Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

How to Obtain Senior Management Support of a Telematics Program

November 2010, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

View a pdf of this article as it appeared in the magazine

Convincing senior management of the need for a telematics program in fleet can seem impossible at times. Several fleet management experts provide their insight on how to best achieve senior management support of a telematics program.

Keep Management Involved

During deployment and implementation, it is important to keep senior management involved and in the loop from the start.

"Make sure they understand how telematics can benefit the organization by providing them with regular reports on hot button issues, such as fuel savings, emissions reduction, or maintenance," said Mark Conroy, vice president, sales & marketing for Union Leasing. "For example, reductions in speeding can be correlated to fewer accidents and lower liability. Tracking vehicle diagnostics can be used to show reductions in maintenance costs and vehicle downtime. Fleet managers should be able to track ROI over time and communicate this information to senior management."

Wheels Inc. recommends obtaining buy-in from all managers by creating a "telematics deployment team."

This approach "will allow other stakeholders to find reasons to support deployment of the telematics program early on, and will allow for more support for program enhancement down the road. This will also ensure that senior management feels a sense of accountability for the success or failure of a program, making them more likely to be vocal and assertive in support of it," said Kimberly Clark, product application manager for Wheels.

The team can "champion an accelerated initiative to collect business cases from peers in operations, IT, sales, safety and compliance," noted Dyan Finkhousen, strategy leader, mobile resource intelligence for GE Capital Fleet Services. "The best way to win and maintain senior management support is to evaluate telematics solutions based on those business cases and their link to corporate goals - and maintain that focus throughout the deployment. Avoid getting distracted by the latest bells and whistles if they don't specifically address your operating objectives."
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