From reading about it in countless articles within trade magazines to conversations with peers, it’s easy to understand that telematics can bring a lot of benefits to rental businesses. While it’s impressive to hear about all the data that can be collected from equipment these days, more data to comb through can be bit overwhelming.
Data, on its own, may feel like one more thing a rental company needs to process and make actionable. And to a lot of people in the rental industry, telematics used to feel like that — more work. However, today’s telematics programs have evolved from just data to actionable information, allowing rental companies to manage fleets more efficiently, saving time and reducing operating costs.
The key to transforming equipment related data to actionable information is the evolution of the telematics software platforms. It used to feel like telematics platforms were designed to work within a closed system. And if you were running a mixed fleet, you would have to access several different software programs to keep track of it all.
Today, manufacturers, including Genie, give users the ability to choose which telematics software they want to use through the introduction of standard ISO application program interface (API).
In the case of telematics, rental companies can now access equipment information using the manufacturer’s proprietary platform or can set up another system to pull data from their telematics-enabled equipment. Keep in mind, not every telematics platform is the same. So, it is important for rental companies to choose one that provides the best user experience and presents telematics data as actionable information.
Data is only valuable when it is transformed into actionable information. For example, with the Genie® Lift Connect™ telematics solutions, there is a focus on providing fleet managers with actionable information to help increase rental return on invested capital (rROIC).
The collected data is transformed into actional information that can assist with inventory control and preventive maintenance.
• Inventory control
– Where is your equipment?
– Is it operating, or is it sitting idle?
> What position is the key switch in?
> Is the parking brake engaged?
– How many hours are on the machine?
– How often is the machine being used per week/month?
– How long is the machine being used for each day?
– Is there a fault present?
• Preventive maintenance
– When was the last scheduled maintenance?
– How many hours are on the engine?
– How many hours has the engine run on this particular rental?
• Remote diagnostics
– Understanding challenges operators are facing remotely
– Avoiding costly service visits for issues that can be handled remotely
– Having the right part needed before making a service call
Using telematics as the hub for fleet management can do a lot for rental companies and their customers. If a machine goes missing, telematics can be used to quickly determine where it is. Ensuring that all preventative maintenance is performed according to schedule is no longer a tedious process. When a customer has an issue with a machine, rental staff can read any fault codes, real-time from their computer, while on the phone with the customer.
Telematics also means more proactive customer support, which helps them maximize on-the-job uptime. Quick responsive customer support is likely a big reason why customers choose their rental partners in the first place.
With the evolution of telematics technology and solutions, the time is right to embrace telematics. By providing actionable information to monitor and manage aerial fleets, rental stores can access and leverage data, as well as better understand and utilize the information to benefit their businesses and their customers’ operations.