Turning New Regulations into IoT Opportunity: How to Become a Trusted Business Partner

In this edition, learn how a technology vendor recognized a need in the market after new industry regulations were introduced and transformed into a trusted business advisor and broader tech expert.

 

Overview

Fatalities involving large trucks in the United States started trending upward in 2010. In response, the federal government adopted legislation that required trucking companies and fleet operators to implement new safety measures, including advanced vehicle management automation technology. Fleet operators and drivers are now required to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. But many have struggled to meet the December 2019 deadline.

Seeking help, many fleet operators have turned to third-party experts for technology and expertise. One such expert is GPS Insight, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based company that provides AI-enabled camera technology, vehicle tracking solutions, and driver hours of service (HOS) innovations. The ELD mandate gave GPS Insight an opportunity to transform its business to take advantage of a new opportunity while also embracing innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT).

 
 

Challenge

GPS Insight was founded in 2005 with a vision to help reinvent the way organizations engage their fleets of vehicles and other mobile assets through technology solutions that deliver actionable insights. Through the years, the company enjoyed success helping businesses manage heavy-duty and long-haul trucks, but when it came to helping customers prepare for the FMCSA’s mandate, it was like having to learn to speak a new language, according to Ryan Driscoll, vice president of marketing at GPS Insight.

BoT_usecase_GPSInsight_fleetmanagementBut Driscoll knew learning that language would open GPS Insight to a world of new opportunity. If it could learn how to help customers become compliant, GPS Insight could market itself in a new way—not just as a technology expert, but as a compliance expert and knowledgeable business advisor to customers.

When the mandate was first announced, it was estimated that 70% of businesses were not compliant—a total opportunity of more than 2.5 million vehicles at the time. In addition, many customers complained that their current solutions yielded unreliable data, complex user interfaces for drivers and poor customer experience.

GPS Insight understood that customers such as Culy Contracting, a Winchester, Ind.-based business operating more than 100 vehicles, might approach the ELD mandate with some trepidation because those businesses had never had to implement fleet technology before.

 
 

Solution

GPS Insight learned everything it could about the ELD mandate and developed a new solution to package with its existing GPS tracking solution—after all, its existing solution would need to be ELD-compliant going forward anyway. The company created a new ELD-specific marketing plan, trained employees on the mandate—all told investing more than $1 million to ensure it could be the best possible partner to customers.

GPS-fleet-managment-2“Our account managers would show customers the valuable features to help them improve the way they operate the business,” Driscoll said. “Overall, we adjusted our value proposition. We told customers we could serve as a more holistic partner for them once they were up and running with the ELD solution and were ready to look into what else we could help with.”

The company invested in digital advertising, thought leadership, report sponsorships, print advertising, cold call campaigns, trade shows—a full-on barrage to let as many of the 2.5 million fleet vehicle owners know that GPS could help them become compliant.

For example, Culy was only initially interested in an ELD solution to a achieve compliance for the mandate. But GPS Insight recognized other areas of its business where GPS fleet management technology could improve operations—such as accountability, safety and efficiency—and closed that deal as well.

“The rules are complex, so we recruited a few industry experts on compliance to ensure that we could serve as knowledgeable partners to customers that needed help. We also had to train our sales force and technical support teams on the ins and outs of the mandates and the new ELD products we brought to market,” Driscoll said.

 
 

Outcome

Investing in emerging technologies such as AI, GPS, mobility and big data may seem like a daunting prospect, but GPS Insight demonstrates that it need not be. With pluck and creativity, it has developed a suite of products and services that leverage all multiple emerging technologies to help customers in a targeted niche market.

GPSI-Family-Photo-2019-4kGPS Insight fully believes other solution providers can do the same for their customers, too, regardless of their targeted industry. “Fleet management software is quite broad in the markets it serves,” said Driscoll. “This technology can significantly help in the areas of accountability, compliance, safety and efficiency. This applies to industries like construction, home services, pharmaceuticals, and even local and state government.”

For customers like Culy Contracting, GPS Insight has meant more than an ELD compliance partner. Culy now can more quickly produce Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports and participates in quarterly reviews with GPS Insight to review key aspects of driver safety, including rapid acceleration, harsh deceleration, speeding and more. And then there’s this: In one stunning act of brazenness, thieves made off with more than $355,000 worth of Culy vehicles, trailers and other pieces of equipment. Armed with advanced telematics, Culy alerted authorities to tell them exactly where the stolen assets were. Every piece of stolen equipment was thankfully recovered.

 
 

Summary

As AI, GPS and big data technologies began to mature over the last decade, GPS Insight looked at the business value that each could create for customers.

“There’s no reason to shy away from emerging technology. Learn what it can do and figure out how to integrate it into your current business and your existing skills,” Driscoll said.

For GPS Insight, that means AI-enhanced camera technology that helps fleet managers better monitor the behavior and safety of individual drivers. It means GPS technology to help fleet operators reduce idling time and emissions. And it means big data capabilities to ensure that no vehicle is out on the road with worn brakes or overworked drivers.

“We’re not embracing new technology just to grow our business. We’re embracing new innovations to help transform the broader world around us,” Driscoll said. “We stand on the verge of a future dominated by IoT technology that will improve the lives of citizens in countless ways with universally networked devices and smart vehicles and transportation.”

 
 

What's Next

There’s a data boom is in full swing, especially in mobility. Consider the data generated by vehicles annually. There are more than 1.3 billion vehicles in operation globally—twice the number of just 20 years ago, according to Ward’s Auto. Americans alone generate 1.8 TB of data every year in their vehicles. “Add additional sensors to a vehicle like cameras, radar and lidar, connect these vehicles to the cloud, and suddenly Intel’s claims that autonomous vehicles will produce 4 TB of data in one and a half hours of driving doesn’t look too crazy,” says Driscoll.

Above all else, GPS Insight learned that it’s important to give customers options, Driscoll said. The company now offers a dash-mounted tablet and data plan as well as an app that can be downloaded on any smartphone or tablet.

“It’s imperative to have multiple training options that meet the needs of office staff and drivers,” Driscoll said.

Regardless of your target industry, focus on the activities and devices that have led to a spike in data generation and collection. That’s where you can find new opportunities, experts agree. Again, take GPS Insight. “Urban planners as well as advertisers want to access location-based analytics to understand how and why we are moving to provide a complete picture of individual preferences,” says Driscoll. Find the data motherload in your targeted field, and you will find great unmet need.

“We’re not embracing new technology just to grow our business. We’re embracing new innovations to help transform the broader world around us.”

“There’s no reason to shy away from emerging technology. Learn what it can do and figure out how to integrate it into your current business and your existing skills.”

 
 

Now It's Your Turn

GPS Insight capitalized on an opportunity presented through a new electronic logging device mandate, repositioning itself not just as a GPS company, but as a trusted business advisor and broader technology expert. It’s a journey that other solution providers can take as well by following these steps:

  • Know the market as well as your customers. Many times, your customers don’t know what they want—let alone need. They’re looking for a partner that understands the market and what it takes to meet certain obligations, such as regulatory standards.
  • Of course, listen to your customers too. Even if they think they know what they want, it may not be the best fit for them. It’s your job to provide that guidance.
  • Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Pick a target—and become the best.
  • Understand that entering new markets will require you to have experts on staff that understand the landscape of that market and how to speak their language.
 

Read more about Internet of Things (IoT).

Tags : Internet of Things (IoT)

Download Document