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The Secret of the Black Magic Box

16 December 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

Increasing numbers of businesses in Northern Ireland are benefitting from the cost saving features of vehicle telematics technology, according to a Belfast-based vehicle management company.

Businesses with the black box device fitted to their commercial vehicles are reporting significant savings in fuel, wear and tear and insurance, as well as fewer accidents and more efficient fleet management, says contract hire and leasing firm DFC.

McCann Cabling Solutions, based in Dungannon, is one such firm which says they have seen savings in fuel of almost ten per cent since taking the telematics option from DFC.

The system, provided by RAC Telematics, works by fitting a device to each vehicle to transmit real-time location data as well as driver behaviour statistics such as acceleration and braking. The data is managed on a portal by the fleet manager as well as the driver on their own smartphone app. The service combined with RAC breakdown and accident management services, provides a fully connected package for customers.

Conor McCann, Managing Director at McCann Cabling Solutions, said: “RAC Telematics has been in our fleet for nearly two years now and we have really seen the benefits of having such a strong system in place.

“At McCann Cabling Solutions we work with the client to ensure the job is done correctly and without delay. Having the ability to know how long a vehicle spends on site and when it has left the client, has really assisted us with running an efficient fleet while increasing daily productivity, and indeed customer satisfaction.

“We’ve also seen an improvement in our administration time, the processing of the timesheets, mileage reports and advising clients on site-time, all done in minutes, it saves us hours of work each week. The safety of our drivers is very important to us and having the knowledge of how a vehicle has been driven helps us to monitor driver styles and implement improvement procedures.

“As such, we’ve seen a drop in speeding fines, an increase in MPG and an improvement on the fuel bill to the tune of about eight per cent, which all helps the bottom line.”

In addition to the driver behaviour feature, McCann says the business also relies on the crash notification alert in the telematics box, which recently enabled them to promptly contact a driver when he had an accident to ensure he was properly looked after.

Uel Butler is chief executive at DFC, which has been funding, supplying and managing vehicles for more than 25 years. He said they took the decision to install RAC Telematics into its business fleet 18-months-ago, which along with RAC breakdown cover and accident management services, has enabled them to develop a powerful offer for customers.

Butler said: “We have a lot of positive feedback from customers around the use of telematics, especially as they have none of the installation costs, but all the benefits that comes with the system.

“Our customers see it is a ‘no-brainer’ and we feel it is delivering a massive difference in terms of making those purchasing decisions easier. We feel it makes our offering more competitive when tendering for new contracts and having the backing of the RAC gives customers the reassurance that should they encounter any issues it will be dealt with in an efficient manner.

“When you consider the combination of RAC Telematics, along with breakdown and accident management, it is a powerful proposition and the brand carries a lot of trust and weight. It means we can offer the complete package.”

RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “Since partnering with DFC, we have seen a strong upturn in deployment across both Northern and Southern Ireland. More businesses are looking to utilise the latest technology with a trusted brand and deliver additional benefits to their own networks.

“DFC and the RAC engage actively with clients interested in change, interested in making improvements and interested in better working practices. Having the support of DFC locally, and the strength of the RAC technology really is delivering a good news story to businesses and we look forward to the continuing development into the New Year.”

Committed to making the introduction of RAC Telematics a successful venture, DFC invested in the recruitment of Pauline Nelmes who has worked for a number of telematics companies over a 20 year period.

She said: “I was immensely impressed with the innovation and forward thinking from the owners at DFC, which was one of a number of factors behind why I decided to join the team 18-months-ago. Over the past year and a half I have seen the product go from strength-to-strength and have had huge success in implementing the technology into both DFC and non-DFC customers.”

Picture: Left to Right: Phil Barnes RAC Telematics, Pauline Nelmes DFC and Uel Butler DFC


Article written by Robin Snow | Published 16 December 2016


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