Vinod Teli, Vice-President-Distribution, Agility India, shares his views on the importance of vehicle tracking system in India and its growing demand.
Q. How relevant is the vehicle tracking system for better management of logistics and supply chain?
Vehicle tracking systems can aid better management of logistics and supply chain activities in a number of ways. These include helping with proactive planning, allowing for timely communication with internal and external stakeholders, better inventory control through just-it-time (JIT) planning, and plant to customer cycle times can be optimised. Overall, the increased transparency allows for better planning and time management.
Q. How do you think use of vehicle tracking system will help provide better service to your customers?
With the ability to view online, real-time status of vehicle, and hence the shipment, customers can use this info for their own benefits in many ways. Customers get a sense of reliability through improved visibility of their shipments and for safety conscious customers, the transparency shows up any possible driving irregularities against agreed SLAs and hence higher confidence levels.
Q. At Agility, what is the percentage of trucks which are equipped with telematics/tracking devices? What are your future plans with respect to tracking devices?
All of Agility’s 144 vehicles are fitted with vehicle tracking devices . Future plans include the fixing of dual view cameras in truck cabins for effective monitoring of driver violations, route surveys, etc. We are also planning on using devices on vehicles that we use from partners.
Q. Is the data from vehicle tracking devices integrated with enterprise system?
Yes, our GPS- based vehicle tracking devices are integrated with the TMS (Transport Management System) used by our trucking business.
Q. OBD 2 will be available as mandatory government policy in all consumer service vehicles from April 2013. To what extent do you think OBD 2 will lower the cost of vehicle maintenance?
In India, this may take some more time for all vehicles to install. Only advanced vehicles like VOLVO, BENZ, MAN, TATRA etc would have OBD 2 in India. OBD 2 will certainly help for more precise and accurate diagnosis for trouble shooting and can reduce downtime and improve the quality of repairs. Ultimately it could lower the cost of maintenance by preventing repeat failures.
Q. Could you please share some of your international practices on logistics and supply chain?
With our own India trucking business, Agility India is an industry leader in road transport safety initiatives. Our use of TMS is well implemented and in alignment with our customers. The safety and security of cargo is monitored through supervised loading and delivery for all high-value cargo. Load secure solutions are used for some of our customers in India and we have highly trained and professional staff within the organisation. About 60% of our operations are through Agility assets in India, which allows us close supervision and management of all activities. As a leading global logistics provider we are able to tap into knowledge and resources from around the world and apply best practices to our India operations, be it in the area of safety and security, transport management systems, or responsiveness to changing customer requirements.
Q. How do you see the future of vehicle tracking system for Logistics and Supply Chain?
We believe that the future for vehicle tracking systems is very bright in India as they will be seen as a necessity, rather than an add-on. We believe it should be made mandatory by the Government for long hauls and that customers might make them compulsory for their logistics service providers. More advanced versions will be needed to safeguard them from driver tampering and devices with longer battery life will be needed – this can provide important information in the event of vehicle hijacking.
About Vinod Teli: He is Vice President and Country Head Transportation in Agility India. He holds a B. tech degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has also completed PGDBM and P G Certificate Course in International Business from ICFAI besides few other training programs in ISO quality Implementation, workshop management , Certified Lead Audit from LRQA.