14 November 2013: Delivery fleets are on the brink of the busy festive season and for those servicing retailers and courier companies, efficiencies will be critical to a successful and profitable Christmas period. Those fleets fitted with tracking technology are at a major advantage, enjoying a significant increase in business profitability.

Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics – the valuable, real-time data that tracking technology delivers to the fleet owner – transforms unstructured research data into actionable information. This enables better business decision-making about the day-to-day operations of the fleet, thanks to the ability to measure data gathering, data management and data analysis against specific business objectives.

“Fleet owners need to know exactly what wastage is occurring before corrective measures can be implemented and the most effective way of determining this is to use tracking technology,” says Michael van Wyngaardt, Executive for Tracker Business, the innovative corporate division within Tracker, South Africa’s leading fleet tracking company. The strategic partnership between Tracker and TomTom provides a unique fleet management system that covers the entire spectrum of needs for fleet owners.

Fleet and specifically driver behaviour can then be carefully monitored and van Wyngaardt explains some of the key benefits:

  • Drivers often think they know the shortest route to the next customer but human error is surprisingly high. Modern route navigation devices take the guessing out of the equation, translating into less business mileage.
  • Shorter routes mean less fuel usage, as well as less wear and tear, leading to less maintenance and tyre costs.
  • Avoiding traffic congestion is paramount to the efficient operating of logistics companies. Failing this, time wastage results in customer service frustrations, as well as loss of income for the company, and again, unnecessary fuel consumption and wear and tear on the vehicles. Useful navigation devices ensure that traffic congestion is identified and alternative routes can be selected to avoid these.
  • Driver efficiencies result in increased productivity – such as a driver doing an additional delivery, which in turn means sweating your assets and earning additional revenue.
  • Make sure you know where your drivers are at all times. Deviation from routes and schedules will result in delays, unproductive time and ultimately wastage. Fleet management services enable the fleet owner to know where each driver is as well as their time of arrival at the next delivery, which is optimal for good customer service.
  • Finally, van Wyngaardt suggests rewarding responsible driving through incentives. He recommends implementing driver scorecards to identify who the champion drivers are and use them as a benchmark for an enhanced workforce.

Leading local distribution company with a fleet of 150 vehicles that travel in excess of 8.5 million kilometers each year, Dawn Cargo’s customer-centric approach means the company places great importance on it’s tracking technology. Graeme Johnston, Dawn Cargo’s Divisional Director of Logistics explains, “In order for us to deliver over 900, 000 orders, on schedule, to Southern Africa each year, we identified the need for tracking technology, which resulted in our partnering with Tracker Business. 

“This not only ensures that drivers, vehicles and load are protected, it enables us to monitor our vehicles in transit which results in increased levels of reliability and customer service.”

At a time when good customer service is more important than ever for building strong relationships with partners and clients, fleet owners need to ensure they employ the necessary resources to meet deadlines and improve efficiencies within the supply chain.