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Peter Millichap's blog: The future of fleets

Date: 04 July 2017

From around the clock customer expectations to increasing insurance premiums, Peter Millichap, UK marketing director at Teletrac Navman, discusses the changing landscape of fleet management and advises how keeping up with these changes is instrumental to a company's success moving forward.

24/7 Consumer Expectations

We now live in an always-on economy. Consumers want their online purchases immediately and have little patience nowadays if a company doesn't meet their expectations - such as same or next day delivery.

The implications for traffic are complex - the time and routing of each delivery is based on a number of factors such as time of day, residential or office premises, and the total number of deliveries required by the fleet.  Fleet managers should operate more like an air traffic controller, with so many variables and assets requiring direction.

Teletrac Navman expects to see more deliveries at night and at varying times of day to suit the changing consumer landscape - and fleet managers will need to respond and put a plan in place - the days of a 9-5 operation are over!

Driver wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is, quite rightly, extremely high on the agenda in this industry at the moment. Business owners need to make sure their drivers have a good quality of life and reduce driver stress levels as much as possible to keep drivers and other road users as safe as possible.

Stress can impede even the best drivers' ability to stay in control and focussed. Telematics can help road-related stress by planning the most efficient route to avoid traffic or inappropriate roads, whilst also ensuring a vehicle is roadworthy (to prevent breakdowns) - all of these factors contribute to helping your driver be in the right place at the right time, keeping the end customer happy.

In-cab dash cams can also help make drivers feel safe, as they can have peace of mind that there will be video evidence in the event of a crash, whilst also enabling fleet managers to monitor driver behaviour.

Having attractive policy's in place for driver well-being will also help you attract the very best to employees to your organisation - so everybody wins.

Insurance Premiums

Businesses should be aware that insurance premiums will continue to increase - and it's an issue which one of Teletrac Navman's partners Jelf, a financial consultancy expert, believes fleet managers need to be more aware of.

The recent Ogden rate change will have a significant impact - serious life changing injury awards are going to increase substantially, meaning insurance companies are going to have to retain more in reserve.

Underwriters are now looking at a variety of factors which fleet managers should consider in terms of their future expenditure - these include claims experience, the frequency of incidents and what costs have been incurred, and the type of business operation - is it a fleet of large or small vehicles, and what goods are being carried.

Telematics can help to reduce insurance premiums however businesses must be proactively using it and have evidence of how it helps them manage risk in order to reduce their insurance premiums.

Road Safety

With a greater urbanised society and more deliveries, road safety has become a genuine concern for policymakers.  Transport for London (TfL) has reported that HGVs are currently responsible for just 4% of road miles in London but involved in 78% of fatalities.

As a result, TfL is now consulting on Direct Vision Standard (DVS) - a method for assessing and rating how much an HGV driver can see directly from their cab in relation to other road users.

Manufacturers who produce vehicles with a greater field of vision should be strongly considered by fleet managers in the future.

As previously mentioned, dash-cams can also help to improve visibility and safety for HGV drivers and other road users like, however cameras do not prevent all road incidents.  What will be the next big solution to come to the market?  Expect to see further innovation within this area in the coming years.

To conclude

There are a range of opportunities and challenges for businesses over the next decade - fleet managers should focus on identifying those opportunities which are most relevant for their sector and operations, and adapt solutions to fit their business model and their customers.

Peter Millichap is the UK marketing director at Teletrac Navman



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