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Sam Sterry's blog: Insight: Not just a big business benefit

Date: 29 May 2018   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

Sam Sterry, Head of SME for Europcar UK Group, explains how technology advances put small businesses in control of their fleet costs

According to CYBG, the UK's SMEs are struggling, as rising business costs, coupled with a dip in confidence hits budgets[1]. The quarterly health check report doesn't make very happy reading, with the fifth consecutive quarterly fall. SMEs therefore need to remain focused on cost savings.  And that is particularly the case for small firms that rely on vehicles to keep their business moving.

The balancing act is made all the more difficult by soaring fuel prices. The latest RAC[2] data shows that UK motorists suffered the sharpest rise in fuel prices in April 2018, since December 2016.  Unleaded went up by 2.74p in April to 123.20p. Diesel also shot up by an average 2.94p per litre last month, taking it to 126.02p. This means diesel now costs more than at any time since December 2014; and petrol since November 2014.

Now, more than ever, firms need to harness technology to give them the insight to tackle inefficiencies and help protect their bottom line. This is where telematics and other insight tools can help.

Fleet managers can use telematics to analyse a wealth of vehicle data, helping them to take steps to improve every aspect of the business journey - from route planning to driver behaviour. Reviewing average speeds and encouraging better driving techniques can all be at the fingertips of fleet managers. And crucially these benefits are no longer just the preserve of big businesses. 

Telematics also gives the supply chain that supports SMEs - such as rental providers - the ability to harness the power of valuable vehicle data, allowing them to stay on top of maintenance and safety issues which, in turn, ensures that SMEs experience as little vehicle downtime as possible. The MI that can be delivered by rental providers can further help small firms to manage all aspects of their mobility costs. 

Businesses of all shape and size are turning to cutting edge technology to deliver the information they need to run more efficient fleets.  And for smaller firms tech advances mean they no longer need to operate in the dark. Technology makes vehicle data an affordable extra that can make a real difference to the bottom line and help firms manage greener and safer fleets.