Machine Monitoring: Standard Telematics Versus OEM-Managed Telematics

While telematics adoption has been slowly on the rise, the majority of fleet owners are primarily using only its most basic functionality to manage service intervals and react to alarm codes. Although helpful, this basic use is only scratching the surface of the technology’s capabilities and profit potential.

Challenges remain for many fleet owners who may see the benefits of more advanced telematics use, but may not be properly staffed or trained to take on the analysis themselves. That’s where Volvo saw an opportunity — to begin taking that burden off the customers by providing more streamlined remote diagnostics so that the fleet manager receives specific recommendations rather than mountains of data. Here’s a quick look at the problem with standard telematics programs and how OEM-managed telematics programs, such as Volvo ActiveCare Direct, offer the solution.

The problem:
Standard telematics systems alert the user for every single machine fault code — no matter how critical or noncritical. For instance, a fleet manager overseeing 100 machines might get 10 or more emails or texts per day with noncritical fault codes such as low windshield wiper fluid. Only a small percentage might be something critical that could lead to, for instance, engine failure if not acted upon quickly. With a cluttered inbox of easily ignored noncritical alerts, the likelihood of occasionally overlooking something critical is pretty high — potentially leading to downtime that could have been avoided.

The alerts from standard telematics systems also typically only let the fleet manager know what fault code went off, rather than offering a probable cause and a recommended solution. That means the fleet manager is ultimately responsible for diagnosing the problem and figuring out what to do about it.

The solution:
Volvo recognizes that data overload is a challenge to telematics adoption and has come up with a solution that helps address that challenge. Our team sorts through the clutter of machine fault codes, only alerting the machine owner or fleet manager when it’s critical in nature. Beyond that, when the alerts come straight from Volvo – they also come with information on the likely cause of the fault code, the recommended solution and even the potential consequences if not acted upon.

The financial impact:
Using this type of program allows fleet managers to react to critical situations faster and more accurately, thereby avoiding costly downtime and avoidable repair costs. It also helps the equipment dealer know exactly what tools and technicians to bring on site if a repair is necessary, thereby reducing the number of trips the contractor has to pay for.

Learn more about ActiveCare Direct.

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