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Trying to reduce cost per job? Telematics is the answer

2 min read / March 29, 2018 / Staff Writer

Job site machines at work

By now, most of us have heard a story about someone’s machine being stolen from a job site, only to be retrieved through a telematics app on a phone. Telematics to the rescue!

Twenty-five years ago, technology of that sort was the stuff of legend or science fiction. Today, it’s a reality, and telematics and telematics systems are smarter than ever. Yet, nearly everywhere you go, and everything you read, still asks the question: What is the ROI on telematics?

While it’s obvious that recovering stolen machinery is a great use case for telematics (because of the large capital investment)—are there other day-to-day ways that telematics can deliver ROI? Absolutely.

The Business Solutions Group travels around the country, meeting our customers to talk to them about their use of Komatsu’s telematics’ system, Komtrax. We’ve seen first hand how they’re using it to drive business efficiency and create companies that are large, lean and savvy.

Cost per job site

For many contractors, cost per job site is a stat that can mean (figuratively) life and death. Accurately calculating the cost of a running a particular job site is what determines profit margin.

We have a customer who uses telematics every morning, to maximize each job site. By looking at the geo-fencing data, in conjunction with the usage data, she makes smarter business decisions. The geo-fencing data allows her to determine on which site a machine is, and the usage data allows her to see the last time that machine was turned on.

If the machine has not been used, she can move the machine to a different part of the job site where it can be used, or she can re-deploy it to a different job entirely for greater productivity for her company. This particular customer wanted machines with built in telematics systems, so that every morning she could access and assess the machines’ data to effectively drive down her company’s cost per site. All the machines on her job sites are productive.

Rent-To-Own (the data)

If this example seems a bit like a no-brainer, you might be surprised to learn not everyone takes such full advantage of the data and information that telematics generates. We’ve also begun to see more and more rental companies do something similar. If a machine is sitting unused on one site, the rental company alerts the contractor, who doesn’t want to pay for a machine that’s not being used. Out of 30+ dealers, 5 leveraged email alerts of machines returning from rent. 100 percent of those five saw an improvement in efficiency and saw a decrease in OFF rent timing. Rent velocity. The contractor can then either move it to another part of the site, or a different job, or the rental company can take the machine back and send it to a site that actually needs the machine. This maximizes the use of the machines, but it also allows the rental companies to build good will with their customers, the contractors.

This straightforward use of the kind of information that telematics provides, allows companies to save money, site-by-site and reduce the cost of jobs per site.