Editor's choice
6 Oct 20

Whatever your strategy, connect your vehicles first

There’s a new product on the market: the Fleet Operating Systems (OS). A FleetOS is a connected platform that allows Fleet Managers to plug in all sorts of services (leasing, mobility, insurance, fuel…) and manage these vendors centrally. Like IOS or Android host different apps and widgets on your mobile phone, a FleetOS helps you deal with your Fleet & Mobility supply chain.

Connectivity vs. Telematics

Let’s get one misconception out of the world: connectivity does not equal telematics. Where the foundation of telematics is geolocation, the USP of connectivity is IoT. Nevertheless, the confusion is acceptable, as a merger of telematics and connectivity is only a short time away. Perhaps, an example will help.

Your employee is driving a company car on the way to see a client; one of the car tires is losing pressure, which is picked up by a sensor inside the tire. The sensor sends a signal to the car’s CPU that communicates with your fleet management system; automatically, the system checks the agenda of your employee and books an appointment with your preferred tire center. The tire center confirms the appointment in your employee’s outlook and orders the tire in advance, to make sure your employee can be helped right away.

This example highlights connectivity between the driver (appointment), the asset (the tire), the supply chain (tire center) and the FleetOS itself (the algorithm that recognizes an event and acts accordingly).

Automotive Industry & Mobility Services

The entire automotive supply chain is preparing itself for this type of use case: tire companies are indeed testing connected tires as we speak, insurance companies have started offering usage-based insurance and the OEMs are already integrating connectivity. If you’re driving a recent (premium) car, you will have noticed that you can book your maintenance through the onboard system – again, an example of connectivity.

Being “disconnected” will gradually limit your access to new services, such as the above-mentioned ones, but also mobility services. Managing a complex mobility supply chain that includes dozens of micro-mobility providers, ride-hailers, public transport, and other vendors, will require an Operating System to manage budgets, control usage and process transactions.

FleetOS cost and ROI

OS providers position themselves as a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors and typically operate on subscription basis; the software is affordable, priced at 10 Euro per car per month or less. Most of these vendors offer various modules that can be subscribed to separately: a fleet inventory software, an invoice control software, an asset sharing module and a mobility module are typically part of the offering.

The ROI comes from the automation of time-consuming fleet activities (e.g. invoice control and processing) and integration of the supply chain (e.g. the algorithm in the example above), but most of all, Fleet Operating Systems open the doors for a new Fleet & Mobility supply chain that would otherwise not be possible to be integrated.

The conclusion on Fleet Operating Systems is that they’re well worth considering, especially if your company is keen to digitize and/or looking into unbundling and/or scanning the market for mobility.

Picture Credit: Shutterstock

Authored by: Yves Helven