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Use Telematics to Navigate Construction’s Logistical Challenges

Business

Reposted with permission from constructionexec.com, January 24, 2019, all rights reserved. Copyright 2019

In construction, there are numerous ways to measure success, including steady sales, satisfied customers, employee retention and a strong reputation, to name a few. And while there are many forces at play to influence each of these factors, optimal logistics plays a crucial—though somewhat invisible or unrecognized—role, helping to lay the necessary groundwork for operational timeliness and efficiency. The importance of optimal logistics become magnified when we look at them through the lens of the construction industry. Enter: telematics systems.

Telematics systems have emerged as the tried-and-true solution for construction fleets looking to streamline their operations. Such systems deliver much-needed visibility into the many moving parts of the fleet and provide managers with the information necessary to make sound business decisions for overall development, including increased driver retention, higher safety standards and lower costs of service.

DISPATCH AND DRIVER RETENTION

Keeping employee interests top-of-mind is critical in recruiting top talent and retaining quality drivers. Telematics provide managers with insight into the habits of the entire fleet, including the operational health of its drivers. Managers are able to monitor hours of service (HOS) and ensure drivers don’t work under strenuous conditions or operate machinery while fatigued.

Dispatchers can reroute lost drivers with minimal delay, due to the swift, frequent updates telematics provide. Instant feedback on location spares drivers the miles they may have travelled in the wrong direction and the accompanying headache of a major schedule setback.

Similarly, telematics offer efficiencies in directing drivers based on location and activity. In concrete services, for example, the dispatcher can see when a truck’s PTO is engaged and when the driver is available to route to another job.

With real-time traffic alerts, companies can proactively notify a customer of interruption and provide drivers with the quickest, safest route to the next site. By limiting avoidable stresses and respecting the time of employees and customers, fleets maintain a reputable brand identity and retain quality drivers.

ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE AND PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE

Live tracking and trip visibility serve as powerful tools for avoiding collisions. If a company is involved in an accident, the accumulated data provides necessary insight to identify the cause and work to resolve outstanding dangers. By correcting unsafe driving habits, construction companies protect their drivers, the motoring public and surrounding property, reducing costly damages and limiting unforeseen maintenance needs.

To the same tune, driver vehicle inspection reporting capabilities can direct vehicles to repair services for preventative maintenance when it is necessary. With the ability to monitor and flag engine or equipment faults, troubleshoot and diagnose impending issues, companies maintain a solid asset ROI and save considerably in accumulated costs.

EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY AND COMPLIANCE

Idling is common throughout construction, especially in the concrete business when vehicles are constantly in the loading or pouring process. With near-real-time tracking, fleets maintain visibility across their many assets and can adequately adjust operations to maximize asset use and reduce idle time—therefore increasing productivity and profitability. In fact, some companies have lowered idle time by more than 10 percent with telematics technology.

Easy-to-use technology also makes compliance with federal regulations easier. Successfully adjusting to government-issued mandates is a challenging and typically disruptive process for a well-established construction business. Telematics log HOS for mandated electronic logging device compliance. Ideally, drivers are comfortable requesting feedback and for confirmation that they are in compliance.

FLEET INTELLIGENCE: THE MISSING PUZZLE PIECE IN LOGISTICS

Fleet intelligence technologies such as telematics help piece together the logistical puzzle of the commercial construction business. Implementation increases employee accountability and satisfaction, ensures a safer and more compliant workforce, and establishes a dependable ROI for healthy business growth. The user-friendliness of technology means the path forward no longer has to be as challenging and complex for fleets as it once was.

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