The telematics market is becoming increasingly commoditized. Devices are cheaper, and large telecommunications providers have entered the market, offering ever-lower connectivity costs in a bid to generate profits based on market share. At the same time, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations that are now fully in effect have mandated that commercial truck operations have on-board devices that log hours of service. Although it’s possible to buy an ELD device that offers little extra in the way of telematics, most fleet operations have chosen devices with capabilities that are more robust in terms of the data that they can gather – and as of early 2018, 85% of fleets had such ELD devices installed.
But aside from the hours of service (HOS) and location logging that ELD-capable devices provide, however, many fleets have failed to see any ROI at all from their installed telematics devices. Indeed, many systems currently offer little more than dots on a map – making it hard for fleet managers to derive any true value from telematics.
And that failure to generate value is why telematics is failing the transportation industry.
Why Telematics is Failing the Trucking Industry
There are two primary reasons why this failure is occurring. As we’ve already noted, the telecoms providing the connectivity for telematics devices are interested in just that: Connectivity. They’re making their money on volume, and thus have neither the interest in nor the capability to provide more in-depth telematics solutions in other than superficial ways.
The second reason for the failure of transportation telematics is similar to the first: ELD and other device vendors are primarily interested in selling and installing devices, and again don’t have the interest in going much further: Their money comes from the device mark-ups, the installation fees, and sometimes whatever extra pennies they can add on to the connectivity. And without internal expertise to go further in offering value to fleet telematics consumers, the buck stops there.
Data and Reporting Should be Driving Telematics Value for Fleets
It doesn’t need to be that way, however. Big Data is more than a buzzword -- it is driving value across healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and a plethora of other industries. And today’s fleet telematics are certainly capable of (and do) generate Big Data. But the problem isn’t with the data itself – it’s in its underutilization as a fuel to power the tools needed to truly unlock the extraordinary value that telematics should be bringing to the transportation industry.
And make no mistake – the value that an experienced telematics service provider with the necessary expertise and wherewithal can bring to the table is truly extraordinary. Consider the numbers from one of CyntrX’s national Direct Store Delivery fleet customers, who have realized an approximate 400% ROI on their telematics investment just on fuel savings – not to mention an accident reduction rate of more than 50%, an increased understanding of what vehicles work best in which situation, and cold chain visibility and control that are in place well in advance of any future FMCSA mandates.
That kind of ROI for fleets is not atypical of CyntrX customers, and it’s out there for the taking. It’s in the data, ready and waiting, and providers with event-based tracking and customizable advanced reporting hold the key to unlocking it: You just need to ask. So, at the end of the road, it isn’t about asking why telematics has failed the transportation industry. It hasn’t. Rather, it’s about asking the right questions of the right people – people who understand that telematics is so much more than dots on a map, and who understand how to unlock that value across fleets of all shapes and sizes.
At CyntrX, we have years of experience with telematics for the transportation and shipping industries. We've seen how telematics can fail. We also know how to fix it: Our advanced reporting capabilities mean that our customers get far more than just dots on a map, and we work closely with all of our customers to ensure that their telematics solutions are actual drivers of value and ROI.
If you'd like a free, personal consultation of what we can do to help your fleet, and a demonstration of how our capabilities can quickly and easily get you on the road to ROI, request your own demo -- because your telematics should be serving you, not failing you.