Hindsight, foresight and insight
Almost unrecognisable from what it was 31 years ago, Ctrack by Inseego’s business of tracking and telematics has evolved to be a total business solution. GAVIN MYERS chats to Hein Jordt, MD of Ctrack
Ctrack by Inseego needs no introduction to readers of FOCUS. It has been an integral partner in the success of our Truck Test programme since its inception in 2012, and has provided accurate telematics data, which has ensured the most credible results possible.
However, the solutions in Ctrack’s arsenal are so much more advanced than simple track-and-trace. As Jordt explains, it’s now all about being proactive.
“When we started the business, it was all reactive. Today, it’s not just about where the truck is and what it’s doing, but also how the driver behaves, projections on time of arrival, optimising the fleet as a whole, and assisting the operator to maximise the benefit of the solution and operational efficiencies of his vehicles,” he explains.
It is a highly dynamic environment that requires constant innovation, collaboration and support.
Everything Ctrack does is guided by five key management areas. “Every operation has a requirement for any one of these five pillars to fully and effectively manage its assets,” says Jordt.
It begins with asset management and risk management. No matter how many vehicles there are in a fleet, risks always need to be managed and reduced. “Software reports and alarms have been developed to alert and mitigate risks for fleet owners and operators as far as possible,” Jordt notes.
Cost management is another pillar and a crucial factor for all operators in today’s uncertain economy. “We provide insight into cost structures for a fleet, as well as cost management – in terms of distance travelled, when to replace vehicles, fuel consumption, and so on.”
Production and Utilisation (or making sure that the vehicles are fully utilised) is pillar number four. “Ctrack software has a live productivity report which gives a real-time snapshot of what each vehicle is doing. Optimising utilisation assists with managing overtime, over-utilisation, maintenance and other fleet related costs,” Jordt says.
The last pillar, operational control, is of utmost importance to operators as it is so closely related to customer service.
“We’ve structured the pillars to allow us to grow with our customers and increase the efficiency of their business by bringing it full circle by starting at any one point,” Jordt says.
Increasing customer efficiency is core to what Ctrack offers. In this regard it provides a number of solutions, two of which are fleet-monitoring services and business-consultancy services.
“Our fleet-monitoring service manages the five pillars on behalf of the customer from the Ctrack Support Centre. This allows operators to focus on their business and provide high levels of customer satisfaction.
“Ctrack business consultants help customers to ensure they maximize the use of Ctrack to their benefit, Business consultants could spend up to three months on site with a customer that subscribes to these services, which is followed by monthly maintenance to ensure optimal value is derived from their telematics solution. Detailed analysis is carried out in each area of the business process to identify and understand potential areas for improvement and recommend improved usage of the system,” Jordt explains.
If needed, Ctrack also calls on specialist partners to assist with optimising the fleet, routing and scheduling, to enhance compliance to customer requirements.
“There is a great need for third-party integration to create a holistic view of the organisation, instead of a silo view of the telematics. Today, telematics plays a crucial role in validation,” Jordt reiterates.
With such a need for flexibility and innovative solutions, how does Ctrack stay on top of it all?
“We have a ‘blue sky team’ that continually focuses on research and world trends, while interaction with customers provides an insight into their needs and how we can improve our current products,” Jordt explains.
As it was more than 30 years ago, Ctrack’s software was developed right here in South Africa, while the company’s agility and global footprint have recently been enhanced by its US-based parent, Inseego Corp.
“Today, South Africa is still a pioneer in this industry. Our systems are so advanced because of the environment in which we had to operate, and the innovation this has required. In some instances, other countries are now encountering some of the economic risks and theft problems we’ve dealt with for a long time. Holistically, the biggest challenge in South Africa is that our communication infrastructure and costs thereof lag behind the rest of the globe,” he concludes.
That does present a challenge, but it also means there’s definitely more innovation to come…