Get More Value From Your Telematics Data

Whether you’re using data to monitor fuel usage in your fleet, stay on top of maintenance scheduling or some other purpose, the ultimate goal is improved cost savings and efficiency. Be sure you’re making the most out of it.

Get More Value From Your Telematics Data

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It’s likely that at one time or another Kirby Yakemchuk has been in your shoes. During his 15-year career, he’s worked as an equipment operator, a fleet manager for a large contractor (Ledcor Group) and an equipment distributor. 

He has been working with telematics since the beginning, helping develop the AEMP telematics data standard, and is currently setting up North American operations for MachineMax, a telematics provider.

Here are his recommendations for how contractors can get more out of their telematics.

Know What You Want to Measure

“The first step is to determine what data you want to measure and manage,” Yakemchuk says. “If you start focusing on too many data streams, you can get lost pretty quickly.”

From utilization to fuel usage, machine hours and maintenance scheduling, there are many ways telematics data can be used to drive cost savings and efficiency. 

“Grab information that is relevant to the way you operate, and focus on managing that metric or data stream to the best of your ability before slowly adding in additional data,” Yakemchuk says.

Of the various data points you can measure, Yakemchuk recommends that utilization be a top priority.

“If there is one metric you can justify, it’s utilization. If you can show value based off of increased utilization, everything else is gravy,” he says.

Recognize That How People Need to See the Data Differs

From the equipment operator to the site supervisor to the fleet manager, people need data at a time and in a format that is useful to them. According to Yakemchuk, telematics has historically been driven by equipment maintenance, but now companies are seeing its value in operations. Fleet managers like to look for trends over time and find telematics data useful for forecasting when component parts or equipment service will be needed, but a site supervisor or foreman values real-time alerts that allow him to make decisions to shut down equipment or move assets when machines are idle.

“The impact of telematics on utilization is enormous,” Yakemchuk says. “Forward-thinking organizations are sharing the data within their firms.”

Let the Data Drive Your Decisions and Add Value

Too many firms collect telematics data only to never act on it.

“You need to trust the data to drive behavior,” Yakemchuk says. “If your information is telling you that you can extend intervals, you need to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Linking the data back to a cost or dollar value helps to drive value.

Start With the Most Critical Assets

When your entire fleet is equipped with telematics, you can have a single business process for managing your fleet. Before the AEMP telematics standard, each brand of heavy-equipment’s data was only accessible through its own interface, making it cumbersome for managers of mixed fleets. Today there are multiple ways to manage all the data and even solutions for managing data from rental equipment in a singular interface.

“Start with your most critical assets,” Yakemchuk says, “then cascade it down based on criticality or capital cost.”

Prepare for Wholesale Change

Committing to telematics is a wholesale change for an organization. Yakemchuk says this can make telematics easier to implement at smaller organizations.

“At larger organizations, a lot of different layers need to see value in it,” he says. “Make sure the information is targeted, key and in the hands of the right folks.”

Technology is advancing in ways that will make it easier and less costly to monitor assets. Sensors will increasingly be powered by a wide-area networks instead of cellular networks, so you won’t pay for data charges.

“You can put a sensor on everything,” Yakemchuk says, “but it comes back to what data can you manage and control.”   

Telematics by itself isn’t going to provide value, but with the right people and playbook, it can be a valuable tool for contractors.

About the Author

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related sectors worldwide. AEM has an ownership stake in and manages several world-class exhibitions, including CONEXPO-CON/AGG.



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