According to a new report from Escalent, a top data analytics and advisory firm, fleets may be overlooking the opportunity to better integrate connected services within the broader business and not just in terms of the vehicle. Decision-makers need assistance connecting the dots between connected fleet vehicles, deeper integration of company systems and solutions across the enterprise, and seeing how this can improve productivity and efficiency.
On average, companies use eight connected services, and one-third (34%) of companies use at least 10 connected services. Four in ten use telematics today, with Verizon Connect and AT&T noted as the top two providers in the study.
Shifting to the broader ecosystem of connected business, many invest in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to centralize and organize business functions such as financial and accounting, human resources and customer relationship management, among others. Of the 71% of fleet businesses that use ERP modules, only 21% have a single ERP provider. This is juxtaposed to the 66% of fleet decision-makers who, valuing simplicity and efficiency, find it important to minimize providers of connected services within their operations. This underscores the opportunity that exists for a market leader to emerge and deliver one comprehensive solution that allows fleet decision-makers to corral all data from disparate systems, including vehicles.
“Service providers and vehicle manufacturers need to proactively insert themselves into the connected services education process and purchase journey to ensure fleets are receiving the most accurate and relevant information,” said Lucas Lowden, insights consultant and program lead of Fleet Advisory Hub™ at Escalent. “Nearly one-half of fleet decision-makers conduct internet searches to learn about connected services, providing a stark potential for margin of error. As trusted advisors, properly educating fleet leaders to overcome false perceptions of connected services will further solidify those relationships with commercial vehicle and fleet businesses.”
Those are the latest findings from Fleet Advisory Hub™, a leading insights tool designed by Escalent to explore the needs, expectations and emotions of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-makers. The newest report, Connected Services: The Intersection of Connected Fleet and the Enterprise, explores the state of connected services and the decision-making process that enables adoption by fleet companies—deliberately going beyond take rates of vehicle telematics and vehicle-focused services to build a bridge to understanding the overall ecosystem of connected businesses that operate vehicles.
Investing in connected services is a highly collaborative decision-making process. One-quarter of primary decision-makers solicit input from colleagues and another third participate on a committee to evaluate services and business implications before making an investment. In a shared decision-making approach, there are four business areas on average that are a part of the process, with the top four being fleet operations (41%), IT (38%), finance (34%) and office management (33%).
Sixty-five percent of fleet decision-makers report their own personal experiences with technology influencing some of their business decision-making, with another 27% saying they try to align their business with personal tech as much as possible. Additionally, a third of fleet companies report a “bring your own device” policy—allowing employees to use their personal mobile phones and tablets for business purposes. Yet, many fleets are not implementing security protocols to prevent unauthorized access to company networks, data and applications. For service providers, there’s a significant opportunity to raise awareness of the security risk and help companies value the importance of protecting the company’s assets.
Fleet Advisory Hub is one of the largest collections of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-maker insights available on the market today. Currently, nearly 12,000 fleets collectively numbering more than one million vehicles are represented.
To learn more about the study, visit escalent.co.
The results reported come from our 2022 report on the ecosystem of connected commercial vehicle and fleet businesses and comprise a subset of commercial vehicle and fleet decision-makers drawn from the Fleet Advisory Hub audience. Participants were recruited from an opt-in online panel of business decision-makers and interviewed online. Escalent will supply the exact wording of any survey question upon request.