Using telematics to achieve greater productivity and lower costs

By Kris Troppmann, regional technology manager for Finning Canada

Innovative software and data platforms are bringing a new kind of functionality to the construction jobsite – using connectivity to help monitor equipment, manage fuel costs and increase productivity.

From telematic devices that enable remote monitoring to digital inspection apps, there is a huge range of software now available in the construction market, all helping to make sense of the mountains of data being produced.

There has never been a more important time to get on board with the right technology partner. With so many options available, it can be difficult for companies to know what’s best for them and their business. Understanding and utilizing the right data can save you time and money in the long run.

Customize your telematics platform

Construction projects are becoming more and more complex, that’s why it is crucial to have the right software in place before you begin any job. The first step is to think about what you want to accomplish with your technology. Keep this goal in mind when adopting any new platform to ensure it can be customized to meet your unique business goals. Some operations stand to gain in efficiency and uptime by monitoring equipment use and location, while others are looking to decrease costly mistakes and rework.

Know what you want to achieve and think about solutions. The right telematics platform will easily integrate with other systems you have in place and give you a unified view of the health, location and productivity of your entire fleet.

Address connectivity challenges

Construction companies often face unique challenges when trying to connect operation of their equipment to the administrative side of the business. Addressing these challenges upfront and ensuring access to real-time data from the field can help projects stay on budget and on schedule, along with allowing site managers to stay on top of preventive maintenance and service.

Telematics can also provide information to operators and supervisors, including fleet hours and location, fleet availability and monitoring for idle time, fuel consumption and condition. Tracking idle time can save money, decrease emissions, extend engine life, reduce repair and maintenance costs and unnecessary depreciation.

The right technology and equipment partner will work with you to provide greater insights into how your machines are working for a better understanding of performance and upkeep to get the most out of your equipment.

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Today, many companies are achieving a competitive advantage over their peer groups by paying specific attention to operator performance and jobsite safety via their telematics software. Telematics software can be used to improve operator performance and identify potential training opportunities.

You can see and compare operation and productivity from day-to-day, understand machine use and idle times, or any potential misuse of equipment including machine overloading and speeding. 

Connecting to wearables can help you understand how your operators are performing, keeping track of safety issues like fatigue and ensuring site managers are on top of things, even when they’re working remotely.

Data can be used to identify how and where equipment is being operated and detect preventive maintenance issues early on to reduce costs and keep job sites safe.

With telematics, experienced operators can gain improved accuracy and efficiencies and those with less experience, typically require less training upfront.

Measure what matters

The proper use of data can improve almost every aspect of operations for companies of all sizes, yet it is easy to get distracted by metrics that don’t matter to your business.

Knowing how to apply the data is the greatest challenge facing companies today. Customizable platforms like VisionLink give you the option to choose the data you see, whether it’s just hours and machine location or asset health and inspection information, you customize the data you need to access and analyze.

Growing potential  

As jobsites continue to expand in size and complexity and machines get smarter, more and more information will become available. Construction companies need access to affordable, consistent and reliable software platforms to help monitor and manage data from their whole fleet. Once connected, the possibilities are endless; and using and applying the right data can play a key role in making better decisions, increasing productivity and improving jobsite safety.