Using Telematics to Increase Productivity | ADI Agency
Using Telematics to Increase Productivity
Remember when telematics were considered something of a “luxury” innovation for construction equipment? It wasn’t all that many years ago. Now, you’re wondering how you got along without all that high-tech operator assistance and equipment performance data. But are you taking full advantage of your telematics? That data can help you reduce or even eliminate downtime – if you listen to it.
How? Well, first, keep in mind that there are numerous potential causes of downtime beyond something as obvious as a failed part. Some downtime is planned as preventive maintenance. These short breaks keep machines running smoothly with least disruption. Plus, knowing what service intervals are recommended, you can plan ahead to schedule maintenance at more convenient times and ensure a replacement machine can step in if needed so work doesn’t come to a halt.
Telematics are your first alert system
Perhaps the most significant benefit of real-time data monitoring is your ability to receive alerts about performance anomalies or other impending problems. Operators can see notifications right on their dashboard screen or via audio or visual alert signals. Dealerships that are directly linked to customer’s telematics can sometimes alert the customer before they’re even aware something is amiss.
Early detection enables you to fix these problems before they morph into something bigger and more expensive — again, with least disruption. Field repair saves the time and cost of transporting the equipment to your yard or dealer.
An early fix is likely to cost less in terms of replacement parts and so on. And, thanks to your telematics diagnostic data, service techs won’t have to guess at what the problem might be, so they can arrive well-prepared to effect repairs as quickly as possible. (Conversely, if you do have to transport the machine to the shop, they’ll be waiting for you with the right tools and parts in hand.)
Telematics build history
While real-time data monitoring can help avoid costly downtime with early problem detection, the data captured for each machine is also archived. Over time, you can study this data to spots trends that could be silently costing you downtime and money. Is a particular machine (or a particular model that you own in multiples) repeatedly suffering from the same problem? If it’s a problem child for some reason, you can take steps to replace it instead of continuing to waste money on it. If it’s starting to show its age, you can replace it before it decides to retire in the middle of a jobsite.
Accumulated data can also remind you when a machine’s warranty is about to expire. With so many details on your mind, and possibly an entire large fleet to manage, overlooking warranty expiration could lead to financial disaster. The ability to transition from the original equipment warranty to an extended warranty without missing a beat ensures your equipment will always be covered well. Peace of mind like that is priceless.
And speaking of history, historic telematics data can also reveal useful information about used equipment you are considering purchasing. You can go beyond the sales pitch to see for yourself whether the machine has been properly maintained, etc. On the flip side, if you’re the seller, having this type of data-driven experience history can make your machine a better buy than one where the purchaser can only hope for the best.
Another valuable benefit of telematics is operating history. Is the operator working efficiently without over-taxing the equipment? Is the machine left idling unnecessarily? You can track start and stop times, power mode selection, speed and travel times, fuel usage, and other details that tell you how the operator is doing as well as how the equipment itself is doing. If an operator needs a little reminder, or a pattern shows the need for more generalized operator training, you’ll know soonest.
Telematics protect equipment
Good, old GPS. You never have to wonder where your construction equipment is at any given time. Working a big, spread-out job? Geo-location telematics make it easy to shuffle machines around efficiently, if necessary.
If a machine is stolen, you can see where it went, immeasurably improving your chances of getting it back. That’s more than a relief, it saves you untold hours of dealing with law enforcement, your insurance company, and getting a replacement or rental into play as quickly as possible.
The costs of downtime are well-known
The more your machines can work (the reason you bought them in the first place), the more revenue they will earn for you. The more productive your fleet, the more new or larger jobs you can take on, earning even more revenue. Lack of reliability and unplanned downtime sabotage all that, carving into your ability to make a living and grow your company, and piling additional expenses onto your ledger.
Telematics aren’t just a data collection tool. Used properly, they can be one of your strongest business assets.