Why Industry-Leading Fleets Are Outsourcing BI

Michael CarrNovember 22, 2021

Fleet managers have plenty on their plates on a day-to-day basis, no matter the size of their fleet. In addition to keeping company executives happy and meeting goals each quarter, fleet managers handle all the moving parts that go into ensuring their trucks are on the road. Between constantly pushing to optimize fleet operations, keeping track of vehicle maintenance schedules as well as overseeing route planning and driver management, fleet managers wear several different hats.

Data analyst shouldn’t be one of them.

With the amount of data constantly coming in from telematics systems, fuel cards, drive cameras and more, it is unsurprising that fleet managers spend over 70 percent of their time simply trying to consolidate their data into something comprehensible. This leaves barely any time for drawing actionable insights from this data, in addition to carrying out all their other duties.

So, why not have this portion of the work done externally? Outsourcing data management and business intelligence is an option that can drastically free up any fleet manager’s time, leaving little room for mistakes or missed opportunities. Still, not all managers are on board with the idea. But why?

Common concerns about outsourcing BI

Fleet managers can have many hesitations when it comes to entrusting a company outsider with their fleet’s data. For many, it can be due to a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but the fact is, some fleet managers don’t even realize how their legacy systems are outdated and resulting in a vast amount of missed opportunities.

1. “No one knows our fleet like us”

Lack of domain knowledge is a major concern for fleet managers looking to outsource business intelligence, and it’s understandable why. Most data is pretty useless if you don’t know enough about its context to tell a story with it. This is why having people behind the BI platform that understand your company’s goals is essential in making the most of your data.

A data analyst is not the same as a fleet data analyst.

Many companies choose to keep this role internal, designating one person or team to breaking down data analytics for their fleet. But even this carries the risk of that person leaving the company and having to onboard a new person from the ground up.

READ MORE: Why Fleet Data Is More Powerful Than Ever

2. “We’re too busy right now”

Many managers avoid adopting business intelligence with the excuse that they simply don’t have the time. In reality, they are spending far more time wrestling data on their own than they would be if it was outsourced.

The idea of implementing a whole new system can seem overwhelming for a fleet that has been using the same solution for years, even decades. With Utilimarc’s BI platform, once data flow is established, managers can expect to see a custom dashboard within just a few weeks, instantly alleviating them of hours of tedious work.

3. “This isn’t right for my fleet”

Another misconception with many fleets is the idea that business intelligence is not suited for their specific fleet.

Fleets can serve very different functions and contain a wide variety of vehicle makes and models, so some managers feel that if their fleet isn’t uniform then implementing any type of new system will be a complicated process. However, a good business intelligence solution is malleable and will adapt to its needs. No fleet is “too unique” to benefit from BI. A quality business intelligence tool can be constantly updated and scaled as your fleet grows and evolves.

Measurable benefits of utilizing BI

Once implemented, an external BI platform will reap measurable rewards for a fleet, with the end goal of achieving dynamic, optimized and cost-effective operations.

1. Saving time and money

Two of the greatest selling points for outsourcing business intelligence are the long-term savings of time and money. Handing over the data management to a team of dedicated fleet analysts relieves a huge pressure off managers’ shoulders and gets rid of an inefficient process that often leads to slip-ups.

A BI platform is also key in pinpointing areas of improvement within your fleet, along with missed opportunities and areas where you are overspending. When dealing with such high-cost assets, any missed opportunity can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars of overspending. BI utilizes the information from a fleet’s various data streams to ensure nothing is being overlooked and costs are being kept at a minimum.

2. Making confident decisions

The best BI tool will give fleet managers reliable insight into their data that leads to confident decisions. In addition to the top-quality tool, Utilimarc offers a dedicated team that will understand your fleet’s needs from A to Z. With the two paired together, managers access their data through custom dashboards and reports that are easy to understand and confidently act on without further digging. Additionally, decisions are easy to explain and justify because they are clearly backed by data.

3. Unify your data streams

We all know that we can’t manage what we can’t measure. If you can’t view all of your data streams in one place, it can lead to complications throughout your fleet management strategy.

A business intelligence technology layer over the top of your data sources provides a multitude of benefits – from future-proofing your fleet to full-optimization of all fleet assets, processes and financials to meet your management goals.

4. Future proof your fleet

With data requirements growing, there is far more to keep track of and measure within your fleet today than ever before. The great thing about investing in a quality business intelligence tool is its ability to constantly adapt to changes without the need for upkeep on the manager’s behalf.

Once BI is outsourced and implemented, it is your team of analysts’ job to keep up with changes and ensure data is still actionable. This is important to note, as many managers view telematics as a sunk cost, when in reality, if it is used to its highest potential, it can greatly contribute to ongoing ROI.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, the data that your telematics devices, fleet management systems and other various sources collect can only have as much power as you allow. Without a thorough BI tool, there is plenty of untapped potential hiding away in disparate data streams.

When you take advantage of the power of BI and refine your data, it allows for impact and massive added value across the board. Fleet management teams become free to focus on the day-to-day upkeep of their assets, and they can be confident that their strategy and operations are fully optimized and cost-effective as possible.

If you’re interested to see how our platform and team of analysts are driving fleet success with telematics data, schedule a demo with us today.

Michael Carr

Michael Carr is an account manager at Utilimarc, previously attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. If you can't find him on a golf course, watching documentaries or a Formula One race, you can count on him being in the northern Midwest with a dog or two by his side. See more from Michael

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