Extending telematics into your construction equipment rental customer journey

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Welcome to the 2nd blog of our 4 part series focusing on how 2020 Was The Tipping Point for Equipment Rental Companies to focus on the Customer Journey.  

In this blog, we discuss how telematics is evolving to become smarter on how to collect critical informatics that helps connect a piece of equipment, the operator and the rental software to create new revenue streams.

Telematics is becoming more ubiquitous in the everyday rental of construction equipment fleets.  Therefore, the opportunity to take those investments and learn how to extend them has never been better.

What is telematics?

Telematics is actually formed by the words ‘Telecommunication’ and ‘Informatics’ = “tele & matics”.  Traditional telematics consists of a wide range of technologies, often including GPS and used to monitor equipment fleets related behaviours such as location, machine health, battery life, meter readings, hours of operation and idling.  

Telematics has gained increasing popularity amongst rental businesses, especially helping companies to know where their equipment is and where to find it when it’s stolen. However, the future of telematics will be pairing the vehicle informatics with the driver’s informatics unleashing a world of new possibilities and new rental models.  (See further down to learn more!)

The top 3 most common use cases for traditional telematics are internally-operations focused:

  • GPS Fleet Tracking: With GPS fleet tracking, keeping track of where all your equipment is located is a whole lot easier. Telematics solutions that integrate with equipment rental software will also allow for more seamless business operations processes as well as real-time updates.
  • Maximizing Fleet Utilization: Any large fleet owner knows that equipment can spend a surprising amount of time idle, both onsite and off the lot.  Idle time can also happen when a piece of equipment is turned on but not getting used, which can be unnecessary wear and tear on the machine.  Telematics can help operations ensure idling is reduced, and equipment utilization is increased.
  • Safeguarding Equipment from Theft: Lastly, most leading telematics and rental systems allow you to create something known as a Geofence. This is a virtual boundary that you set up that can trigger an alert if your assets enters or leaves a particular area—an excellent solution for reducing theft. 

 

The bright future of telematics for equipment rental fleets

As we mentioned, telematics, since it was born from hardware, has primarily focused on the equipment and not the people.  Most telematics solutions are collecting more data than ever and grabbing more granular data as well. 

Telematics has primarily helped the service and maintenance part of a construction rental organization as well as it’s fleet managers.  The data collected and insights are very much internally focused.

Therefore, telematics needs to connect vehicle equipment data insights into the people who use it.  Especially in rental, like uptime, utilization, proper usage and ensuring the safety of your customers is critical to the monetization strategy.

The ability to pair the vehicle data to people’s data opens up many new opportunities. Now rental companies will know which drivers, not just companies are abusing their equipment.  Ensure equipment is not being used in off-hour contracts.  Prevent equipment sharing and much more.

 

COVID will be remembered as the tipping point for contactless rentals and more 

Many industry analysts predicted the usage of mobile phones and new rental marketplaces were going to be the significant growth areas in the construction rental business.  The great debate has been when!

However, COVID will go down in history as the tipping point as it genuinely forced many industries to adopt new processes and procedures almost overnight and helped many organizations be forced to rethink how they can operate including construction.  

After the initial shock, like any transformation, including this digital one, companies are thinking of many new ways they can offer new services and offerings to their customers. And hopefully, not repeat the challenges of previous digital transformations in construction.

 

Connecting telematics to equipment access and digital key management software

Leading construction rental companies are looking into contactless entry solutions to help with a click & collect rental solution but quickly realizing how much more can be done once you have a full SMART Construction Rental solution which combines: 

  1. Telematics, 
  2. Rental ERP software, 
  3. Rental app and,
  4. Equipment access and digital key management software

Now you can control the entire customer journey while staying in control even remotely. 

Collecting, analyzing, displaying telematics data and recommending actions are usually the core functionality within telematics services. We believe that the rental industry will shift towards automating actions based on data. Actions that support a rental customer journey with a focus on contactless- and convenient rental.

Now that individual users can be digitally linked to a machine, the possibilities are endless on new business models, safety and compliance procedures, and so much more.  Traditional telematics provided great insights about a machine but lacked the capabilities to add the additional insights of who was using the machine with the telematics data.  Now add user access management controls on top, businesses quickly realize that they now have the ability to control their fleet in a way that makes everything more transparent and can stay in control.

Some of the most common new use cases being created by this digital transformation include:

  1. Reducing the personnel required to manage your rental lot
  2. Capturing new industry opportunities such as Jobsite rental / machine sharing with equipment pool on site
  3. Recovering weekend or evening rental use revenues
  4. Remotely enforce safety checklists and maintenance compliance
  5. Incentivize rental rewards for machines that were not abused
  6. And much more…

Extending telematics for Contactless Equipment Rental Summary

We believe that Covid-19 has accelerated the rental customer’s adoption of digital booking solutions and that it has paved the road for the adoption of true contactless rental.

True contactless rental becomes possible when combining different mature technologies in a smart way, and successful if the rental customers are ready to adopt. We believe that Technology- and Rental Customer readiness is optimum right now.

Perfect timing for leapfrogging into new rental business models that will de-commoditize the rental industry. 

If you are a telematics provider, let’s talk on how we can work together to bring more innovative solutions to our customers jointly.

Next in this series: Enabling new business models for equipment rental mobile booking apps!

Happy reading.

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