Using Data to Improve Your Bottom Line

In today’s fast-paced business environment, knowledge is power and data can be the dividing line between profit and loss.

Here are six ways to use machine telematics data to help improve your bottom line.

1. Historical information sharpens bidding accuracy. Data from the past shapes estimates for the future. Study telematics data from similar jobs to improve estimating accuracy. Look at the number of machines used, total operating hours, idle time logged, and fuel consumption. Also consider adjusting data for unusual circumstances—weather delays, supply disruptions, fuel price spikes, etc.

2. Utilization improves competitiveness. Equipment utilization is a critical factor in keeping bids competitive. Telematics data helps to compare how many hours a machine actually works relative to the number of hours it’s available to work. In general, if overall fleet utilization is less than 80 percent or specific machines run below 50 percent, the same amount of work can be done with less equipment, reducing a project’s total cost structure.

3. Customize maintenance and repair planning. Equipment manufacturers make general recommendations about maintenance and service intervals. Consider adjusting the manufacturer’s plan to real-world operating environments. Look at usage, idle time, fuel consumption and other data to recover the value and life built into the equipment, while maximizing uptime and reducing total costs.

4. Cut idle time. Idle time is a huge cost driver in extra fuel, unnecessary maintenance expenses, accelerated component wear, wasted warranty hours, and potential resale value. Tangible idling practices data—both at the fleet and operator levels—allows companies to identify, change, and measure progress in correcting problem areas.

5. Modify operator behavior. Well-trained operators can reduce operating costs. Historical telematics data help identify unsafe, inefficient, or abusive techniques in order raise operator skill level and structure training to address issues. Data captured post-training allows companies to communicate progress and reward success. It’s an objective way to assess training investment value.

6. Check insurance terms. Some insurance providers offer financial incentives for using GPS tracking and geo-fencing to monitor asset location and use. Telematics data used to reduce accidents, injuries, theft and other risks can result in big savings that cut fixed costs and extend the margin.

Telematics provides the data companies need to drive down costs and make more money.

by Jason Hurdis, senior market professional, Construction Materials Industry, Caterpillar Inc.

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