Connected Vehicles – the path to increased productivity and cost savings
From vehicle ordering to maintenance and remarketing, one thing remains at the heart of all fleet management services: the vehicle. Everything you do, with some help from your fleet management company, is about getting and keeping your drivers mobile for the minimum cost. So why is there so much concern over the vehicle and how to maximize this investment?
Let's consider two key points about operating a fleet:
1) vehicles are expensive company assets.
2) it is difficult to measure the ROI each one will bring through its lifecycle.
When your business requires you to acquire a vehicle, you know that you're committing to between roughly $7,000 and $10,000 per year in operating costs. These costs are determined by a number of fluctuating items, including the terms, utilization and the type of asset that best fits your fleet's needs.
Let's say that for every dollar you spend on your fleet car, you want to get $10 back for your business. How do you get there? What options do you have to make this a reality?
If I were to say connected cars can be the solution, would you be surprised? Before you stop reading this and go approve maintenance for vehicles in the repair shop, allow me to explain.
Of course, we all know what is involved in connecting vehicles: using technology to provide vehicle diagnostics and other data, such as vehicle health, location and speed. But what if that data could be used for much more? What if there were a way to use the connected car data to enhance productivity within your fleet, thereby saving you money on every trip – would you buy in?
Through my 23 years of experience in fleet management and technology, I have seen multiple solutions available. But only when I discovered one that connected the back end of the business with the front end did I get excited. A telematics solution that integrates with your company's customer relationship management (CRM) system to provide insight into the business is the solution I never knew I needed. This capability gives fleets a method to control, deploy and measure the activities of cars, having ROI measured at your fingertips.
So just how can connected vehicles revolutionize your business? We all know about using data to reduce TCO, but are there any abstract ways to maximize efficiency within your business? With a telematics solution that integrates with your CRM, fleets can be creative and impact more than just the traditional line items.
Below are just a few of the benefits I've found from a CRM-integrated telematics solution:
In today's data-driven world it can be easy to get distracted by different systems available. But having everything in a centralized CRM allows employees to focus the right information on the right customer to produce success in a cost-effective manner. It eliminates time, money and resources spent monitoring, updating and maintaining redundant data systems in favor of one streamlined solution.
Drive productivity and efficiency
Siloed systems are never operating optimally. When you integrate telematics with your CRM, both sides of your business now have vision to clients, prospects and how to act most efficiently. You have a great ability to see the full picture, sell more and increase customer satisfaction.
Create happy customers
When companies are more efficient, customers are happier. An integrated telematics solution allows you to prioritize sales and service calls based on need and opportunity. So, those clients that need immediate attention aren't left down at the bottom of the list while those with less time-sensitive issues are assisted.
Further, the ability to hold drivers accountable for sales and service stops means productivity will increase and clients can expect better customer service. And since they'll be able to map the most efficient route for their calls, they will have more time for interacting with clients and selling more products and services – resulting in a win-win situation.
Here at LeasePlan USA, we've partnered with MapAnything to bring our clients the power of combining telematics with Salesforce.com, one of the best CRM tools available in the market.
With this strategic partnership, connectivity becomes a commodity, while the integration of the CRM with fleet operations proves one of the most powerful tools to bring results from those expensive company assets.
It is simple and rational. If your saving opportunities are limited by external influences, you have to work on maximizing the return on your investment. MapAnything and LeasePlan together have the recipe and the ingredients to deliver both cost cutting and increased productivity.
About the author
Ricardo Fonzaghi serves as the chief commercial officer for LeasePlan USA. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company's sales and client relations teams as well as creating results-focused solutions for the company. Ricardo has more than 20 years of professional experience in the telecommunications, internet and fleet management industries, with a strong background in project management and quality improvement, always focused on client success.