There is a false perception that telematics is the preserve of big businesses and large, complex fleets, claims Crystal Ball managing director Raj Singh. Instead, he says, for start-ups or SMEs, understanding through tracking how your vehicles are being used is essential to growth.
How telematics can be used in clever new ways by SMEs has been shown in a fascinating case study, in which Edinburgh-based The Motorhome Franchise explains how it uses Fleet Tracker to not only keep track of its very high value motorhomes, but to manage driver behaviour, reduce downtime and understand where customers take the vehicles when they are on holiday.
This allows the rapidly growing company, with ambition to operate from centres throughout the UK in the next five years, to then use that information for targeted digital and social marketing, as well as putting together deals with tourist destinations popular with customers which increases bookings and consequently grow the business.
“Crystal Ball’s telematics are a fundamental aspect of The Motorhome Franchise’s growth plan, delivering nationwide fleet asset management, safety and security for their customers and, crucially, giving it the knowledge to market more effectively and create even more appealing offerings which will give them scope to grow,” says Singh.
“Telematics are not just the preserve of big business. Expanding SMEs need to use telematics not just to monitor drivers, but to help structure the way they operate and understand how to develop their offerings further, giving insights into productivity, trends and exactly how efficient they are in terms of time and money.
The Motorhome Hire Franchise not only tracks the vehicles, which have an average value of nearly £50,000, but uses Fleet Tracker to communicate with the customer if speeding, harsh braking or cornering incidents are flagged up. The head office in Edinburgh is notified immediately, and then the customer is messaged, either by text or email, to check they and the vehicle are OK, which serves to politely remind them of their responsibilities without giving the impression they are being constantly monitored.
The result, The Motorhome Hire Franchise’s Adam Davison says, is that customers feel that they are being helped to have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
“It’s all about peace of mind,” he adds. “There are quite a few places in Scotland that are rural and remote and customers, if they haven’t been there before, may not know where they are. If they break down or have an accident, we are able to pinpoint their location and make sure they get the appropriate attention they need.”
Fleet Tracker ensures The Motorhome Hire Franchise knows when rented vehicles are returning, so it can schedule work, services and cleaning to minimise downtime, and get the vehicle quickly back out on the road for its next hire. It can also immobilise the motorhomes remotely in case of theft.
“Security and asset management of a very high value vehicle is enormously important,” says Adam. “And as a franchise business looking to have 25 businesses around the UK in the next five years with a total of 500 vehicles, it will be even more essential. Fleet Tracker will help us to grow the company as each of these franchises, even though they carry the same name, will operate as separate businesses. It is critical our franchisees have access to the same level of fleet management information as we do at head office.”
To read the full case study click here.