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Why data quality matters

When you’re operating in a fast-paced environment such as the transportation industry, your ability to make quick decisions matters. Technology can be a great tool to support your strategic operations, but only if it’s reliable. So how do you know if you’re working with bad data?

First of all, if your fleet management system and its accompanying hardware aren’t reliably connected, your fleet hasn’t implemented a solution. It’s a risky system of lost profits and non-compliance. Fleets may fall behind competitors instead of expanding ROI. Drivers and management are having to undo and correct the reporting — over and over! And then comes a scary audit….

But trustworthy data is great. Accurate data reported by your fleet management system could be your best investment. No kidding. According to EROAD’s Onboarding Specialist, Ryan Purcell, “Once customers realize the full impact of quality data, they can’t believe they were operating without it.”

 

DEFINING QUALITY DATA:
Quality data is highly valuable, especially when it comes to fleet safety, driver management, tax reporting, and compliance. Fleet management solutions must be smart from the start to record accurately. Understanding how and why accuracy matters can pay off immediately for fleets of all sizes in these four fundamental ways:

 

Reliability
Unreliable data means unreliable compliance. System performance and redundancy should, therefore, be a key focus. EROAD’s end-to-end solution, for instance, achieves an industry-leading 99.99% service up-time, minimizing the cost of interruptions to carriers.

The ELD mandate created a new wave of confusion at roadside, especially with both AOBRDs and ELDs in the mix. But with a reliable ELD solution in place, the data transfer process should be consistent and seamless during inspections.

 

Connectivity
Loss of connectivity means trips go unreported, and that could lead to fines. Are you considering a Bluetooth ELD system? Make sure you have all the information. The hassles and costs of dropped Bluetooth and wireless connections with your drivers’ ELDs can have a serious impact on fleet performance, HOS compliance and your team’s happiness and productivity.

In a 2018 survey of truckers and fleets by OverDrive, dropped blue tooth connections in BYOD solutions were the #1 cause of dissatisfaction with ELD. Wireless connectivity can also be a problem for those fleets trying to use the real-time data that comes from the in-cab units, where breaks in coverage make it impossible to determine truck locations for managing operations, safety and customer expectations. 

Hardwired ELDs (tethered directly to the truck) transfer the ELD data via telematics (web services and email). This means there are no connectivity issues as with local (USB and Bluetooth) methods that rely on phones, tablets, etc. Hardwired systems are highly reliable because they’re tamper-proof, too. 

 

Security
The policy rationale behind ELDs was to reduce driver fatigue, falsification around driving time and to ensure more accurate hours-of-service information. The data integrity depends on the ELD’s capability to monitor for malfunctions and records tampering.

Unlike AOBRD requirements, which did not address the parameters that constituted tampering or sensor failures, the ELD mandate specifically outlined what must be monitored, detected and recorded. This can be helpful for carriers to maintain visibility across the fleet and ensure that any intentional foul play is detected and managed.

Carriers must ensure malfunctions are resolved within eight days of discovery, so they should work with their ELD provider to obtain the required instructional sheet outlining the malfunctions and data diagnostics events that can occur and how to resolve them.

As backup options, if the transfer is not available for whatever reason, the ELD must present the standardized driver’s log information to the enforcement officials by either display or printout. At EROAD we offer an easy to use display method.

 

Customer Service
Accurate data goes beyond safety and compliance. It supports a more efficient fleet, and improved customer service. With a real-time view of vehicle locations and driver hours-of-service, dispatchers can move loads more efficiently.

EROAD’s geofencing application allows a carrier to be notified if a driver has arrived at a customer pickup site and when he departs that site. This application will also alert the carrier if a driver has been held up at a geofenced site. Knowing if a load has been held up at a pickup site allows the carrier to be proactive about possible delays and communicate that to customers.

 

ACCURACY IN ACTION
Whether you’re utilizing a technology solution now or looking to add one in the future, accuracy is essential. EROAD’s technology delivers data based on an extremely rapid ping rate. This means a very small margin of error with respect to location, which translates to ultra-precise calculations of delivery time.  Make sure your choice is accurate and gives you real-time information so you can make the best decisions for your business.