The Hidden Business Value of Vehicle Data

by   |   May 19, 2016 1:30 pm   |   0 Comments

David Olson, Director of Product Management, Runzheimer

David Olson, Director of Product Management, Runzheimer

Thanks to the evolution of ambient, or system-generated, data capture technology, organizations’ business vehicle program data is a well of untapped value. Whereas business vehicle data once served exclusively to calculate employee mileage compensation, it now can be used to inform a multitude of other internal processes and operations.

Freed from their historical reliance on employee-recorded data, organizations can confidently use business vehicle metrics to reshape their business practices. As business vehicle technology continues to mature, it will deliver more granular insight into operations and allow organizations to make more informed decisions. Consider the following three areas in which business vehicle program data can help organizations become more agile and, ultimately, more profitable.

Sales Team Optimization

Many organizations already use business vehicle data to set smarter sales goals, but this is far from the only benefit business vehicle programs can offer sales teams. With rich vehicle data, businesses can move beyond simply setting benchmarks to identify and eliminate sales route inefficiencies and strategically target growing markets. More often than not, organizations unintentionally create poorly optimized driving routes that force sales representatives to backtrack between client sites, resulting in unnecessary road time and mileage expenses. GPS data extracted from business vehicle logs can help organizations identify wasteful, star-shaped driving patterns and provide contextual information to schedule more efficient, circular routes.

In addition, business vehicle data can lend perspective to sales staff performance reviews, mitigating the effects of external factors and ensuring a clearer focus on employee ability over circumstance. Firms can use this information to reward top performers – particularly in challenging or key markets – while offering additional training and support to stragglers. Using this business vehicle information in conjunction with other market information, businesses can remove much of the risk inherent in sales team restructuring by taking a data-based approach to allocating resources. Business vehicle data can reveal the most profitable products and locations within a given territory, granting organizations the ability to more closely match their sales teams to business opportunities.

Shared Service Expense Management

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Large organizations that employ shared service models can realize substantial benefits from incorporating business vehicle data into their decision-making processes. Business vehicle data offers a big-picture view into both internal and client-facing resource utilization, revealing trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. For example, business vehicle data might indicate that a client is consistently over or under-served, suggesting a need to renegotiate outstanding contracts or find new avenues to provide value. Similarly, unexpected but recurring needs at an internal site may point to a facility-specific resource, management, or training deficit that demands a longer-term solution.

Beyond client service, organizations can use business vehicle data to enhance their predictive capabilities, facilitating stronger spend management while presenting revenue growth opportunities. With more sophisticated insight into cost patterns, businesses can anticipate material and labor needs on a per-site basis proactively, preventing emergency spend and helping centralized teams better meet clients’ needs during peak seasons.

Service-level Agreement Monitoring

Across industries, firms struggle to prove compliance with service level agreements (SLAs), but business vehicle data offers a reliable way to verify contract adherence. GPS systems embedded in business vehicle tracking systems can verify when, where, and for how long company representatives were out servicing a client. This information can’t always concretely confirm that a service was performed, but it can, at a minimum, show that a representative visited the client location. This information may provide a shield during dispute resolution. As business vehicle data capture tools become more advanced, firms may expand these capabilities to track employees’ exact location on client premises, including which activities were performed at each stage of the visit.

Business vehicle systems’ GPS integration also grants corporate offices more insight into their organizations’ front lines. Access to accurate field logs has long been an obstacle to greater front-line transparency, but ambient business vehicle data can reduce the administrative burden on employees and streamline the reporting process.

Supplemented with contextual information from the business vehicle platform, logging software can automatically fill many data fields while providing suggested inputs for others, dramatically minimizing the time and effort required to create comprehensive records.

Facing increased competition, tight budgets, and an ongoing need for efficiency, organizations need to take full advantage of the data they already possess. Business vehicle data has a plethora of uses outside of mileage compensation and can be integrated with reporting and ERP systems to provide a more exhaustive view into a firm’s operations. From sales team optimization and SLA performance capture to shared services operations, rich business vehicle data allows organizations to eliminate sources of inefficiency and enhance transparency. By unlocking the value in their business vehicle data, organizations will be better equipped to address evolving business needs with fewer bumps in the road.

David Olson is the Director of Product Management at Runzheimer for its business vehicle solutions, and he’s responsible for the overall strategic product management and revenue growth for multiple business vehicle products. David has been with Runzheimer for the last eight years, and has previous industry experience at Fiserv and EDS.

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