IoT Business Case #2: Fleet Management
In the first blog post of this IoT series we introduced a list of common IoT business paradigms F3 Wireless has come across over the years. In this segment, we’ll talk in more detail about “Fleet Management”.
Fleet Management is actually one of the most mature use-cases in IoT. There are a fairly wide variety of off-the-shelf services and devices related to Fleet Management. The fundamental idea is you have some means of tracking your “fleet”, and you can then use that information to be more efficient.
A fleet in this sense could be the 20 vans of a plumbing company, the 50 trucks of a gasoline delivery company, the 5,000 dumpsters of a waste management company or the 500 trailers of an agricultural co-op. All that’s required is that the group of things you are managing are mobile and owned by the same company.
“Be more efficient” can mean better use of:
- Time: Let sophisticated route planning software and real-time traffic information manage which units are dispatched to which locations, in what order and when.This means using your resources more efficiently while spending less hours to do it.
- Labor: Only service the units in your fleet that need it and spend less time in transit vs. the time spent billing.
- Fuel: Less transit time based on more efficient dispatching translates directly into fuel and maintenance savings.
- Capital: Better use of assets results in getting more billable work done with less total investment in expensive capital assets.
Which brings us back to the original IoT business incentives:
- Make money
- Save money
- Legal compliance
- Reputation protection
Let’s use the example of owning a pizza company where drivers deliver pizzas with their own cars. You offer a small incentive for the drivers to use a device in their car that reports miles driven, mileage, engine efficiency and even pollution generated. Once these things are measured, you can create ways to change them. For example, you can Increase your reputation with a carbon footprint reduction program. You can make money by documenting and selling carbon offsets. By documenting your driver’s compliance with speed limits to limit liability, you can work with insurance companies to turn that compliance into lower rates. Any part of your business that you can measure and manage better you can generally monetize.
Fleet Management offers new ways to measure your business, allowing you to make sizable improvements. It can create competitive differentiation by letting you provide customers with more information. It can also help manage customer or vendor expectations to improve your reputation, and document compliance with regulations.