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September is going to be a great month for Scania customers! Because, from that month, every single truck will be fitted with the innovative Scania Fleet Management System. CHARLEEN CLARKE gives customers a sneak preview …
Alexander Taftman, product and marketing director at Scania South Africa, smiles even more than usual when chatting about the Scania Fleet Management System. It’s easy to understand why. Come September this year, his customers are in for a real treat.
That’s because, with effect from that month, each of the company’s trucks will come standard with the Scania Fleet Management System. And, assuming that customers opt for the so-called Monitoring Package (more about the individual packages later), it’s free!
According to Taftman, the system is being introduced because Scania wants to help its customers become more efficient. “It’s all about connectivity. Our customers will be connected to each and every truck within their fleet – so they can optimise its performance. This means that hauliers can run a smarter transport operation with improved cost control,” he tells FOCUS.
At the heart of the system is the Scania Communicator, which is a bit like a black box on an aircraft. “It transmits data concerning the vehicle and driver performance – such as physical position, fuel consumption, driver data, trip reports, maintenance planning and emissions reports – back to the office for analysis on Scania’s fleetperformance.com web portal,”
Information on fuel consumption and vehicle and driver performance is provided in an easy-to-understand format that enables vehicle operators to see where improvements can be made. “We developed the entire system in-house and it’s designed for ease of use. It’s logical and simple to use. If an operator is stuck, there’s an online guide that provides assistance,” Taftman explains.
Customers can select from one of three packages. First is the Monitoring Package, which is free of charge. With it, operators get a weekly report sent to their email addresses. This report includes a PDF document that compiles the basic data on the fleet. “Customers receive basic operational data such as coasting, idling, speeding, heavy braking, fuel consumption and the carbon footprint per vehicle and for the fleet in its entirety,” reveals Taftman.
Next up is the Analysis Package. “With this, customers get access to a web portal, where they can – at any time – follow up on the performance of all the vehicles in their fleet,” explains Taftman.
An analysis tool, fairly similar to commonly used spreadsheet programs, is included, so customers can compile their own, purpose-built reports. The data can also be exported to Excel.
Included in the Analysis Package are several standard reports. “For instance, the system can generate environmental reports, which provide an opportunity to clearly show transport buyers what environmental footprint their transport is generating. This is becoming more of an issue in South Africa,” notes Taftman.
An exception report can also be produced. “Operators can set parameters for each driver and vehicle. They then get live feedback on how the vehicles are performing. They also receive notifications if any of those parameters are not being met. If a truck has a problem, error codes are transmitted immediately,” Taftman tells FOCUS.
The third package, the Control Package, has all of the above and also offers a location service. “Operators can look at a map and see exactly where all their vehicles are and how they are running. They get a comprehensive real-time report per vehicle. A transport log can also be produced per vehicle, which generates historical information. Zone alarms can be set and then, if a vehicle enters or leaves a zone, an alarm will sound,” explains Taftman.
The Scania Fleet Management System will initially be available in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and Taftman says it is a “door opener” to numerous other value-added services that will be coming soon. “But right now, we want to help our customers become more profitable – and this system will achieve just that. At the very least, it will make the drivers more efficient – and we all know the impact of drivers on the bottom line.”
Methinks that, come September, Scania customers will be smiling more than usual too …