Andreu Casadellà
General Manager Mexico
TomTom Telematics

Taking Fleet Operators Beyond Tracking

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 16:14

Orchestrating logistics in a country as large and diverse as Mexico can be complicated. The CIA Factbook lists the country as spanning 1,964,375km2, making it the 14th-largest worldwide. TomTom’s Traffic Index tagged Mexico City as the most congested in the world for the second year in a row, leading companies to lose approximately MX$16 billion (US$800 million) per year due to traffic conditions.

Navigational and tracking systems are vital in this environment but Andreu Casadellà, General Manager Mexico of TomTom Telematics, believes the solution to improving traffic conditions lies in the efficacy of technology integration. TomTom Telematics division focuses on fleet management and tracking systems. “There is a lot of competition focused on security and unit recovery, whereas we are more dedicated to light- and commercialvehicle fleet distribution and added-value services through technology and connectivity,” says Casadellà. TomTom Telematics currently holds a small share of the total market in Mexico if companies selling simpler B2C GPS services are included in the sector, but this is set to change quickly. “We are doubling in size year on year. We have been well-received by the Mexican market and it is now the country where the company sees the most growth,” says Casadellà.

While some companies would shy away from investing in Mexico after the global challenges of late 2016 and early 2017, Casadellà says TomTom has no intention of leaving. “Despite the uncertainty seen since the end of 2016, TomTom is investing in Mexico,” says Casadellà. “Our opportunity lies in linking hardware. Software and maps as technology solutions are our strong suit.” TomTom’s experience in navigation software gives its telematics solutions an edge. The company also develops its own universal SIM for 3G connectivity, linking GPS tracking with data transmission.

By using TomTom’s solutions, clients save an average of 20 percent on costs through fuel savings, logistics management, lowered maintenance costs, accident avoidance through safer driving and savings on insurance policies. But integrating drivers into the process is paramount for the solution to be successful. TomTom’s OptiDrive 360 solution gives each driver a grade based on their driving manner, evaluating fuel usage, the amount of time a vehicle is idle and braking conditions. “There is a fear of telematics becoming a watchdog for drivers,” Casadellà says, “but a professional human-resources strategy could make it a development opportunity for the company and driver alike.”

One of TomTom Telematics’ cornerstones of development is its integration capability with clients’ ERP and customer relationship management platforms. The company created an application programming interface that enables them to connect hardware and software with open code, and collect information for internal management use. “This is a keystone of our strategy as companies are digitalizing,” Casadellà says. With CRM applications, for example, TomTom Telematics’ software WEBFLEET is now fully integrated to Salesforce. This allows fleet managers to know how long an employee spent with a client or how best to organize the fleet in line with client requests.

The next step for the company is to innovate in connectivity and connected car applications. TomTom Telematics also runs an online marketplace of homologated applications, developed by third parties. These apps usE the data generated by the platform and complement it with analytics from external applications. Casadellà says the company will launch a tablet with an Android operating system called PRO 8, which will help vehicles integrate both TomTom’s WEBFLEET and all third-party apps so the client can access both at all times.

“The most important thing for TomTom is for clients to embrace what the platform can offer them,” says Casadellà. Previously, fleet managers were only concerned about leasing the company’s fleet and its maintenance, not the operational details. Although that is gradually changing, many clients still see fleet management operations as simple route and tracking systems. Casadellà and his team have made it a priority to offer webinars and face-to-face training to teach clients about TomTom Telematics’ platform. “Without the correct information, clients do not know how they can save money,” he says. “It has been an uphill battle to lead clients away from basic tracking services but we have seen a gradual change.”