Home' ALGY : ALGY Edition 25 2018 Contents 210 • THE AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT YEARBOOK EDITION 25
Time is a precious commodity, and economies of time and fuel will
translate to reduced operation costs and other financial benefits.
Productivity is also likely to be improved if drivers are aware that
they are being monitored.
With the safety information that telematics reports and records,
drivers will be more aware of their speed and vehicle operation.
The technology can be used to keep drivers alert, and help
reduce driver fatigue by providing rest-stop reminders. Data
recorded on vehicle performance will also increase driver safety,
as mechanical issues will be instantly reported, and services will
be scheduled routinely.
As the use of telematics allows fleet tasks to be prioritised and
completed quickly, customer satisfaction will increase. This
would be further enhanced if online tracking systems were
implemented, as real-time collaboration facilitated by live
systems provides customers with up-to-date information and
attention. Equipment availability will also be updated instantly,
which means that customer demand can be met more quickly
A multitude of organisational and planning efficiencies are
helped with telematics. With a large collection of data on their
fleets, both present and historical, managers will be able to
plan better services for the future. The automated systems also
reduce the time spent on paperwork.
Drivers can often feel isolated when they are on the road. The
communication capabilities of telematics help to bridge the
disconnect often felt by mobile workers. By allowing drivers to
talk with each other and with their managers via digital means,
they can participate in work discussions and meetings remotely,
and feel a stronger sense of workplace.
Telematics allow drivers to take greater control over their daily
routine by planning routes and speaking to clients more freely,
which has been shown to contribute to job satisfaction. Fleet
managers can also implement reward systems for their drivers,
providing incentives to achieve objectives, and driving positive
attitudes towards work tasks.
What are the disadvantages?
The main reason fleet managers may be hesitant to adopt the
technology is that it makes their workers feel as if they’re being
watched too closely. The increased visibility that telematics
systems bring can contribute to drivers feeling that they’re
not trusted or capable of doing their jobs properly without
supervision. As the relationship between employees and their
managers plays such a significant role in job satisfaction and
productivity, this can present a major issue.
To deal with this, managers need to ascertain exactly what
kind of information they need to improve the operations of
their business, and collect only this data. The kind of information
recorded should be communicated to drivers, so that there is full
disclosure and any feelings of spying are dissipated.
If managers wish to put systems in place to reprimand
drivers when objectives aren’t met, drivers should be informed.
To avoid feelings of insecurity or fears that they will be unduly
monitored, drivers should always be aware of performance
measurement and critical processes. All actions taken to remind
drivers that the data is being used to achieve mutual goals,
and encourage rather than pressure drivers, will be beneficial. It
should be made clear to drivers right from their induction how
telematics can be used for mutual benefits.
Telematics in practice
Will the initial spend on telematics be a worthy investment?
Evidence of a significant return on investment has been
reported in many companies, but is more frequently seen in
larger companies than smaller ones. As such, larger companies
have been faster to adopt the technology, seeing faster profits
from telematics for their operations.
Smaller companies, on the other hand, may not see the
benefits brought by a large communications system, as the
economies of scale are harder to achieve, and losses recuperated
with the technology may not be considerable enough to justify
the initial spend on installation. It is important to note, however,
that the technology can and should be tailored to suit the size
and requirements of a business. Telematics may be a more viable
option for smaller businesses if simpler systems are installed,
with only the most essential data being recorded to assist in
When adopting and developing these technologies, no
matter the size of the company, both technological and human
elements need to be considered together. While the technology
may appear to promise greater productivity, this won’t be the
case if the relationship between drivers and their managers isn’t
carefully fostered. Happier workers make for more successful
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