Fernando Ardura
CEO for Latin America

Technology Can Beat Security Threats

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 18:16

Security is among the main issues transportation companies face from an economic and a productivity standpoint. According to Fernando Ardura, CEO for Latin America of Traffilog, companies tend to prepare for losses of thousands of dollars due to problems such as fuel and vehicle theft, which could be prevented through the use of adequate telemetry implementations.

“Theft increases insurance tariffs but also represents an obstacle to the company’s operations,” says Ardura. “Each stolen unit decreases the volume of cargo the company can transport.” Recovering a stolen vehicle is always difficult and there is no certainty it will happen. Therefore, the best strategy for companies to protect themselves against losses related to assets and cargo is to invest in advanced telemetry technology.

“Telemetry gives clients the confidence of knowing the exact position of the vehicle at all times,” says Ardura. Companies using Traffilog’s telemetry technology have benefited from the company’s 85 percent recovery rate in cases of vehicle theft. However, the CEO still thinks a prevention strategy is the most effective approach to reduce unexpected costs, which is especially critical in a price-sensitive market like Mexico. “Clients seek to cut as many costs as possible and we are in a difficult market considering fuel prices keep increasing.”

Traffilog’s challenge is to convince clients that its solutions are not expenses but an investment, which means the company’s commercial team must focus on the benefits the company can offer rather than the costs its services will represent. “Traffilog offers integral solutions and our telemetry offering is one of the strongest in the market,” says Ardura. “In terms of security, we have strengthened our offering to the point where we can now compete with the biggest players in the market.” Insurers such as Qualitas have already adopted Traffilog’s technology as their preferred option to reduce sinistrality rates and costs. “Through our solutions, insurers can decrease sinistrality rates up to 15 percent, incrementing the insurance company’s profitability and reducing premium rates for the customer,” he says.

The technology is designed to increase the productivity and performance of its customers’ fleets. “Telemetry not only prevents theft but also reduces fuel consumption and maintenance costs while incrementing the lifespan and availability of the fleet,” says Ardura. Traffilog’s technology provides information on every vehicle and driver in a fleet, which can offer insights regarding good and bad driving habits. “Clients can then customize training and get better results with the same assets and human resources.”

The company is constantly introducing new devices and improving its technology to adapt to the needs of the global market. Traffilog systems include panic buttons and warnings to notify when a unit has been stolen, as well as a failsafe that kicks in if the telemetry hardware is removed from the vehicle. In those cases, the device detects the event and takes action to reduce speed or shut down the unit, preventing thieves from moving it. However, the company’s true differentiator, Ardura says, is its focus on developing technology endemic to Mexico, including anti-jamming devices and controls for the opening and closing of doors and valves. “Not all markets have the same needs in terms of security, communications and infrastructure. If we hope to improve our recovery rate and our clients’ overall fleet performance, we need to keep implementing innovations to provide the results our customers need.”

Traffilog’s quality and innovation standards have evolved to be considered as original equipment for several vehicle makers, including Navistar, New Flyer, Alexander Dennis and Volkswagen, all of which install the devices directly at the production line. The devices have the connectivity needed to support all vehicle architectures. Its solutions can read up to 250 vehicle parameters and have total connectivity with CAN BUS J1939 and SAE J1708, as well as on-board diagnostics (OBD).

Traffilog also works with plug-and-play harnesses, which help it maintain clean installations to protect the integrity of the vehicle. “In Mexico, we work hand to hand with Navistar. This company is our main customer and we have an alliance that provides benefits for both companies and our customers,” says Ardura. Traffilog expects growth of 40-45 percent by the end of 2019. However, the real growth opportunity for the company is with large fleets that seek improved performance and stronger security for their units.

“We are improving our internal processes to offer quality and specialization in all our services,” says Ardura. As Traffilog continues to grow, the company has to ensure its infrastructure and operations are solid enough to support its serviced fleet of 28,000 vehicles, which is 10 times bigger than what it was two years ago. “Our goal for 2019 is to grow our presence in the fleets of our existing clients,” he says.