How telematics can help you save money
South African businesses are facing increasingly high demands on their budgets prompting businesses to save money wherever possible. Telematics is one tool that can help business fleets save in various ways. Estimates suggest that businesses can see cost-savings of up to 10% when making use of the benefits of technology. This is how telematics can help with cost-savings.

Save on fuel
International oil prices and the unpredictable Rand/Dollar exchange rate could have resulted in a small decrease in the petrol price in June but Carbon Tax is due to be added this month. This means motorists will only see a 1c decrease in petrol and a 24c increase in diesel.

The managing director of Legratron Electronics, Itumeleng Matshego, says consequently, the data from telematics can identify drivers who are not driving economically. “You can use this data to implement interventions, such as training or disciplinary procedures, to improve your drivers’ behaviour. Geo-fence technology can also assist in saving fuel by improving route planning or by diverting the nearest vehicle to customers for unexpected visits.”

Save on the cost of crashes
Even small bumper bashings can have serious consequences for your company. “Information provided by telematics can identify problematic drivers and decide how to improve this. By reducing the number of crashes in an organisation you save on the cost of damage to vehicle, injuries to employees and downtime from the crash. You can also potentially avoid the tragedy of serious accidents,” says Matshego.

Save on maintenance
Knowing when your drivers practice bad driving habits is not only important to save on fuel and prevent accidents, it can also reduce maintenance costs. “Harsh acceleration or braking, and incorrect clutch control all drive up maintenance costs.

Fleet managers who do not obtain data on their fleet’s driving habits will be replacing brake pads, tyres and clutches much sooner and more often than necessary.

“Conversely, if you identify these mistakes you take corrective measures and avoid costly maintenance repairs above the normal services and repairs. It can also help you avoid the cost of downtime when vehicles are out of commission,” says Matshego.

Optimise utilisation of resources
Telematics data provides accurate pictures of how and when your vehicles are being used. “You can reduce time wasted by drivers who take unnecessarily longer routes, use company vehicles and time for personal errands or use ineffective route planning. With a geo-fence boundary, you are immediately alerted when vehicles are being misused.

“Geo-fence technology of telematics can also help you reduce the unnecessary wastage of resources and time when responding to unexpected customer requests. For example, if a customer requires an emergency visit, the technology can help you determine who is in the vicinity and can respond the fastest and without driving up and down. It can also indicate that even though driver A is nearest, driver B can arrive faster as there is less traffic on their route,” says Matshego.

With all the demands placed on businesses, it is essential that business owners save on expenses wherever possible.