The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the largest disruptors to transportation and fleet efficiency in recent history with the shutting down of assembly plants and disrupting supply chains. These disruptions touched the fleet market, causing wild fluctuations in vehicle availability and demand.
Because of the pandemic’s long-term impact, it’s more important than ever to create strategies that improve fleet efficiency, while keeping them on time and on budget. Digitalization of fleet operations is vital to combat these disruptions, and protect us from future issues. Digital transformation in the automotive industry through technology, data, process, and organizational changes can protect your fleet from negative external impacts and provide the agility to take advantage of new opportunities.
The Digital Fleet – Key Elements
As digital fleets become more fully realized, they need an automation platform that builds on existing fleet management solutions to fully automate the day to day digital fleet management operations of a business. In doing so, it can turn insights from fleet management systems into actionable and automated workflows. But first, let’s walk through the key elements of digital fleet efficiency.
Business transformations are taking place across all industries, including those that use fleets. While telematics devices, and fleet management systems that interpret this data, have been in use in the fleet industry for a long time, it’s just the first step toward transforming a fleet-based business.
Solutions that track vehicles and vehicle status were a part of the first wave of leveraging IoT to maintain uptime, control costs and increase driver safety for fleets. A 2021 survey of fleet technology trends found that GPS fleet tracking technology increased from 64% in 2019 to 72% in 2020. For the nearly 3/4 of fleets that have adopted tracking and telematics, what’s next?
Keyless entry is one of the more notable elements of digital fleet management. With the addition of tracking and telematics begins the evolution from digitalization into fleet management transformation.
For example, a keyless entry car allows businesses to set up a seamless reservation system. This came into play with Ridecell’s partner Geotab, whose keyless entry car solutions enable its customers to use phones, desktops, or NFC tags in employee badges to reserve vehicles, by authorizing digital keys.
When paired with Ridecell’s automation platform, the reservation process is drastically shortened, fleet operations are simplified, and clients get peace of mind with the elimination of physical keys.
As businesses collate their existing fleet management system, tracking and telematics devices, and begin to build the bridge to transformation with keyless, the next step would be to develop an overarching digitalization strategy.
Digital Fleet Management: The Digitalization Strategy
A digitalization strategy incorporates hardware, software, and connectivity components. This type of transformation requires investment in technology that might be outside of your organization’s expertise, or that exists within other functions of the business, siloed and separate from fleet management, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, supercomputing and cloud computing.
As well as 5G IoT use cases that are only possible with 5G. Other solutions can work just as well with 4G LTE technology, which will be supported for at least another decade.
Often, this means integrating several systems into a single digital ecosystem to streamline the data flows and provide access points to the relevant information. While there are many existing fleet management systems, fleets must be thinking about how to bring those insights together to make the data more actionable as they move closer toward ways to improve fleet efficiency and empower a self-managing fleet.
Digital Fleet Management and Ridecell
At Ridecell, we help our customers design effective digitalization solutions, and leverage our fleet automation platform that can automate and streamline the data from your existing fleet systems into a mobility and automation platform capable of combining data insights with digital vehicle control.
Data will continue to expand and will need to be organized in a way that uses it effectively. A centralized system aggregates your data to ensure it is actionable. Telematics data is crucially important for any fleet business, as it is the basis of building your competitive advantage. Paired with solutions like keyless entry and reservation systems, fleets are on their way toward richer automation for better fleet efficiency.
Author: Mark Thomas, VP of Alliances and Marketing, Ridecell