Understanding telematics: Creating a Business Case and Building Buy-in

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Telematics technology can deliver an array of benefits within any organisation. If you want to learn more about what telematics is and what it can do, our learning zone article will give you everything you need.

However, if you’re already familiar with the features and benefits of a telematics solution, and would like to propose it at your organisation, it’s imperative you build the right business case and build buy-in across all stakeholders. Read on to find out how you can achieve this and ultimately secure sign-off for your telematics solution.

Creating a Telematics Business Case

A Business Case: What is it?

A good business case helps the organisation determine exactly what it wants to achieve and how it will do so, rather than just a means for getting the budget agreed. It should support sound investment decisions based on strategic fit and satisfactory achievement of the buying criteria including affordability and effectiveness.

The purpose of a business case is to justify the project, assessed on estimated costs and risks versus business benefit and build commitment and approval for investment in business change. It should also become the framework for managing business change and provide a benchmark to monitor and measure project benefits

The Telematics Business Case

When writing a telematics business case, it must clearly propose the basis of the investment. Most importantly, it must show the return of value that the organisation will achieve by implementing such technology across the organisational fleet. Specifically, it should:

  • Identify specific benefits, as opposed to general summary statements, to make clear the potential financial savings.
  • Outline the benefits business-wide – and not just from a fleet management perspective, but also including, for example, the finance, operations and training departments.
  • Link potential benefits to strategic organisational objectives, such as those in relation to HMIC inspections and/or PEEL reports.
  • Document the actions required across the business to realise these benefits, since telematics requires direction and control to maximise its value.

Structuring your Business Case

Always stick to simple language and a familiar structure when writing a telematics business case, focusing on:

  1. The overall goal
  2. The objectives, outcomes and planned benefits
  3. The risks and assumptions

When choosing your telematics solution, you should consider the tangible and intangible benefits you need to deliver. To help you decide what these might be for your organisation, you can use our case study for ideas or refer to the below:

  • Fuel reduction through improved driver behaviour
  • Reduction in accidents and associated costs, as well as greater accountability for accidents
  • Reputational benefits driven by the fleet being driven to acceptable levels
  • Improved servicing regimes leading to the reduction in the cost of servicing and maintenance
  • Quicker resolution of fleet-related complaints based on accurate readings
  • Removal of manual log-book completions
  • Awareness of the location of vehicles and their drivers
  • Ability to determine risk parameters for diving and focus in mitigating risks with identified drivers

Once you’ve identified the specific benefits your organisation needs to realise, it’s important that you build on these with detailed workings on how these benefits will be derived and by when. You should also add accountability for each benefit area, an individual who becomes its champion.

Costs and Timescales

All of the costs must be included – both direct and indirect. Always ensure you build in the cost of labour – who will be working on the project and for how long? By including all of these line items, you get an accurate project cost.

Next, you should determine reasonable delivery milestones and expected ROI vs initial cost of investment. Base these milestones on the most desirable objectives, and ensure potential risks are included. If you include baseline data and estimates for each milestone – perhaps even a small trial concept – you add extra credibility to your telematics business case.

Finally, ensure ROI calculations are clear and unambiguous. Naturally, short pay back periods are attractive. However, not only must the project pay for itself as early as possible, but must also provide reassurance that the investment is realistic and based on sound evidence rather than estimates of return or guesstimates on project outcomes.

Building Buy-in

Next, you need to share the business case across the organisation, reaching the right people with the right message. By following the key steps below, you are more likely to build strong buy-in for your telematics business case.

Know your stakeholders Who really matters? Find out who the decision makers are and demonstrate the benefits. There will be people who do not want it to happen - identify them and bring them on-board. 

Don’t sell, influence. Work with people and influence. Seek opportunities in other meetings to bring the right people into the project and encourage them to share the project benefits.

Part of a bigger plan. Link the project into other corporate initiatives for greater total benefit realisation.

Walk the talk. Learn about telematics in detail so that you can talk with passion and understanding. Put yourselves in their shoes and understand what impact it will have on their role – good and bad.

Engage early. Start talking to people about the idea when it is still conceptual to identify resistors and champions and avoid an air of mystery that could negatively impact in future.

Make it real. Get a proof of concept in place or trial so people can see, touch and feel what it does – this makes the project more tangible and diffuses anxiety

Visualise and communicate business-wide. Engage with the internal communications department to create a buzz and raise awareness.

Get your team in place. Identify as early as possible who you want to deliver the project, get them engaged and build passion. This will build noise and help keep the project moving.

Share good news stories. Use anecdotes and examples of good practice from other organisations to demonstrate how the telematics solution will benefit your organisation

Relate it to existing technologies. Relate telematics to existing systems to address concerns. For example, if staff fear it’s “big brother”, liken it to similar tech already used – such as CCTV. This will demonstrate that it is there to support and help protect them; if you behave badly it may have consequence, but if you are behaving properly, you have nothing to fear

Next steps

The transition to a telematics solution within your emergency service can be daunting. But don’t be afraid to change how your fleet is run. Telematics is increasingly becoming the norm in this environment, and the business benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of not doing anything to manage the fleet.

With a strong business case and project team, you'll soon build the buy-in you need to deliver a highly cost efficient telematics solution for your organisation.

Find out more

If you'd like to know more about our telematics solutions, let us know. We'd be delighted to show you how it can benefit your organisation. Call us on 01482 808 300, email us at marketing@apdcomms.com or fill out the form below.