The future for automotive fleet management through telematics is positive, says JSE-listed fleet management, insurance telematics and stolen vehicle recovery service provider Cartrack.
Cartrack South Africa CEO Andre Ittmann explains that the fleet and corporate markets have not yet been fully accessed, with significant growth opportunities still available in each market, with continued and increased Web-based use fuelling the growth of tailormade solutions in the telematics industry.
He points out that, while there are always challenges facing any industry, none of these are unique to Africa. Emerging markets all have the same challenges with the telematics tracking systems that Cartrack provides relying on network coverage.
“Coverage isn’t always consistent across vast geographies and high costs of data roaming in some markets can also be challenging. However, that’s where factors such as innovation and resilience will help ensure a sustainable business model, despite some obstacles at times,” he states.
Ittmann points out that the company already provides unique solutions such as remote immobilisation, which is primarily used by vehicle hire companies. This allows for remote vehicle disablement. Temperature monitoring, used for fresh produce transport, routing, insurance telematics and prison tracking – which is unique to Singapore – are part of the solution that the company provides.
Ittmann explains that, this year, the company has started working on a number of projects to increase its capabilities. Some of the new technologies that it is working on include Web-based technologies, relaunching Communicator and MiFleet products and the ongoing revamp and improvement of existing fleet pages.
“Cartrack manufactures all its units internally and functionality is developed and designed mainly internally with limited external involvement. Input into these developments come from the requirements and trends of the various countries where Cartrack operates,” he adds.
The company is not limited to the South African market in sub-Saharan Africa as it reaches Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique and Tanzania. He explains that the company operates in each country either through a direct shareholding or franchise agreements.
Ittmann points out that the company’s Global Fleet Management Solution offers a cross-border tracking solution in real time, reducing roaming costs in most countries in Africa.
“The Cartrack services on offer to our clients across Africa include all the available services they have access to in South Africa, such as fuel consumption, routing, real-time data, location, exception reports, fuel consumption, kilometres travelled, and so forth,” he points out.
He states that Cartrack also has subsidiary and franchise branches in Africa to offer support, repairs and recovery – “one of the main reasons we are present across Southern Africa is to assist with cross-border recoveries”.
The service benefits that companies receive from Cartrack are numerous because of the ability to use the same system that is being used in South Africa to access data.
Ittmann points out that trucking companies can use the systems from the company when transporting goods across borders with owners of companies being able to print reports that can be customised to show only what Cartrack’s client needs.
However, he points out that, in some countries that Cartrack is active in, unique legal requirements exist. The technology that the company uses to track and monitor vehicles can be adapted to ensure that the owner, and the driver, of a vehicle are complying with a country’s legal requirements.
Ittmann highlights that the company provides in-house training to all its staff, through formal induction programmes, e-learning modules and refresher courses for employees that have worked for the company for a long time. “The client product training is performed through our fleet training department that is located at all Cartrack branches across South Africa.”
“The branches provide initial setup support for new clients that includes the setting up of alerts, automated reports and other features. Further, they provide ongoing training and serve as a dedicated customer support centre as and when required,” he concludes.