September 08, 2017

Connected Transportation: How to Get the Most Out of Your Telematics Solution

By Special Guest
Dick Hyatt, President, and CEO, Decisiv

In the world of transportation, the Internet of Things has been synonymous with telematics – connected technologies that allow managers to monitor the location and status of their vehicles.

It’s been embraced most strongly by the trucking sector, which was quick to adopt telematics as a means of enhancing delivery routing, scheduling, and monitoring driver behavior patterns.

Using telematics primarily for these reasonslimits its true potential value. Telematics, or more generally Industrial IIoT or connected assets, offer a treasure trove of deep data that can help reduce downtime, increase asset utilization, and improve operational efficiencies. However, data on asset performance and health only provides an understating of asset status. Using this information to ensure the ongoing availability of these assets requires a more complete, closed loop approach.

Today, many commercial vehicles are connected to the internetand thus able to transmit a great amount of raw information that can be used to improve transportation. Meter data pertaining to vehicle mileage, fuel consumption, engine hours,and other vehicle and engine operation data can help gauge the amount of wear and tear on a vehicle. Improved understanding of actual asset usage (also called condition-based maintenance) of an asset – including its environmental factors – can ultimately ensure more effective preventative maintenance practices.

Additionally, information captured from connected assets, including various on-board sensors,can provide detailed data pertaining to the health of an asset. Diagnostic trouble codes generated from engines,auxiliary power units, refrigeration units, power takeoffs, and other electro-mechanical devices provide insight into potential issues, and sensorscan capture everything from temperature to pressure to viscosity and particulate rates. This information can be aggregated, analyzed, and prioritized to determine the level of severity of an issue and to provide guidance on potential causes, triage, or repair plans.

However, once you get alerted to this information – what happens? The status quo is typically a bunch of phone calls, emails, and paper shuffling trying to find the people and information necessary to repair the asset in a timely, cost-effective, and correct manner.

The service and repair supply chain goes well beyond just the fleet manager who may have received an alert. These complex commercial assets typically require a small village to join into the process. At a minimum, you have the fleet (a driver or machine/equipment operator and a maintenance person), the service provider (a service advisor and at least one technician), and the OEM (tech support and field/warranty support), and data in each of their respective business systems – including build details, service history, recalls and campaigns, warranty status, customer preferences, required inspections, etc. However, many events also include a breakdown center orthird-party call center, a leasing or rental company, etc. This complex web of data, people, technology, and process requires much more than the telephone and e-mail for effective response.

Integrating telematics data with an automated service event management process solves these challenges. With service event management, raw telematics and sensor data is turned into actionable and intelligent information that can be used to accelerate repairs or prevent unforeseen problems. Since the data resides in the cloud, it can be easily shared and accessed by everyone in the service supply chain, eliminatingunnecessary phone calls, paperwork, and other legacy forms of documentation and communication.

Using telematics with a closed-loop service event management process can also reduce the total number of service events by including pending or deferred operations as well as upcoming maintenance operations when the asset is in service for other non-related issues.

Ultimately, pairing connected asset data with service event management results in a more streamlined and cost-efficient approach to fleet maintenance management. Triage time spent on repairs can be cut down by about 70 percent, and overall vehicle downtime by approximately 20 percent. This means that trucks spend more time on the road making their delivery deadlines,and transportation companies’ revenue streams are always moving in the right direction.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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