In a cut-throat competitive marketplace, customer service has become strategically imperative for service businesses and utilities trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors. At the same time, new health and safety legislation is becoming a priority for many organizations with large numbers of mobile workers. Companies must now ensure that they have accurate details of every mobile worker’s hours of service and must be able to demonstrate that these workers are not being forced to work long hours, or engage in risky working practices in order to meet customer or company performance targets, which could also have important ramifications on their brand image.
With higher costs associated with meeting these regulatory and service compliance demands as well as constantly rising fuel prices, and with limited resources at their disposal, service companies are looking at deploying ever more sophisticated telematics solutions in a bid to preserve already-thin profit margins.
“Key solutions deployed by service companies are typically fleet management solutions, with driver behavior as an important add-on coupled with a mobile workforce management solution,” comments Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research. “These are available in varying levels of complexity and are becoming increasingly sophisticated with most telematics service providers offering these solutions in partnerships with specialist software companies.” Other solutions deployed to a lesser extent include vehicle diagnostics and service maintenance solutions. Key companies offering these types of solutions include Trimble, Telogis, Masternaut, Fleetmatics, Teletrac, and TomTom.
“At present, many companies rely on manual scheduling and management reporting which depend on paper records and the potential for strategic business improvement is limited,” adds Owen. “A state-of-the-art mobile workforce management system can monitor all workers in real-time and help a company manage its operations dynamically, ensuring compliance with rules and regulations as well as providing managers with important metrics on every worker and vehicle.”