When fleet operators are suitably equipped, they are guaranteed to see an increase in profitability as a result of improved fuel consumption, driver behaviour and equipment use while ensuring the safety of their employees and security of their vehicles, says fleet management solutions provider MiX Telematics commercial director Grant Fraser.
He notes that, generally, challenging economic conditions and a weak rand exchange rate have had a significant impact on supply chains across local industries and, like many other sectors, the materials handling and logistics sector is under pressure to streamline operations and reduce costs. “Going forward, the industry is going to have to innovate and get smarter about the way in which it manages its business operations if it is going to remain sustainable and grow.”
In line with this, MiX Telematics has primed its product offering to ensure it can provide fleet operators with solutions that optimise routes, increase productivity and improve service and maintenance scheduling, besides other benefits. The company launched MiX ReportMyDriving in May, providing an affordable and efficient driver-monitoring service that assists fleet owners in improving driver behaviour while promoting road safety.
“The idea behind this programme is simple: the vehicle will have a MiX ReportMyDriving sticker displayed on it, enabling other motorists to identify and report high-risk drivers to fleet managers. This, however, has the power to reduce the company’s on-road risk profile by identifying high-risk drivers who require additional training and recognising good drivers.”
The service aims to help companies motivate their drivers to prioritise safety during their journeys, which will reduce accidents – minimising human and financial losses – while lowering vehicle insurance-related costs, reducing the number of traffic fines received by drivers, decreasing the fleet’s maintenance expenses and demonstrating that the business takes risk management responsibilities seriously.
MiX ReportMyDriving is supported by a 24/7 MiX Journey Management Centre that operates the call centre and the incident investigation process that follows the reporting of a driver. Once an incident is reported, the driver’s manager is notified and receives a system-generated report.
If the client also has a MiX Fleet Manager solution in place, additional vehicle and driver data will be used to investigate the driving incident. The telematics information can be used to determine which driver identification tag was used for the vehicle involved in a reported incident, thus confirming the identity of the driver responsible.
The telematics data will also confirm that the vehicle was at the reported location and provide additional information such as the speed at which the vehicle was travelling at the time. If a MiX Vision in-cab video solution is in place, the video and audio footage at the time of the reported incident will also provide additional information to analyse the event in detail.
“Our biggest clients for this programme to date include freight and fast-moving consumer goods leaders Imperial, Barloworld and Unitrans; however, this solution is not limited to these industries and can be used by any company that has a fleet of vehicles,” highlights Fraser.
MiX Telematics offers a range of other monitoring and control solutions that can be used independently or in conjunction with MiX ReportMyDriving to further assist fleet operations.
The MiX Journey Management tool offers an electronic alternative to paper-based manual journey management, facilitating the coordination of inbound and outbound goods without the risk of human error. Fraser notes that the solution features several functions that ensure that all information relating to the cargo’s journey is presented in a clear and efficient manner to facilitate quicker decision-making.
The solution facilitates risk assessments of the driver, the environment and the assets in transit before the journey begins, as well as real-time monitoring of the trip, providing notification for operations staff if a driver deviates from a route plan.
Meanwhile, the MiX Telematics FM Lite-S – developed specifically for the materials handling industry – monitors equipment performance, allowing the owner immediate access to the location of the vehicle, the engine meter reading and improved service planning tools. To reduce fuel costs and maximise production, this solution enables the fleet owner to have remote access to critical, real-time meter readings. Elements such as driving, idle and parking times can, thus, be monitored, assisting in curbing unnecessary fuel consumption.
Further, the MiX Telematics Forklift Manager provides a telemetry solution for warehousing equipment by monitoring operator and machine performance and use. The system improves productivity, enhances safety and reduces costs associated with machine maintenance, and damage to facilities, equipment and products in any warehouse environment.
With this monitoring system in place, the company says operator accountability is improved, behavioural risks are reduced, machine use is increased and repair costs are lowered, all of which result in better productivity.