The Business Impact of Using Field Worker and Vehicle Management Platforms

If you manage a fleet of vehicles, then you know how hard it can be to maintain all of the records and documentation for each truck. That’s not even mentioning the fact that it’s difficult to ensure that everyone will be on time for each job, as route optimization and troubleshooting can be a major hassle on its own. Wouldn’t it be so much better if you could have a single application that could help you manage everything in real time? Well, there is.

With technology advancing so quickly these days, vehicle management platforms are here to help you make the most out of your fleet, as well as improve your bottom line. Let’s take a look at some of the best options available and see what they can do for your business.

What is a Vehicle Management Platform?

Simply put, this is a program that allows you to remotely monitor and manage all of your vehicles with a single, easy-to-use interface. Rather than having to collect data from each car or truck individually and then compile that information afterward, now you can manage it all in real time and record everything from mileage to fuel consumption as well as time and routes taken.

Depending on the software that you use, you can also perform engine diagnostics and do analysis review from the back end, which enables you to pay attention to everything without having to be on site or on the truck at the time. This can potentially save countless hours and make your business run much more efficiently.

Top Vehicle Management Platforms

Top Vehicle Management Platforms

To get a better understanding of how these programs work, let’s make a comparison of some of the top platforms in the industry. We will be looking at three primary companies: Synovia Solutions, TomTom WebFleet, and 86Borders.

Synovia Solutions

If you want a company that stands behind its product and offers guarantees for its performance, then you will love Synovia. Not only do they have a remarkable fleet management system that can help improve your bottom line, but they stand behind their services and guarantee both connectivity and troubleshooting if there are any problems. Simply put, you not only get some incredible software but peace of mind as well.

The primary goal of Synovia is to provide both onboard tools to make your operations more efficient as well as analytics so that you can see what isn’t working and make changes on the back end. Overall, by streamlining the whole management process, it allows you to focus more on improving the quality of your work and growing as a company. Here are some of the features you can expect from this program.

GPS Mapping and Tracking: not only see where your vehicles are at any given time, but create records so that you can compare them after the fact.

Time Management: instead of having your employees write down when they clock in or out, Synovia allows them to do it through the app, saving time and paperwork, as well as improving accuracy.

Engine Diagnostics: as soon as an error code pops up on one of your vehicles you are alerted so that you can take the appropriate action before it becomes a severe issue.

Analysis: compare routes, travel times, and other metrics to see how your fleet is performing against your planning. See where things are lagging so that you know how to correct them.

The analysis portion of Synovia is a proprietary system called Silverlining. Some of the data you can look at with this software includes:

  • Average speed
  • Arrival time
  • Missed stops
  • Excessive idling
  • Railroad crossing compliance
  • And much more

You can imagine that having such a comprehensive breakdown of your fleet will make it much easier to pinpoint where changes can be done so that you can drastically improve your bottom line. Before, you had to rely on your drivers providing this kind of detailed analysis, but now you can access it immediately and remotely.

TomTom WebFleet

You may already be familiar with TomTom as a GPS system for your car, but the company now provides some exceptional fleet management systems that can help you upgrade your current business model. Overall, you can get more out of this application than you could with most other platforms. Here are some highlights that you can expect from WebFleet.

Driver Communication: TomTom provides mobile devices that you can install quickly into any car or truck in your fleet. These devices let drivers and the office communicate much more efficiently, including notifications about delays, new stops, and any other details that may change en route.

Third-Party Integration: if you currently have some kind of work management system in place, then you can integrate it into WebFleet so that you have total immersion between platforms. This will make it much easier to transfer data between programs and ensure that your back end is much more efficient.

Driver Analysis: this system monitors all kinds of metrics for your fleet, including speed, compliance, and stops. Thus, if you notice that your drivers are not meeting your expectations then WebFleet will notify you of any issues as well as potential solutions to correct them.

Tachograph and Time Remaining: analyze your time and speed on the road in real time and get an accurate estimate of arrival. This will help ensure that you get better readings for your customers which will improve your bottom line. Every second counts.

In addition to all of this, TomTom WebFleet also has the standard management processes, such as comprehensive data analysis, GPS tracking, and diagnostics. As you can see, this one of the more complete vehicle management platforms, and it can provide you with a wealth of data to improve your services.

86Borders

If you don’t want to invest a lot of money into infrastructure for your fleet (i.e., mobile devices and GPS trackers), then you may prefer to have something like 86Borders instead. This platform can be installed on any mobile device, which means that generic smartphones or tablets are a viable option for your business.

Overall, this management system is a bit more generic than the others, meaning that it is designed just to make logistics easier, but it’s not specific to fleet management. So, things like vehicle diagnostics and fuel efficiency will not be a part of the system. Overall, 86Borders is there to make it easier to communicate between remote workers and connect to each other through its remarkable widget platform.

Some of the features that can be utilized for fleet management in particular are route optimization and last mile mapping. These can either be used on the back or the front end so that you can also improve customer service by allowing clients to see where your vehicle is at any given time. These days, having that kind of accountability is valuable for consumers, which can help improve your bottom line.

Other features include document uploading and management, as well as customer signatures and feedback. Overall, 86Borders works well as both a back end and front end platform, so feel free to use it however you see fit.

What is a Field Worker Management Platform?

Field service management (FSM) refers to the management of a company’s resources employed at or en route to the property of clients, rather than on company property. Examples include locating vehicles, managing worker activity, scheduling and dispatching work, ensuring driver safety, and integrating the management of such activities with inventory, billing, accounting and other back-office systems. FSM most commonly refers to companies who need to manage installation, service or repairs of systems or equipment, and/or have a level of complexity with their logistics work process.

What inField Clipboard Can Do

Our customers have realized the following results by using inField Clipboard:

  • Integrating with world class hardware-based GPS solutions providers (e.g. TomTom, Synovia, etc.) means we are able to provide a dashboard of where the vehicles are located, and automatically overlay where customers and/or suppliers are located all on one map.
  • Integrating with mobile device based GPS solutions providers (e.g. 86Borders, Fleet Rover) means we are able to provide a dashboard of where the field workers are located, and automatically overlay where customers and/or suppliers are located all on one map.
  • Integrating with any GPS service provider means we are able to send notifications to customer, other field workers, and to administrators about location, and availability of the field workers, as well as automate the creation of timesheets using Geofencing. This also enables automating reporting against KPIs like travel time, performance at the job site (time to do work), etc.

 

Benefits of Using Vehicle Management Platforms

Benefits of Using Vehicle Management Platforms

Now that we’ve seen what you can expect from different software programs, how can it improve your business? Here are the top reasons that vehicle management is going to work for you.

Eliminate Lag Times

Whether it’s waiting for the driver to deliver his load or waiting for signed documents to get back to the office, having a vehicle management platform eliminates all of that waiting by providing a real-time solution. Now you can upload and send documents remotely and communicate with drivers instantly, especially when details such as, appointment time, scope of work, etc. change. This means that you can start processing orders as soon as they are completed, which can help improve office operations and help you get paid faster.

Sharper Metrics

Currently, do you know what problems are holding your company back? Is it errors in completed forms, consumed materials not being recorded, fuel efficiency, load times, or driver error? You may have some estimates of what happens out on the road, but without a comprehensive field worker and vehicle management platform, it’s impossible for those estimates to be precise. As soon as you implement this software, however, you will get a much clearer and more detailed picture of your operations, which can have an enormous impact on your bottom line. Until you can pinpoint a problem, how can you expect to find a solution?

Reduced Labor

Since the platform handles most of the detail work for you, it means that you don’t have to work as hard to get the same level of performance from your fleet. Now, a single supervisor or manager can handle multiple drivers at once, eliminating the need for extra staff in the office. Also, with reduced lag times you can get more orders done in the same amount of time, which will enable you to grow and thrive as a business.

Improved Customer Service

Now that you can see all of your metrics in real time and make changes on the fly, you can pass that knowledge to your clients. You can provide a more accurate estimate on delivery times, as well as allow for instant customer feedback through the platform. You can work quickly to process their orders, meaning that you can provide more value to your services. Overall, having the right vehicle management platform enables you to focus more on enriching the front end experience, making your brand more valuable in the eyes of your clientele.


Bottom Line

If you want to make the most out of your fleet, then you need to have an integrated field worker and vehicle management platform working for you. Until then, you will always be held back by limitations and uncontrollable variables.

How 70% Of Fortune 100 Companies Are Innovating Through IoT Products [INFOGRAPHIC]

The IoT is more than just machines talking to each other. Consumers rely on it to make their lives more convenient. Industry leaders use the Internet of Things to sell products, automate workflows, and engage with consumers. As time goes on and the technology develops, you’ll see that the IoT is the reason for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)

Who is investing in IoT? Where are they spending their money? What impact does the Internet of Things have on the global economy? What will be the future economic impact of the IoT?

Check out these interesting facts and stats on the Internet of Things. Learn about the current state and how it will continue to evolve.

70% of Fortune 100 Companies Use the IoT

Although the Internet of Things is popular in consumer application, most IoT developments are being made for major companies. In a report by AppDirect, an IoT company specializing in cloud data management software, seven out of ten Fortune 100 Companies offer IoT products, services, or initiatives.

Here’s a couple of those companies and what they’re up to with the IoT:

General Electric (GE) founded GE Digital in 2015 with the goal of using IoT to predict maintenance needs. They created Predix, a software that takes data generated by machines and combines it with traditional data. All of this information migrates to the Cloud for analysis. GE has IoT products for the hospitality industry, the airline industry, and utility companies.

Rolls Royce uses intelligent sensors on their Civil Aerospace jet engines, combat jets, and other vehicles of flight. The sensors use Azure Stream Analytics and Power Bi to gather and interpret data from engines during flight. This data can integrate with traffic control operations, enable smoother flight patterns, or even lead to longer, safer operations for the aircraft itself.

Cisco has a diverse foothold in the IoT market. Their digital infrastructure provides services that connect and automate factories. Cisco Smart Grid technologies are used for utility services (mass transit, aviation) and energy control (oil, gas.) Their infrastructure also monitors and aggregates data related to energy usage and distribution, application management, wireless networks, and IoT integrated cyber security.

AT&T aims to become the leader in the IoT networking. They have corporate partnerships with many other companies using the IoT. Some of these partnerships include GE, Cisco, and Intel. Their goal is to be the “go-to” network that major IoT companies use to connect all of their devices. AT&T has diversified their investments in different spaces of the IoT, including fleet and energy management and smart cars.

Google bought Nest in January 2014 for over $3 billion. Nest sells “smart” fire detectors that “learn” their environment through energy patterns. While smart home technology is one of the most popular IoT consumer applications, Nest was one of the first companies to market. Google also offers the Google Cloud Platform. It allows businesses and users to manage their data from anywhere.

What Areas of IoT are Companies Investing In?

Intel filed a report about where and how major industries are exploring the Internet of Things. Here area some of the areas where the big players in the IoT game are spending their money:

40.2% invest in Business and Manufacturing processes. This includes supply chains, robotic machinery and other industrial equipment. And real time analysis of the data collected from these operations improves their workflows, machine safety and bottom line.

30.3% invest in IoT Healthcare technologies. This could include anything from portable medical equipment, data management, and safeguards for the distribution, sale, and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

8.3% invest in Retail applications. Consumers can use smartphone apps to purchase products and the company can track and analyze their purchasing data. IoT is also instrumental in efficient inventory management.

7.7% invest in IoT Security innovations. Companies with highly sensitive materials can utilize biometric locks or facial recognition technology. Smart locks with remote sensors and linked security systems offer a higher level of security than traditional alarm systems.

A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Messaging Application Programming Interface asked 57 manufacturers and business suppliers “Which IoT-driven business models is your company currently deploying?”

47% of respondents offer IoT services bundled in with their products. This could be a product designed to interact with the Internet of things or an IoT enabled means of gathering customer data.

30% of companies surveyed offer an IoT related product as service. Examples of this include remote data monitoring, the analysing of this data, and the selling of the data.

4% of respondents offer a fully-integrated IoT service. This could be an entire software platform that provides IoT solutions to other companies (such as Cisco and AT&T.) These custom created IoT platforms can provide their users with unlimited sources of data.

19% of the companies surveyed report “Other” business models. Those models reported include:

– Offering a free IoT feature to their users

– Adding functionality to an existing product via IoT technology integration

– Selling maintenance, monitoring, or performance contracts on IoT technologies and equipment

– Using the IoT in Product Development phases

The Current Economy of the Internet of Things

The amount of IoT technologies being deployed is constantly accelerating. PwC and MAPI report that 38% of manufacturers offer IoT products and/or services. 48% of those businesses surveyed are in the process of developing IoT products and/or services.

A Market Excerpt selected by PTC reports manufacturing to be the biggest industry utilizing IoT softwares. They expect this segment of industry to reach $438 million by 2021.

47% of manufacturers to currently offer IoT products and services sell customer-managed IoT solutions. This could be technology for gathering and analyzing data, bundled IoT products and services, or custom developed software.

90% of manufacturers surveyed by PwC and MAPI plan to use or are currently using the Internet of Things to improve business operations. When asked “how much has your company transformed… to take advantage of digital/IoT enhancements” here’s how respondents answered:

– 56% of respondents said they are exploring how IoT technologies can adapt into their current business and enhance operations (boost manufacturing efficiency, cut production costs, etc)

– 23% of those surveyed are currently adopting the IoT into their business

– Only 14% of respondents are not exploring IoT technology as it relates to business operations. 8% of those surveyed claim to be “industry leaders” in adopting IoT technologies.

When PwC and MAPI asked these manufacturers to relay the reasons why they decided to “invest in IoT-enabled products and services” here’s how they replied:

Pressure from competitors 61%

The potential for new revenue streams / ROI 61%

Demand from Customers 49%

Pressures created by commoditization 42%

The expansion of their market 42%

To disrupt and/or because of disruptive competition 32%

Other Reasons 7%

Other reasons reported include the desire to lead the IoT revolution, optimize their services, and to save on future costs. Please note that for this question respondents were instructed to select all answers that applied to their business.

The Economic Impact of IoT in The Future

The world of IoT is constantly growing. In 2006, there were only 2 billion objects connected to the Internet of Things. Gartner projects that by 2020, that number will grow to over 200 billion.

To put it another way, for every human being on the planet there will be about 26 objects wired to the IoT. Cisco estimates that, on average, each person will own 3.4 devices that are connected to the IoT.

Currently, Manufacturers don’t generate much revenue from the IoT. When asked to estimate the percentage of IoT related revenue from their last fiscal year, 52% of respondents had zero reportable revenue. Only 41% of respondents could report 0-5% of revenue from IoT related products and services.

But manufacturer’s think that’s going to change. Here’s how they anticipate IoT related revenues will increase over the next 5 years:

– 13% of respondents still anticipate 0% of revenue.

– 28% of respondents predict to generate some new revenue around 0-5%

– 23% of respondents anticipate 10-20% of new revenue to be generated.

Here’s some more statistics that investigate the future economic impact of the Internet of Things:

Cicso believes Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections and communications are set to boom. These connections are projected to exceed 12 billion by the year 2020. This will represent 46% of all of the devices connected to the Internet across the world.

Gartner believes that by 2017, there will be 8.4 billion devices connected to the IoT. If correct, this will be a 31% increase from 2016. By 2017, the total spending involved with these devices (endpoints, services, etc) will be almost $2 trillion. Gartner also forecasts that $547 million will be spent on IoT securities in 2018.

By 2020, the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that IoT global spending will have a compound annual growth rate of 15.6%. They estimate the market size to be $1.29 trillion by 2020.