19 Mar 21

Telematics: direct and indirect benefits determine your ROI

Many companies worry about the return on investment of telematics. What they do not realize, is that the major benefits reside in creating new opportunities, pinpointing (and tackling) risks and enhancing the customer experience.

In yesterday’s Connected Fleets Conference, Geotab’s Vice President South West Europe​, Iván Lequerica, talked about overcoming inhibitions that companies have when it comes to implementing telematics.

“Not all companies are aware of the possibilities and worry about ROI. The best way to find out is to quantify the benefits and test the business case,” he said.

“Nobody questions the added value of big data. Still, the challenge resides in getting reliable, high-quality data. Once you have access to that, i.e. finding the right telematics partner, the door to machine learning and AI is wide open. It is simply amazing to see how algorithms can pinpoint both opportunities and risks. These can translate in dramatic benefits.”

“Indeed, the ROI is determined by much more than direct savings,” said Stuart Donnelly, Senior Director Group International Sales Europe/USA at SIXT. “In our case, connectivity means we can match vehicles with users and demand with supply. It increases our utilisation rate and thereby decreases costs while offering a better customer experience. That too can mean more business opportunities in future.”

“Connectivity also accelerates processes. Think about the possibility to go straight to the car park rather than having to go to the rental desk first. It also creates new business models. At Sixt, for instance, we have created digital branches. In areas where there is no physical Sixt branch, we can place vehicles that are available to a group of people through our digital platform and keyless vehicle access,” said Donnelly.

The advantage of telematics is that you do not need to roll it out in your entire fleet at once. “Installing the hardware is simple and non-invasive. You can select the vehicles that you want to involve in a local pilot, start collecting data through a cloud platform and put your business case to the test,” Iván Lequerica concluded.

Shared charging thanks to telematics

In a different session, André ten Bloemendal, VP Commercial Sales Europe at ChargePoint, explained that connectivity not only creates opportunities, it is a sine qua non in the charging ecosystem. "Electrifying all of our vehicles is not a problem for the grid, as long as you spread the load. Companies need to invest in connected charging infrastructure, but they can offset the costs by sharing the charging stations with other companies or consumers."

Connectivity also makes it possible to balance the load and - again - match supply with demand. EV drivers can be guided to available chargers and stimulated to use them in a specific time slot by variable pricing, for instance. 

Fleet Europe is organising an online Fleet Week with a focus on LCVs from 26 April to 30 April 2021. Find out the full programme and register now!

Authored by: Dieter Quartier