With the chip shortage crisis nowhere near the end, manufacturers and governments are focusing on building more capabilities in the supply chain. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has already started and plans to invest close to $100 million to improve delivery capacity over the next three years. Joining TSMC’s efforts, Samsung, SK Hynix, and the South Korean government have promised a huge investment of $451 billion to help supply and incentivize chip makers. And despite these massive investments being made, the need to diversify the component supply chain in order to avoid dependency on Taiwan and South Korea is all too clear. US President Joe Biden has pledged support for the American semiconductor sector as part of his “Build Back Better” plan. The support is backed by both US parties and includes a massive technology funding bill. The bill was introduced in June 2021 with $52 billion being set aside for American chip production alone.
Besides the US government, others are also looking to stabilize the situation. Intel plans to grow its manufacturing volume and will spend $20 billion on two new plants in Arizona. This is part of their own efforts to combat the shortage while reducing reliance on imported components. The European Union (EU) plans to step up efforts to grow component building capabilities across all EU territories in Europe. On the other hand, the UK government is lagging behind when it comes to creating a strong and effective strategy that can support the semiconductor sector.
But the question remains: until the supply chain is stabilized, how can fleet managers take care of their fleet and stay competitive in the market?
How to improve your approach in managing your fleet?
These new challenges have forced those in the field to quickly adapt and form strategies that can prevent losses as much as possible. Some of these solutions are meant to keep things under control in the present and near future, while other solutions aim to change the industry and make it more resilient to these types of crises.
Many companies chose to redesign their existing products to adapt to the new conditions and try to use as little as possible the components which are difficult to get. For example, some non-essential features were removed for the time being, minimizing product customization.
Shifting the focus
Another efficient short-term solution is focusing on the products which use available chips. The chip shortage impact is somewhat minimized by simply choosing products that are not affected by the crisis.
Flexibility is the best weapon against abrupt changes. Being able to immediately adapt to new industry requirements is bound to help companies be better prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. By having fewer parts in a product, developing and using a standard design and even reusing components, the products can be more easily adapted to crisis situations such as the one the industry is currently facing.
Managing this crisis takes time and significant financial efforts. A way to speed up the process of balancing the supply and demand is by leveraging AI. Automatization can raise efficiency and lower the risk of human error. Lessening the defects, poor processes and the unnecessary hold-ups that may occur, AI could prove to be one of the key factors in building back the industry and making it more resilient.
But these short-term and long-term solutions mainly focus on handling the supply chain. Fleet managers also need to know how they can directly improve their fleet management strategy.
And the good news for those navigating this challenging period is the rising availability of new connected car technologies and platforms. In short, fleet managers have a variety of options for accessing and managing fleet data in light of the current shortage of telematics devices. That is why it’s so important to take advantage of the existing platforms and technologies to minimize any disruptions to your fleet. In addition, changing your approach to fleet data management and adding to what you already have will help you overcome component shortages.
Here are four ways to improve your fleet management strategy, and how:
Use one simple source for all the data:
New connected vehicle platforms can correlate data from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telematics devices in non-connected vehicles, offering a single overview. Therefore, when examining connected vehicle platforms, it is crucial to ensure that they have easy-to-use features such as:
A list and map view of all vehicles registered on the system.
Visualization of data on drivers and vehicle utilization.
Driver reports showing behavior, workday reports, health, and historical trips
Fully customizable trip reports for each and all vehicles.
When connected vehicles go offline, you can see right away.
Comprehensive information on individual vehicles, including wear and tear.
Make fully informed route and vehicle decisions.
Real-time data fleet-related data is crucial when it comes to choosing the best routes and being aware of the state your fleet is in. And connected technologies such as telematics provide a deep understanding of these aspects and make it easier to track and display the location of connected cars. This provides the ability to track real-time driver location, travel history, vehicle status, and movements. When looking for platforms for connected vehicles, make sure they offer a map-based interface that displays the current state of each vehicle. It’s important to know which vehicles in your fleet are on routes, which are on the way back, and which are parked and not in use.
Protect your vehicle from dangerous behavior that can cause accidents, excessive vehicle wear, or damage.
Safety is a paramount concern of any business that operates a fleet of vehicles. An essential aspect of maintaining the safety of drivers and assets is the visibility into the driver’s behavior. Dashboard reports that show driver safety metrics, overspeed incidents, hard braking, and acceleration are often preconfigured on new connected vehicle platforms. This offers you a clearer view of your drivers’ behavior on the road so that you can provide the right training to drivers if and when they need it. Overall, this helps reduce the safety risks in your fleet while upskilling staff simultaneously. To add, connected car technology such as CANGO can also tell the difference between speed zones to know the severity of speed violations.
Assure your assets remain within their service area.
Geofencing is a powerful tool that can give you a clearer picture of what your fleet is doing at all times. When implementing geofencing, you can define the zone of a specific vehicle and then receive notifications when that vehicle leaves the predefined area. With this feature, you can see where your assets are at all times and block drivers from using vehicles for personal errands. This saves money on fuel not intended for work and lowers asset misuse.
Unrivaled value for fleet owners
CANGO has supported fleet owners globally for over two decades of evolution in the telematics industry. And the component challenges we are still facing today is another wave that our innovation and partnerships will help us see out. One way we’re doing this is through the latest edition to our product lineup, CANLibrary. The solution combines both hardware (the existing client’s hardware) and software; a hardware-agnostic component that acts as the physical base of the solution, with a software platform-independent middleware layered on top of it. This 100% non-intrusive technology removes unnecessary hardware elements to give you greater flexibility over your fleet management than ever before. With it, you can easily add on any of our CANGO Mobility solutions to your CANLibrary setup, so you only ever need to include the applications you need when scaling your setup:
It really is that simple! Pick and choose the solution you need and add it to your CANLibrary. Your CANLibrary can host any and all of the CANGO mobility Solutions critical to your operations, including car sharing, anti-theft, driver scoring, driver performance assistant, security apps and more. It gives fleet owners greater flexibility and control over their fleet network while reducing the need for additional hardware. Reducing the knock-on effects of physical component supply shortages, for faster and better deployment. It offers a means to seamlessly gather data and support over 3000 vehicles in real-time, better understand the driver behavior, and ultimately deliver faster and better services.
More than this, CANLibrary is 100% non-intrusive technology, but what makes the difference is that it can be integrated with most applications and run even on highly constrained embedded systems found in vehicle ECU’s. And just like that, with CANLibrary you can have a built-in database with automatic synchronization with a wide range of analytics and services
With no sign that global semiconductor production will stabilize anytime soon, fleet managers will need to continue adopting an agile and robust fleet management strategy to stay competitive in the market. This crisis has proved that market conditions can shift in an instance, and the faster businesses are able to adapt the more likely they are to succeed. We’ve been a leading technology partner for Vehicle-to-X Solutions for more than 20 years and we’ve been delivering integrated telematics solutions for fleet managers across many sectors including logistics and transportation to construction, oil & gas, and more.