Identifying areas for change management at the beginning of a change project allows for greater integration, management buy-in, and a higher chance of a successful outcome. This approach allows stakeholders to be identified early, and creates a greater understanding of how the change enabler would affect them and how they can use the enabler to best effect.
One way of identifying areas for change is to analyse the vehicle fleet activity from insights gained from telematics data. Telematics systems automatically suggest which areas of the fleet require change or improvement. No one in fleet management is disputing this and the impact that telematics can have on fleet activity is, if correctly implemented and managed, dramatic – both in terms of performance improvement and financial savings. Case studies have shown that operational cost savings of £200k or more are achievable within the first 12 months when using telematics, with returns on investment coming between four to six months. However, the positive impact of telematics goes beyond the fleet alone, reaching across a number of business functions.
Management, Sales, Finance, IT, and HR all benefit from the information gathered through telematics systems. Include these stakeholders at the beginning of a project and you will enable them to have a view on the type and quantity of information that they require to bring about improvements in their own functional areas. Identifying the stakeholder requirements early gives a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of telematics from the outset and allows for the management of expectations.
A management review – in particular fleet management practices – ensures that the correct structure, roles and responsibilities are in place to manage, process and present what can be an exhaustive amount of data. The drafting of a company white paper on the how and why telematics is being implemented would explain why such a system is being implemented, highlighting any new roles, responsibilities and reporting procedures that have been identified during the review process.
A trial period is an ideal time to assess and analyse the requirement. Planned trials allow you to look at the impact on fleet activities, and make sure they measure against operational and financial output. This means change activities can be identified, reviewed, and discussed with the stakeholders. The trial period also enables potential telematics customers to review their own requirements, ensuring that the system and support offered is going to meet their expectations.
The benefits to commercial vehicle fleets that have telematics solutions installed are well known. Researching commercial fleet benchmarking is an excellent starting point for the introduction of such a system. The benefits to the company, employee and customer are well-documented and commercial fleet best practice can be analysed and implemented across the business functions.
Managing the car fleet is – or should be – a requirement for all businesses. Car fleets are a big investment. A fleet of 100 vehicles could cost a company in the region of £30,000 per month, over a four-year contract. That equates to somewhere in the region of a £1.4M investment.
Managing a fleet this size reduces operating costs, and can also lead to financial rewards at the end of a leasing contract, like a profit share scheme. Analysis of car fleet activity helps companies to develop more robust and efficient sales plans and car fleet strategies. This, in turn, enables the business to grow and evolve, while saving money, reducing the carbon footprint of the company and protecting its fleet assets.
It is important for the Finance team to be involved from the beginning of a change project. Partnering with Operations from the start enables Finance to understand the operational benefits, while allowing it to identify and track the financial benefits. Analysing financial data and comparing it against operational telematics data quickly shows where improvements and changes can be made.
An area where telematics can be used jointly between Finance, Operations and HR is the impact on reducing risk and insurance costs. We have seen fleets with an annual insurance liability drop from around £224K to £88K over a 12-month period.
Through the change process the fleet management team, with support from Finance, HR and the Insurance Broker, demonstrated the improvement in driving standards and fleet management. Analysis showed the change in accident type and therefore the targeted training required to make further driving improvements. This approach put the company in a strong position to work with insurance companies and brokers to lower premiums, as there was a tangible reduction in fleet risk through improvement and change in management structures and techniques.
IT staff play an important part in the introduction of telematics as a system. With open API reporting being offered by some vendors, systems can be integrated in a far more efficient manner and lead to partnerships with system providers, benefiting the company and, ultimately, the customer. IT is integral to a systems approach to telematics and makes an ideal first point of contact for telematics fault finding. A nominated point of contact within the IT department is ideal for giving immediate telematics support in house.
Human Resources can use the data to assess the impact of driving styles on individuals, identify areas for training, and use this to support the duty of care that companies have to all their employees.
The key to introducing a change programme is to identify who would be the lead. Who would be responsible for communicating what, where, when, why and how it all takes place? Will it be a person, a team or a department?
This is an important decision, as the changes identified will impact on all employees and, to a certain extent, customers. Whoever the lead is, they must be senior enough within the organisation to be able to implement strategy, make decisions and give leadership and management to the project team. This approach allows best practice to be shared internally across departments and functions.
As we can see, telematics has an effect on a number of business areas and is an ideal enabler for change and improvement to take place.