Telematics and how they can improve your supply chain
Telematics is a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT). It involves using sensors on commercial vehicles (like trucks) to collect information. From engine diagnostics and fuel consumption, telematics allows fleet managers to track vehicle movement, safety, and maintenance.
Over the next five years, the global commercial telematics industry is expected to have strong, sustained growth.
The Next Web reports that the telematics market may grow into a $103 billion industry by 2022, making it one of the most exciting applications of the IoT to date.
Using telematics to actively monitor commercial vehicles leads to a lot of significant benefits for supply chain management, including:
- Minimisation of supply chain disruption
- Increased productivity
- Improved transparency
- Visibility of driver performance
1. Minimisation of supply chain disruption
Supply chain disruptions happen more often than you think — and often without warning. Real-time telematics devices can monitor road conditions so drivers can act quickly and minimise the impact of these interruptions.
Thanks to telematics platforms (like Datamine client, EROAD); supply chain managers can capture, analyse, and cross-reference real-time streaming data from containers and vehicles. On the other hand, route optimisation apps or IoT devices provide real-time traffic data for a comprehensive “live” picture of the supply chain. Coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) systems, telematics can notify you about potential problems, schedule vehicle maintenance, and even recommend contingency plans — ensuring that your supply chain is more resistant to disruptions.
2. Increased productivity
Productivity is a priority in supply chain management, or in any type of operation, to be frank. There are times when teams are scheduled and ready, but not utilised. More than being a waste of time and resources, it's also a source of frustration among staff. By addressing these problems early, productivity can be optimised and operations can continue to run smoothly. And you can keep your team feeling fulfilled and happy.
As detailed in Verizon Connect’s article on telematics, it provides businesses with near real-time GPS data, helping improve route optimisation and efficiency. Management teams can immediately adjust supply chain processes or schedules in case of traffic delays, inclement weather, accidents, and other issues.
After all, a team has more options and can make better decisions when hurdles and potential delays are identified faster and earlier. For one, they can schedule another vehicle, adjust team size and redistribute responsibilities, or even find a more efficient route to avoid delays. Telematics can help staff balance the best customer outcomes at the lowest possible cost.
3. Improved transparency
Telematics systems give you full control over your supply chain by showing you the exact location, trajectory, and speed of each vehicle in the fleet. The real-time status and locations of each order are very easily accessible, so you can map out timescales, predict future locations, reduce diesel consumption, and receive accurate arrival times for smarter decision-making and customer updates.
Additionally, transparency improves exception handling, as the cameras can see if a driver was involved in an accident or was a victim of cargo theft. Transparency is crucial in building trust, too. Clients and business partners are more likely to continue trusting your services when they're allowed a full picture of your operations. Additionally, transparency can improve your relationships with other stakeholders.
4. Visibility of driver performance
Telematics devices can monitor many things, including driver behaviour. It includes measuring driver speed, evaluating traffic time or off-route stops, to checking brake usage. From there, drivers can receive trip-by-trip feedback on their driving style so they can reduce bad habits. This also gives you more insight into what happens on the road.
Supply chain data analytics, a topic previously discussed on the Datafix blog, can be utilised to create more efficient routes, schedule earlier departure times, and enable truck drivers into making faster, time-sensitive decisions that lower logistic costs.