Cristián Fernández
CEO and Founder
View from the Top

Savings and Operations Efficiency From Tracking Tech: Ubiknos

By Jan Hogewoning | Thu, 07/16/2020 - 14:15

Q: In which segments are you strongest and where do you see the most growth potential?
A: When we started, we were very focused on the transport sector, especially on small and medium-sized transport companies. This has been a fairly interesting and loyal business niche. However, in the past five to six years, the segment that has presented the largest growth has been automotive leasing. It is not a segment that tracks a vehicle to know if deliveries were made on time but to manage the operational health of the leasing company. We have specialized in this segment. We believe it will continue experiencing accelerated growth. 

Q: You also offer tech solutions to grow businesses. What do these solutions entail?
A: We have three segments in which we help our clients. The first is related to security. We offer solutions that provide peace of mind to users. When there is a robbery and the vehicle needs to be recovered, our alliances with the police and the Ministry of Public Security at a national level ensure a swift recovery of the vehicle and merchandise. Second, we help companies to know where their operators are, how they are behaving, if they are following the route as expected and if they are using federal roads or highways. 

The third segment is related to savings. Our tracking solutions are based on telematics and IoT. We provide connectivity of mobile assets to the cloud. We can see their position, speed, historical routes and we can even provide a virtual view of what the driver is seeing. This means that we know if the car is sending a signal of low tire pressure or if the engine needs to be checked and we can synchronize this with our central system. Something that has helped us a great deal in this sense is fuel control. We can offer a very precise calculation of how much fuel a unit needs depending on the kilometers they are driving and depending on the number of hours the engine is turned on. This translates into direct savings for the company that is using our platform. 

Q: How has Ubiknos’ grown throughout the years and what is your current market position?
A: In Mexico, we started operating in 2009. It is a heavily competitive market, but we have achieved significant growth rates, doubling our sales almost every year. Since we started operating, the number of new units we have has grown between 50 and 100 percent. In Mexico, we are among the Top 10 tracking companies in terms of units in service and our objective in the next five years is to enter the Top 3.

Q: How are you working to ensure that the products and services offered by Ubiknos are attractive in terms of price?
A: Prices for technology and hardware have declined considerably. Eight or nine years ago, the costs were between four or five times higher compared to current costs. Production volumes and technology advances make devices more economical and we offer several financing alternatives to our clients in which they make a monthly payment, in some cases less than MX$300 (US$13.4) per unit per month. This means that companies do not have to make a strong down payment as they used to do in the past.

Q: What advances are you working on to improve the performance of Ubiknos’ devices? 
A: We are including the latest technologies, which are faster and more efficient. However, what we are betting on is Big Data and information analysis. Every unit generates large volumes of data on a daily basis and we want to be able to exploit all that information to forecast driver behavior and prevent accidents, among other goals. Though the raw data to do this comes from our platform, we are partnering with data analytics specialists to process and present the information in a useful way. 

Q: What are Ubiknos’ priorities for the current year?
A: Our main priority for 2020 is to provide support to our customers who have been mostly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our services can help monitor where people are moving and trace possible contacts they might have had with COVID-19 patients. In addition, we are being very flexible in adjusting to their technological and financial needs, providing alternatives so operations can continue being profitable. The second goal is to collaborate and reduce as much as possible the insecurity that we are experiencing in our country. Unfortunately, we are seeing an alarming increase in thefts, so our priority is to provide support to our clients to thwart as many robberies as we can. 

For 2020, we expect very conservative growth, considering the current situation. If we maintain the same levels as in 2019 it will be a very good year. If we reach 10 percent growth, then it will be an excellent year. However, everything will depend on how the economy recovers and how our clients evolve. 

Ubiknos is a Mexican GPS tracking systems provider that helps companies and individuals track vehicles, objects and other individuals. Ubiknos’ technology uses GPS and mobile data communication to locate a target

Photo by:   Ubiknos
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst