There have been a lot of changes in our industry over the past five to ten years. Technology has revolutionized how companies are able to understand how their fleet is operating and make changes at an almost granular level. Business itself has changed too, with pressures from competitors across the globe (not just around the corner), increasing speed-to-market times and driving the need for continuous improvement and constant innovation. And the pace is likely to increase, not decrease.
It is incredible to think about, really. According to a report from the IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub, 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data are created each day and a modern vehicle has close to 100 sensors that can report on everything from tire pressure to the speed of the vehicle at any given time. And yet, one in three business leaders do not trust the information they use to make decisions and it is estimated that poor data quality costs the U.S. economy around $3.1 trillion a year. It’s a lot to take in. It can sometimes feel like a whole new – sometimes confusing – world.
In my mind, the days of simply providing a lease or a maintenance management solution are a thing of the past. While the tactical support that we provide remains important, the role we play with our clients has evolved and continues to evolve. Consider that in a span of 12 months, a fleet of 300 vehicles can accrue up to 15 million data points. That is a lot of information. It might be valuable, but that is hard to say with certainty if you don’t have the right tools in place. Simply having access to more data does not translate to insight. If fleet data is not manageable and actionable in real time, then it is doing your company no good.
Big Data and new technologies have empowered us to help our clients to be able to better understand quickly what challenges may exist and what decisions need to be made in order to overcome those challenges. Our clients expect us to deliver tools and solutions that allow them to look at something that may be very complex and understand their options easily and almost instantaneously. They want tactical guidance, practical recommendations, sound insight and knowledgeable suggestions about best practices, all based around real-time data. They want a strategic business partner, not just a fleet management company.
One of the ways ARI is working to provide that added value is through predictive analytics. In other words, we’re helping fleets apply statistical algorithms to their data to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on their organization’s historical fleet data. This is helping provide increased transparency and empowering companies to take action before problems occur. For example, predictive analytics and a concept called “management by outliers” can help quickly identify exactly which vehicles are not performing as they should, rather than evaluating report after report on an entire fleet. This allows companies to focus their resources and empower their employees to work smarter and more efficiently, which in turn can have a positive effect for the business as a whole and deliver that competitive edge that pushes a business forward. And at the end of the day, that’s the goal – because if our clients do well, we do well.