The Australian Financial Review spoke to Travis Osborne, CEO of Mobile Tyre Shop, about how he uses telematics in his business to service the fleet and consumer tyre market.
How long have you been using a telematics system?
We’ve been using telematics for just over 12 months. Looking back I can’t believe how we operated our service vehicles by relying on a whiteboard and constantly calling staff to understand where they were.
Also prior to installing telematics there was some apprehension shown by some team members about management having full visibility where they were and what they were doing. It didn’t take long for them to realise they were actually better off as they weren’t having to constantly update the support office on their whereabouts, and as they were operating by themselves it was also inherently safer that we all knew where they were.
What are the main features of the system that you use?
Our telematics integrates directly into our scheduling and job dispatch system. Everything from customer information, job descriptions and invoicing is sent directly to our team member via their smartphone. Once the job is accepted it provides the technician the best route to follow and estimated time of arrival.
The support team has full visibility of where our vehicles are at any time and are able to provide our customers with an exact appointment time. We monitor everything from delays in traffic, travel times, the time spent at each job, safe driving practises, time sheets and even vehicle running costs through our telematics.
Are the benefits offset by the initial and ongoing costs?
With the system we chose there were no upfront costs. We pay a monthly subscription based on the number of vehicles we operate. We were amazed by the efficiencies we were able to achieve. Not only were we able to significantly improve our customer service but found we were often able to include several extra service calls per day just be being more efficient with our resources and route planning. The subscription pays for itself many times over.
You’re a small business, do you think large businesses could get the same benefits from a similar system on more vehicles?
Without hesitation. Prior to installing telematics we were constantly calling our technicians to get updates on where they were, whether they had been to a particular customer yet and how long until they would be at the next job. All businesses that have more than several vehicles must integrate telematics into their work practises.