Telematics will help manage an LCV fleet in the most effective way from a cost perspective as well as from a service perspective. The data that directly comes out of the vehicles will not only allow you to e.g. send the nearest driver to a customer but will also help you in measuring the time your people spend with the client (helpful for billing purposes) and to have an insight into the division of business versus private miles. Being able to do the vehicle diagnostics via telematics will help detect potential technical issues at an early stage or the need for vehicle servicing which can then be timely booked at an appropriate service station.
Although a recent LeasePlan driver survey showed that almost half of the lease drivers would feel relatively comfortable driving a vehicle that contains a telematics device, it can cause resistance from drivers and unions/works councils in view of privacy. Experience teaches us that the acceptance of telematics is higher if used for safety (driver and vehicle as company assets) and for business purposes (geolocation, time registration etc.).
All in all we can conclude that LCV fleet management requires a specialist approach; the topics on the agenda of the fleet manager will be the same as for a passenger car fleet (sourcing, cost savings, policies, driver management etc.) but it requires specialist knowledge to make the right decisions.
Nathalie de Vries, Consultant at LeasePlan International