Table of Contents
•Integrated monitoring and management of multiple types of remote assets (workers, fleet vehicles, and/or portable equipment in the field)—available for viewing on a single web-based portal--is perceived by a majority of North American businesses as a high-value capability. In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey, x percent of mobile and wireless decision-makers in North American companies stated that this integrated mobile resource management (MRM) capability would be “very valuable” to their organizations.
oOnly x percent of the total survey sample saw no merit to being able to track more than one asset type at a time utilizing an integrated platform.
•Despite this high level of interest, it is the rare application vendor that has created a comprehensive platform capable of monitoring all three types of remote assets.
•Integrated MRM is a nascent market in North America. Frost & Sullivan estimates that only a minority, approximately x percent, of all current mobile tracking customers are monitoring multiple asset types.
oToday’s two-asset use case typically begins with a fleet telematics solution and then adds either a mobile workforce management or portable equipment tracking capability.
oThe three-asset use case commonly resides in the oil and gas industry, where it is typical for a single company to have a sizeable number of service workers, fleet vehicles, and portable equipment out in the field, all at the same time.
•The vast majority of mobile workforce management, fleet telematics, and portable equipment tracking solutions are designed as standalone solutions. Unfortunately, deploying multiple siloed MRM/tracking solutions can result in unnecessary customer expense and frustration due to duplicative deployment processes and training requirements, lack of user-friendliness, multiple vendor interfaces, and a lack of integrated reports and analytics.
•While this market is still young, Frost & Sullivan expects two- and three-asset tracking needs to steadily grow as businesses realize the value of real-time visibility across multiple resource types. A sub-set of the customers that currently utilize a single-asset tracking solution are high-potential targets for adding real-time remote visibility around a second or even a third asset category.
•Businesses that are attempting to actively manage remote resources are encouraged to think long-term and evaluate mobile tracking and management solutions that address multiple asset types in an integrated fashion, based on a common software platform. Potential benefits to this more integrated and comprehensive approach can include economies of scale, easier deployments, richer reports and analytics, and happier employees and end-customers.
An Exercise in Frustration
•In North America, tens of millions of fleet vehicles, field workers, and pieces of remotely placed portable and semi-stationary equipment operate outside of a company’s four walls.
•For businesses with remote resources—workers, vehicles, and/or portable equipment in the field—the lack of real-time visibility into the company asset’s location, activities, and condition can result in administrative disconnect. Businesses are essentially expected to manage these resources while having only the most tenuous grasp of where the resources are located, what the resources are doing, or in what condition the resources are functioning.
•The results of this lack of visibility can include:
oIncreased costs—Drivers can run up fuel costs by abusing their trucks with excessive idling, acceleration, or hard braking.
oReduced quality of service—Response times and service level agreements (SLAs) are compromised when routing and dispatch are not optimized.
oDecreased productivity—Service workers attempt to repair equipment without proper instruction or necessary parts.
oHigher risk—Thieves can steal an expensive, unsupervised piece of equipment sitting in a remote location.
•Self-reporting on the worker’s part—typically checking in via phone—is a helpful option, however, it is also reactive and not verifiable. Poor worker decisions and deceptive actions can take place and are often revealed too late to rectify.
Mobile Technologies Aid Visibility
Wireless and location technologies have made it possible to address the issue of worker/vehicle/equipment visibility. Simple tracking software applications—coupled with powerful wireless data networks, long-lasting mobile devices, sensors, and GPS locationing--can quickly identify and verify the whereabouts and activity of a remote resource. However, this industry has rapidly evolved beyond simple location monitoring to provide significant value-add, including:
•Real-time work process management
•Optimized routing and scheduling
•Monitoring of environmental conditions
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