Although still in its infancy, the telematics market in the Middle East is growing exponentially, according to MiX Telematics, a leading global provider of fleet management, driver safety and vehicle tracking solutions.
“The global connected vehicle market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 29 per cent from 2015 to 2020,” says Brodie von Berg, head of sales and marketing, MiX Telematics for Middle East and Asia, quoting Booz and Company.
“The demand and future key events such as the Fifa World Cup in Qatar and Expo 2020 in Dubai (UAE), have driven the increased competition and availability of products and solutions in the market. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to understand which solutions would be useful and work with established players in the market who offer comprehensive support and training in order to realise value from implementing any telematics solution,” he adds.
MiX Telematics’ main goal is to first understand its customers’ needs and requirements and then work closely with them in implementing a suitable and effective solution, according to von Berg.
“Our customers benefit in a number of ways from improved performance in either safety, efficiency, security and/or compliance. By utilising our global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, we are able to offer our clients turnkey solutions, including after-sales service and 24/7/365 support,” he points out.
One of the key solutions offered by the company is MiX Fleet Manager, an end-to-end fleet management solution designed to give fleet operators the tools they need to sustain a high-performing operation – one that’s operating at optimum levels of efficiency and safety.
This solution comprises an on-board computer, an online tracking and information portal as well as access to valuable fleet and driver reports and analytics. In addition, round-the-clock customer support is provided throughout the partnership MiX Telematics has with its customers.
MiX Fleet Manager includes a series of mobile applications that allow fleet managers to remain connected to their fleet at all times.
Complementing MiX Fleet Manager, another key solution the company offers is geared towards reducing accidents and improving safety. MiXSafeDrive is an integrated safety solution that trains drivers in defensive driving techniques and provides In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS) that allow for the monitoring of driver performance. It also allows safety officers to establish, review and audit systems, processes and strategies related to land transport safety. MiXSafeDrive guarantees results in reducing accidents, injuries and fatalities, lowering risk, liability and cost, according to von Berg.
He continues: “Telematics is the blending of computers and wireless telecommunications technologies, with the goal of efficiently conveying information over vast networks to improve a host of business functions. The most notable example of telematics may be the Internet itself, since it depends on a number of computer networks connected globally through telecommunication backbones.”
The term has evolved to refer to automobile systems that combine global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking and other wireless communications for automatic roadside assistance and remote diagnostics.
Commenting on the benefits of telematics solutions, he says: “Providing a safe working environment for drivers and other road users as well as improving fleet efficiencies are two paramount needs for companies. Usually, companies follow strict safety procedures and have rigid compliance requirements, so technology that supports these aims is essential. In addition, companies need to manage oil price fluctuations, replenishment cycles, and exploration and delivery schedules. All this has to be done while drivers are working, often in the most demanding, hostile, and harsh working environments.”
An effective fleet management solution offers many benefits to companies such as sustained reductions in accidents as well as related incidents of injury and fatality. As well as improving driver behaviour, vehicles are better maintained, also helping to ensure safety and compliance.
“Better drivers are also more economical drivers – many of our customers save hugely on fuel consumption as a result. On average, fuel costs are reduced by 10 per cent, often equating to millions of dollars saved. For companies with large, multi-location operations, a fleet management solution allows them see their entire fleet’s operation, allowing them to compare and boost performance, identify and resolve operational issues, and standardise processes.
“MiX Telematics has become experts in developing products and services that enable operators to comply with QHSE (quality, health, safety and environment) regulations specific to their business and region. One of our key customers in the region achieved a 72 per cent sustained improvement in driver behaviour only six weeks after installing a MiX Telematics fleet management solution. The same customer achieved a 15 per cent reduction in fuel costs within 12 months,” he adds.
MiX Telematics is growing and intends to utilise its knowledge, skills and technology to benefit as many customers as possible, without compromising on quality and ensuring a sustainable business.
“The challenges of civil unrest, unique regulations and sometimes poor connectivity are just that – challenges. I am proud to say that our experience has enabled us to work through the challenges alongside our customers, and deliver seamless services irrespective of the location of our customers. To offer consistent cross-border services, we utilise an extensive network of partners – some of whom have been part of our network for over 10 years,” he concludes.
In the construction field, MiX Telemarics has done extensive work with CCC (Consolidated Construction Company) which employs over 130,000 staff from more than 80 nationalities, in almost every country of the Middle East, Africa, Europe, CIS countries, the Caribbean, Australia and Papua New Guinea.