Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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Page 25 of 73

TECHNOLOGY FUELS AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 22 Fleet managers have a number of high-tech tools available to increase driver productivity and safety. BY CHRIS WOLSKI T oday's f eets are under constant pressure to be ef cient when delivering the company's goods or services to the customer. While this can sometimes be a dif cult task at f rst glance, f eet management has evolved to handle productivity and ef ciency as a matter of course. (See: "Strategies to Increase Pro- ductivity," on page 18 of this issue.) Technology is key factor in f eet managers' ability to be ef cient and productive. Following are a representative sampling of some of the newest technological options available from telematics and f eet manage- ment companies: PRODUCTIVITY FOR FLEETS GIVING FLEETS OPTIONS For ARI, technology isn't about advocating one solution, but the best solution for its clients. To that end, the f eet management company developed and maintains a technology lab designed to help its customers f nd the right technology for their companies' f eets. The lab features both ARI's own telematics and f eet management technology and that of outside companies and partners. The f eet management company will recommend an outside company's technology if it is the best f t for the f eet in question, according to Lou Vella, ARI's assistant manager of new product development. "We can't be good at everything. Some things aren't core to what ARI does," he said. As an example, Vella noted routing technology that's paired with geo-location technology. "There are other companies within that space that provide superior technology and a superior product, and, in cases like that, we would recommend the best provider whether it is ARI or not," he said. Instead, ARI shares information about the technology with its clients as part of its consultative approach to productivity technology. "The technology lab is a place where our customers can come in and see f rsthand what some of this technology can do, and we use this as a learning experience for our customers. The technology is paired off with real examples of how things work or videos in some cases. One of the exciting things we've been doing is offering our consultative services and helping our customers f nd technologies they can use in their environment. We work to understand the challenge or challenges their business may be facing and help develop solutions that meet their specif c needs," Vella explained. Vella said the response has been "fantastic," and has helped ARI re-engage with clients by creating pilots or referring them to other technology providers. RELYING ON WEB-BASED ANALYTICS Davis Instruments offers f eet drivers immediate feedback with its CarChip Connect, a real-time, GPS, OBD II device. "We monitor how the vehicle is being driven and where the vehicle is being driven, so it's both a safety monitoring and eff ciency device. There's feedback to the driver, so if they're doing something unsafe or ineff cient, there'll be a warning 'beep.' It identif es at-risk behavior and helps coach drivers," explained Mark Barrett, director of sales for Davis Instruments. The web-based system allows access by managers behind the scenes, produce scored reports on each driver using a red-amber-green system, allowing for at-a- glance evaluation by f eet managers. "CarChip Connect takes the big data that is sent to a com- pany's customized website and distills it down into a single number. Fleet Managers can immediately see which drivers are performing well — and who may need additional training," Barrett said. "Where our customers are getting the biggest benef t is the safety and eff ciency aspects of the system. I had one customer who was able to save $1 million through the safety pro- gram they implemented with CarChip Connect to identify at-risk behaviors." a real-time, it's both a g something o a com- immediately see A F 0 2 1 4 p r o d u c t i v i t y . i n d d 2 2 AF0214productivity.indd 22 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 1 3 A M 1/24/14 6:13 AM

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