For California contractors, a CARB report monitors engine hours by jurisdiction, fulfilling a legislated mandate, points out Koch. “And once you put systems like ours into your fleet, you just turn the lights on and it can be transformational,” he says. “If you’re a thousand miles away from where your assets are performing the work, you otherwise really have no idea how they’re working or even if they’re complying with some of the processes that you put in place.”
The Telogis Enterprise Dashboard rolls up all individual pieces of data into one easy-to-view database, “where you can view by regions, equipment types and drill down to individual pieces,” says McCormick. “The ability to not only capture the raw point data, but how do you present and roll that data up so that it can be easily understood across your entire fleet, I think is a really important part of this.
“With our product specifically, you can actually pick and choose pieces of technology that you need. So, you may already have a solution that does routing for you. What you can do is build upon that routing solution by adding a fleet management software tool and also a mobility or field technician management tool. A company that can offer not only a platform, but the flexibility to work what you have is also very important,” McCormick says. “Telogis really likes to focus on the software side of things and not so much the hardware. We have the ability to work with a lot of different kinds of hardware, so that I think makes us a little more flexible in general. If a company has already made some investment in hardware, we have the ability to adapt our software to their hardware.”
This dovetails nicely with the evolution of the market, says his colleague Koch. “Lots of small- to midsize companies were adopting the technology earlier than the larger companies, at least in construction,” says Koch. “In transportation, it’s totally different – all the big guys were the first movers. In construction, it seemed like the small and mid guys were the leaders and the large guys are the laggards, but the large guys all have dabbled in stuff. What we found most is that they’ve all played a little bit with the OEM products.” Many of those users have had mixed experiences, and the resulting diversity of their equipment fleets makes it challenging “to have their machines talk to one another,” he says. “What we have seen recently is that some of the large guys are ready to really transform and put the technology in their entire fleet, and that’s really exciting for us,” due to the service, integration and support abilities of a platform solution.
“The technology by itself doesn’t solve the problem,” says Koch. “You’ve got to implement it, and you’ve got to put the business practices around it, and you’ve got to train people.”
In the eyes of Dexter + Chaney’s Mathews, it boils down to “more of a mindset” from a company’s senior management. “Our software doesn’t make them grow. We’re not going to land a new job for them. They’re going to have to run their business well,” he says. “But what we do is support that growth, and we will do it by keeping the overhead lower.
“Does senior management view software as a tool to grow their business and improve the financial results?” Mathews asks. “Or do they see it a necessary functionality that they just have to have,” such as a photo copier or fax machine. “Do you view it in that category, or do you really see it as a resource that can help you change the way your company works?”
Good questions to which the industry today has answers.v
Better Get to That Party
Construction companies adopting fleet management software solutions today are almost exclusively including their trucking assets, advises Telogis Fleet Division President Jason Koch.
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