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Improve safety and visibility with utilities telematics

03 Mar 2021 (Last Updated March 16th, 2021 17:12)

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Improve safety and visibility with utilities telematics

Be it power, water or gas, utility organisations face distinct challenges in ensuring the safe operation and management of their networks and facilities. Couple that with the fact that the industry is becoming increasingly more competitive, it’s easy to see why fleet management solutions are being deployed more widely to gain visibility into day-to-day operations, improve safety and better help meet regulatory and customer compliance demands.

Keep workers safe and sound

The safety of your team should always be a priority but to maintain this safety, you need to know exactly what’s happening while they’re out on the job. Utilities staff often work in remote locations and face environment-related risks. Lone worker safety has become a focus across utility organisations due to the fact that many staff members have to travel long distances, drive vehicles after working hours, and need to maintain and develop utility infrastructures in potentially hazardous conditions.

Telematics makes it possible to know where your drivers are at all times through GPS tracking alongside a panic button option that can be used by workers to notify base in the event of an incident. When you consider that, statistically, 65% of workplace fatalities involve a work vehicle*, it makes sense for utility fleets to use fleet management solutions to keep an eye out for poor driver behaviour patterns such as speeding, harsh braking or sharp turning and then address these behaviours before a crash occurs as a result.

Improve visibility

Knowing where your assets are in the field helps to manage risk, improve security, and streamline fleet operations. Traffic delays, service delays and accidents can all negatively impact performance. Even more importantly, when your daily schedule goes off the rails, then customers’ expectations will not be met leading to customer dissatisfaction.

With GPS fleet tracking solutions, it becomes easier to dispatch and navigate staff to their locations and assign drivers to jobs. Having the information you need in real-time ensures that routes or schedules can be changed in the moment to help drivers stay on time. In addition, when you can track vehicles are on a map, you can help any driver who may have become lost in unfamiliar areas.

Track your costs

Rising fuel prices and the high costs associated with ensuring adherence to government regulations and compliance requirements are ongoing challenges within the utility sector. Better planned routes for drivers, optimized fleet usage and reduced fuel costs through improved driver behaviour are all ways you can mitigate these challenges and are made possible with telematics.

Fleet management costs can be further reduced with safety and maintenance improvements that will help to keep vehicles on the road longer. As vehicles age, they require maintenance more often. That’s why it’s important to reduce ownership costs as much as possible. Notifications can be created through telematics software that will alert you when vehicles are due for a service. In turn, this means vehicles can be scheduled for maintenance ahead of time rather waiting for an emergency appointment should a vehicle breakdown while out on the job because maintenance wasn’t kept up with properly.

Companies that use telematics have seen benefits that go above and beyond improved safety and higher visibility. Typically, results include improved fuel usage of up to 15%, crash rates reduced by 50% and wear and tear costs lowered by up to 15%.  In an industry that truly values operational efficiency and strives to improve processes, a GPS fleet tracking solution is a undoubtedly a beneficial addition to any utility fleet.

*SafeWork Australia 2016

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Five service industry fleet challenges that telematics can fix

While each service industry fleet encounters its own unique problems, MiX Telematics has identified a number of universal challenges for the sector. These include asset management and utilisation, dangerous driving, vehicle maintenance, and journey management.

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