The phrase telematics is being used more often in the business world. It has become an especially popular term in the small business marketplace. Many business owners are wondering exactly what it means and if it even affects them. This article will explain the basics of telematics for small business starting with a definition. According to the Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition telematics is defined as:
the branch of science concerned with the use of technological devices to transmit information over long distances.
While technically correct, this may not help you understand understand what telematics really means to you or your business.
Telematics: GPS, Computers And More
Recently the term telematics has been adopted throughout the logistics and fleet management fields. They use it to describe technology monitoring the movement of vehicles. Tracking work trucks on their daily routes is an example of telematics. Electronically monitoring fuel usage and mileage is another common example. As technology becomes less expensive and easier to use, more businesses are incorporating telematics into their everyday operations. This helps them increase efficiency now while planning for the future.
For example, imagine a local plumbing company with eight work trucks. The owner installs a GPS tracker unit into each truck. A smartphone app gives him data on all eight truck which he uses in a number of ways. He tracks employee hours without a time clock simply by monitoring when each truck leaves in the morning and returns at night. He can also confirm how long a truck was at a service call to easily figure billable hours. An automatic alert even informs him if one of his drivers exceeds 65 miles per hour. By seeing how busy his eight trucks are each day he can judge whether it is time to start considering a ninth!
Tracking systems already offer useful fleet management features to small businesses. Built in mileage and maintenance reports cut paperwork. Live vehicle tracking optimizes dispatching. Customized reports present information in the most useful ways for individual companies. Email and text alerts can even minimize the time spent monitoring the tracking system. Just as accounting, shipping, inventory and HR were revolutionized by technology, fleet management is changing.
The Future Of Telematics
In recent years, cheaper computer and GPS technologies brought small business many new tools. Exciting advances are still coming, though. Research firm MarketsandMarkets™ expects the GPS tracking device industry to more than double by 2023. They predict it will become a $2.89 billion dollar market, largely because of the growth in telematics. Vehicle GPS trackers will lead to automated dispatching systems, computer scheduled maintenance and more. Additional technologies will also be a part of the telematics boom. Self driving vehicles are being tested today. These may not be practical in the next couple of years but other advancements will enter daily use. Soon automated in-vehicle inventory systems and real time dashcam streams will be available and affordable.
In the last few years computers and cellular phones have undoubtedly changed your industry. Telematics will continue to bring advancements. Prepared business owners will gain powerful and affordable management tools. However, you do not have to wait. You can integrate telematics into your management strategies today. Contact GoTrack today to learn more about GPS tracking for your business.