It’s no secret that data analytics can be used to develop a robust risk management strategy for fleets in the commercial road transport industry.
What’s perhaps less apparent to many businesses in the sector is how the proficient application of data can optimise the areas that matter such as fleet performance, driver safety and wellbeing, and, most noticeably, reducing insurance claims frequency.
Zurich works closely with customers in several ways to provide risk prevention and mitigation advice.
Motor risk assessments and leveraging key partnerships with data analytics companies like Fleetyr can help fleets make better use of their data, which in turn, should result in better driver safety outcomes and operational improvements.
Maximising the benefits of data analytics can be achieved by knowing which data sets to assess and how to analyse it.
For useful insights on risk and resilience, there are a growing number of data sets available that can be interpreted in isolation.
But often, as Mervyn Rea, Head of Zurich Resilience Solutions (ZRS) observes, data needs to be cleaned and when it is merged with other forms of data, the insights become much richer.
“This is where our partners at Fleetyr come in,” he says. “In a modern fleet, data sets can be derived from telematics, other on-board technology, engine management systems, fuel cards, OEM specification data, GPS tracking, claims records and vehicle infringement data.”
In this way Fleetyr can offer precise insights that help businesses create a safer, healthier, more cost-effective fleet.
The actionable insights created are often far-reaching according to Tim Hill, CEO at Fleetyr.
“We use whatever they have, push it together, clean it and turn it into usable, structured data,” he says. “For us, though, our primary focus is the utilisation of assets. Everything starts and ends with utilisation. If you have appropriately utilised vehicles and assets, areas around running costs, emissions, operations, and safety are already made easier. There is a very high chance that you have too many vehicles in your fleet.”
Not only does ‘dirty data’ create poor choices, but it can also significantly affect operational integrity.
As there are no actionable insights with inaccurate data and reporting, Fleetyr connects multiple datasets and cleans them.
If the vehicle engine hours and odometer readings are incorrect or misaligned, for instance, how can a fleet properly schedule maintenance? To go ahead and schedule the maintenance without knowing the error operationally is to court trouble according to Tim.
“If you under-maintain the asset, you open yourself to safety issues, compliance, and costly breakdowns,” he says. “If you over-maintain the asset, cost and availability will become the problem.”
Looking at Fleetyr’s customer data during its first three months of using the platform, it was found that fleets consisting of light commercial or yellow plant vehicles have 1 in 3 vehicles that have been stationary upwards of 45 days in a 90-day period.
From the perspective of efficiency, simply reviewing and monitoring asset utilisation will provide a wealth of insights.
On top of this gauging fuel use and integrity efficiency, for say, meeting compliance objectives and managerial decision-making, are other key indicators where important data resides.
This can be salvaged through telematics data, and/or engine management, maintenance and fuel card data. A multi-layered analysis can, alternately, monitor driver behaviour.
“A fairly simple analysis of fleet asset data relating to tyres can lead to economic efficiency and improve safety,” says Mervyn.
“If additional driver-related procedures and remedies are implemented, this will improve safety, reduce crashes, increase business efficiency and avoid uninsured costs.”
Both ZRS and Fleetyr, to this degree, are complementary yet very different. ZRS uses Fleetyr for its data cleaning and analysis expertise to help customers improve fleet efficiency and safety.
Combining multiple datasets is critical to continuously improving safety and efficiency according to Tim.
“You might use telematics, OK, no problem, you will get some insights out of this,” he says. “But combining your telematics data with other safety software and hardware like pre-start apps, fatigue monitoring, and maintenance records creates a higher level of safety analytics.”
Looking into fleet efficiency is similar wherein combining multiple datasets like fuel, maintenance, and telematics and enriching it through, say, Fleetyr, with other data such as benchmarking fault codes and fuel economy, for two examples, will help fleet managers find anomalies in their fleet such as underutilised vehicles and high running costs.
Zurich’s claims analysis tool, Z Fleet Navigator (ZFN), enables a fleet manager to analyse their claims data and trends by types of incidents, age of driver, time of day, day of week, vehicle class, company division, and state of loss among others.
In total there are over 30 reports which can be downloaded and analysed to identify trends which can be used for deeper analysis and corrective actions.
ZFN also has the capability to benchmark a Zurich customer’s claims in comparison with their industry peers (similar size and type of fleet) as well as all of Zurich motor fleet policies (portfolio) over a period of the last three financial years.
The data is displayed in graphical form which is easy for a fleet manager to interpret and gauge where their performance sits for the likes of average cost of claims; average frequency of claims; frequency of claims including top 5 descriptions of loss (hit in rear, reversing, lost control, hit stationary object); percentage of cost for top 5 descriptions of loss; and average cost of claims for top 5 descriptions of loss (overturning or tipping, theft).
Examples are plentiful where the analysis of data, particularly relating to driver behaviour, can lead to a reduction in crashes.
But only, Mervyn Rea points out, if the data is used to highlight improvements, that when implemented, positively modify driver behaviour and actions.
“Using data in this way, often, but not limited to telematics, has seen businesses reduce their crash frequency by 20-40 per cent,” he says.
“Reducing crashes also reduced uninsured costs, and by keeping a fleet on the road, it ensures that the business is more resilient and customer focused. All of this is only possible by clearly understanding and analysing the relevant data, determining the best course of action, and implementing improvements.”