FAMCO drives change with commitment to telematics
FAMCO UAE’s truck line-up could be fully telematic within five years
The line-up of Volvo Trucks offered by FAMCO in the UAE could be completely telematic within the next five years.
The strategy forms part of FAMCO’s commitment to drive efficiency within the Middle East’s fleet management sector. Indeed, as authorised UAE distributor for Volvo Trucks, FAMCO has already made progress in this regard.
“FAMCO has taken the decision to have telematics technology fitted to a large number of its commercial vehicles at the Volvo factory in Sweden,” revealed Frank O’Connor, managing director of FAMCO’s operations in the UAE.
“In the past, we would go out and talk to UAE customers about telematics, and then make a lot of local alterations to the trucks to integrate the hardware if it was desired. Our new approach means that many of our trucks arrive with the necessary components. Rather than presenting telematics as a tempting option that we can fit retrospectively, therefore, it’s now much easier for us to get customers up and running,” he explained.
Telematics offer a raft of information to fleet managers, which in turn can be used to drive efficiencies across their operations. For example, data provided by these systems can be used to improve fuel economy, assess operator competence, and identify potential mechanical problems.
Speaking at PMV Middle East’s roundtable discussion on effective fleet management, O’Connor argued that industry has an important role to play in influencing the habits and behaviours of regional operators – in the interests of both safety and the environment. However, he was also keen to emphasise that the latest technologies provide tangible benefits for end users.
O’Connor conceded that initially, FAMCO’s decision to increase the proportion of trucks with integrated telematics was met with trepidation from some customers. However, one distinct advantage of this technology is that it provides concrete data that can be used to demonstrate the exact ways in which end users benefit from the latest vehicular advances.
Indeed, by using this evidence-based approach to prove to customers how short-term investment can help to reduce longer-term operating costs, FAMCO has already made significant headway in turning the regional tide in favour of telematics.
“At the moment, it’s the larger fleets that are most interested in this technology; they are the ones most commonly taking up this option currently,” O’Connor told PMV.
In reference to the transition towards a fully telematic line-up of Volvo Trucks, O’Connor concluded: “It’s not going to happen overnight. I think we’re probably looking at a five-year cycle.”
The full roundtable event – which also included representatives from Al-Futtaim Logistics, Emirates Money, Tata Motors, SITECH Gulf, CMC, and Total – will be published in the May 2014 issue of PMV Middle East.