A utility fleet vehicle servicing a home

How a Utility Fleet Benefits from Telematics Data

Utility telematics data can help supercharge your utility fleet, providing you with wide-ranging benefits that make utility fleet management more accessible and more intuitive. These tools can generate data that can give you insights into how your utility fleet is performing and what you can do to improve your operations.
How a Utility fleet can benefit from telematics data

Utility telematics data can help supercharge your utility fleet, providing you with wide-ranging benefits that make utility fleet management more accessible and more intuitive. These tools can generate data that can give you insights into how your utility fleet is performing and what you can do to improve your operations. They take the guesswork out of utility fleet management and allow you to make data-driven decisions.

In the wake of an extreme weather event, utility telematics data can help you provide better customer service. When bad weather strikes, you need to get your equipment and crews into place safely and quickly. Fleet telematics can help you manage routes, drivers, and vehicles and make quick, data-driven decisions about your most critical assets. Utility companies rely on fleet telematics to improve their fleet’s compliance, safety, and productivity.

Let the utility fleet telematics experts at MiX by Powerfleet break down how fleet management software can help utilities improve safety and efficiency and reduce costs.

How Utility Fleets Benefit from Telematics Data

1. Moving from Preventive to Predictive Maintenance

Fleet management software can help you take a more targeted approach to your maintenance schedule. With preventive maintenance, you determine your maintenance schedule according to the condition of your fleet vehicles. This differs from preventive maintenance, which puts vehicles on a timed schedule for maintenance regardless of their condition. Some fleet management software provides valuable data to help you implement a predictive maintenance schedule. That way, you don’t waste your time servicing underutilized vehicles or risk neglecting overutilized ones. With fleet telematics data, it’s easy to schedule maintenance based on usage. You can ensure that your resources are not directed toward unnecessary care.

2. Improved Customer Service

Customer requests often require prompt attention from utility companies. During adverse weather events or natural disasters, drivers need to restore electricity, water, gas, or telecommunications quickly. Someone has to do this dangerous work, and fleet telematics can help this process go smoothly, providing you with the information you need to make decisions in real-time. Utility telematics data can help you record how much time your drivers spend with each customer. It can also help you track fleet movement, reduce idling time, and improve efficiencies so that you can meet your customers’ expectations. It also ensures that you can follow your drivers as they complete this dangerous work, which is reassuring for everyone when road conditions are unsafe.

3. Achieve Optimal Speed and Accuracy

Speed and accuracy are crucial elements of customer service in the utility industry. When something goes wrong with their utilities, customers want quick and accurate information about when they can expect them to be restored. Fleet telematics can assist with this by giving you a holistic view of your entire fleet.

When an outage occurs, telematics tools allow you to locate the nearest vehicle and plan the quickest way to respond. You can also send instructions and alerts to drivers and technicians. The tool may have the capability to pass information to customers. During an outage, you can share the vehicle’s location with them and give them a better idea of when service will be restored. This kind of fast, accurate information improves customer satisfaction, and it can cut down on calls from panicked customers who are worried about how long they’ll be without service.

How Fleet Management Systems Work

Fleet management systems enable utility vehicle fleets and their fleet managers to exchange information. This exchange of information is designed to improve safety, productivity, and compliance across the fleet.

Telematics for utility fleets comprises tracking hardware, cloud-based software, and mobile applications. Tracking hardware may include GPS and GSM hardware or AI- and ADAS-powered dash cams. More complex tracking hardware may require a technician to install, so there will be some downtime for the vehicle.

Alternately, some fleet management systems are hardware-free. They require only an app that provides vehicle tracking information to fleet managers and enables managers to send notifications.

How to Choose a Fleet Management Solution

Utility fleets have unique needs and require telematics solutions tailored to their industry. We unpack how utility fleet managers can select the right provider and product to meet the specific challenges they face. Look for fleet telematics companies that have:

1. Proven Results.

If you’re interested in fleet telematics, you probably like making data-driven decisions. It only makes sense to rely on the data to choose a fleet management solution. You want to work with a provider who can demonstrate their value by showing consistent results. The provider should be able to answer these questions about any of their products.

  • What’s the return on investment?
  • What savings on fuel costs can I expect?
  • What will I save on maintenance costs?
  • How will it impact productivity?
  • Will it reduce collisions, and if so, by how much?
  • By how much will it reduce my insurance costs?

Providers should be able to back up the figures they give you with real-world evidence from their clients.

2. A Focus on Safety and Sustainability.

Utility companies have several reasons for focusing on sustainability. As providers of electricity who play a role in building the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), some companies are looking to show leadership by using EV fleets. Or utilities may have EV fleets due to a parent company with carbon-reduction targets. Regardless of why you have an EV fleet, look for providers that share your vision and offer telematics products to support your goals for reduced carbon emissions.

Utility fleets may have to operate in hazardous conditions to restore service. Telematics can help with products that improve driver safety. Ensure that the provider understands the challenges you face with driver safety and ask for a demonstration of the specific product features to enhance safety.

3. Solutions for International Operations.

If your utility company operates internationally, you need to have confidence that your provider can deliver standardized solutions to all their teams. Companies need a unified fleet management platform that allows fleet managers to view data in one location. This simplifies fleet management and will enable you to get sharper insights into your operations.

If you follow these tips, it’s easy to find the right solution for fleet management for utility companies and start harnessing the power of data to improve your fleet operation.

How a Utility Fleet Benefits from Telematics Data
A utility fleet vehicle servicing a home
A fully-implemented and supported MiX by Powerfleet solution is guaranteed to improve driver safety and reduce accident rates while also lowering risk, liability and cost.

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