20 sep 22

“Especially in uncertain times: invest in a connected fleet!”

On 17 November at the 2022 Fleet Europe Awards in Dublin, we’ll find out who’s the European Connected Fleets Manager of the Year. What we do already know, is that this particular award is sponsored by Geotab, as it was in 2021, the first year it was awarded. “This is important to us,” says Ivan Lequerica, Geotab’s Vice President for South & West Europe. Here’s why.

But first this. Virtual events are silver, but meeting your peers and prospects in person is gold. That’s why you should attend the 2022 Fleet Europe Summit, on 16 and 17 November in Dublin.

We find Mr Lequerica in an excellent mood. Just the previous week, Geotab surpassed three million subscribers worldwide. And Europe is the region where the company is growing the fastest. 

“We’re investing more, not just in salespeople, but also in product specialists. We have dedicated engineers in all our European markets. And we’re expanding our reseller network,” he says. “We understand that the economy is headed for tough times. But we also see a big appetite among fleets for telematics solutions. So we have a bright future ahead of us.”

It's nice to hear things are going well. What would you say is today’s top trend in connected fleet technology? 

“Telematics is changing fast, responding to the real needs of fleets. For example, we see more and more customers interested in camera telematics, to improve safety. And they increasingly want keyless solutions, to convert their fleets into pool fleets.”

"However, there are two trends that stand out. Firstly, electrification and sustainability. Companies understand we face a huge challenge, and everyone has a responsibility to reduce emissions. So they want a telematics solution that guides them in their electrification journey, helping them select which ICEs can be replaced by EVs, and how to manage them.”

And the second trend?

“OEM telematics. These days, many vehicles have telematics pre-installed. That removes the complexity of having to install an aftermarket device. But customers still look for the best way to use the data from these devices.”

“Every year, Geotab invests 15% of its revenue in R&D, and these are two areas we’ve strongly invested in over the last few years. Which means we’re ready to support our customers with the right products.”

As you mentioned, the economy is headed for a rough patch. With that in mind, why would international fleets need to invest in telematics? 

“The answer is that the market increasingly understands that telematics can improve productivity, safety, efficiency and sustainability. We see companies large, medium and small that are willing to invest, even in these uncertain times. I should say: especially in these uncertain times. Because they see telematics as an investment in the future rather than a cost.” 

You sponsored the first edition of the International Connected Fleet Manager of the Year at the 2021 Fleet Europe Awards. You’re returning as this year’s sponsor. Why?

“This is an important event for us. Last year, we saw very strong candidates, demonstrating how serious today’s fleets are about adopting telematics.”

“With the jury, we’ll be considering various KPIs to award the prize. Some KPIs are quantitative: the share of the fleet that is deployed with telematics, the maturity of the programme, the start of global versus local strategies, and the consistency of telematics reporting within the companies.”

And what are the qualitative criteria?

“I’d say that our assessment of how candidates use the data is key. For example: what are the areas of business where telematics has an impact? Which department uses the data: health and safety, procurement, maintenance, operations…”

“Also, how do the candidates engage with their drivers? How are they explaining the advantages of telematics to them? And of course: the road map for the future. How can fleet data play a role in the years to come?”
Exciting stuff. We look forward to 17 November, and to finding out who won!

Are you curious to see who will become the European Connected Fleets Manager of the Year? Click here to reserve your spot at the Fleet Europe Summit (Dublin, 16-17 November), which will conclude with the Fleet Europe Awards.