when you take each vehicle off the road for the time required to install the on-board hardware. You must also consider the time required to train your drivers, your fleet management staff and reporting and administration staff on how to get the most from your telematics solution. Timing is particularly critical if you are working on a hard deadline, such as the ELD Mandate or a seasonal shut-down. If you need to meet a specific target, you need to give yourself enough time to roll-out successfully.

 

Communicate with Employees

Communicate with employees before questions arise. Let them know why you’re making a telematics investment and detail the results you hope to gain. Be open and honest and let employees know how the solution will impact them. Many organizations present the solution as insurance for the drivers. Statistics support that most incidents that occur with truck drivers are initiated by other “passenger” vehicles . Introducing the solution by indicating it protects the drivers from complaints and explaining how collected data will be used as a training tool to reduce costs, improve driving habits and increase driver safety helps ease the driver adoption process. 

Maintaining Employee Buy-In

Managers should continually communicate goals for improvement, thoroughly train employees on achieving the goals and mentor and coach (including rewards for good behavior) employees over the lifetime of their service to your organization.  

Conduct Training

Training is the key to achieving the results you’ve planned for. If your employees don’t know how to properly use the solution, the solution won’t be as effective as it could be and your results won’t be as rapid or impactful.

Stay true to your plan

To get the most from your system, stay true to the plan you mapped out prior to implementation. Also really focus on tackling one KPI at a time. Get really good at gathering data specific to that KPI and analyzing it before you move on to the next. Telematics data can be overwhelming. You might have to fight the urge to jump right in and start gathering everything at once.

For a more in-depth discussion on what you should consider before implementing a telematics solution, please contact us.

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