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Reducing equipment hire spend through telemetry

Coates Hire is using telemetry to help customers reduce the ongoing cost of equipment hire. Working closely with one major customer, Coates Hire has already been able to reduce month-to-month equipment costs by as much as 10%. 

This and other success stories stem from the early stages of a telemetry retrofit project, which is connecting customers with data-driven insights to inform purchasing decisions and managed services to improve equipment hire behaviours. 

The challenge

Coates Hire’s customer-focused telemetry retrofit program began in 2018, at a time when the hire industry was screaming out for ways to improve cost efficiency. Many customers also recognised that their own hire behaviours were creating inefficiencies and they turned to Coates Hire for a solution.

“Our customers thought there might be an opportunity to use telemetry to improve efficiency and utilisation of equipment hire,” explains Joshua Tompkins, Coates Hire Product Owner. “What our proof of concept and proof of value process uncovered was actually a significant opportunity for telemetry to make a difference.”

While some hire businesses were quick to market with off-the-shelf solutions, the size and diversity of Coates Hire’s fleet and it’s unique set of requirements demanded a different approach. “A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work for businesses like ours,” Joshua explains. “What we urgently needed was a suitable retrofit device that could be used to connect the many thousands of existing machines in the Coates Hire fleet.”

The solution

In partnership with industry, Coates Hire set about scoping and designing an IoT-enabled telemetry solution that would allow customers to make smarter hire decisions, to change wasteful behaviours and extract more value and efficiency from their equipment hire. “We worked with our ecosystem of suppliers to find a solution that could capture data from factory fit devices on complex plant, as well as assessing a range of devices to suit smaller machines at purchase,” says Joshua. 

To meet the needs of Coates Hire and its customers, this solution had to be: 

  • Cost-effective to implement across a vast and diverse fleet

  • Quick and simple to install by Coates Hire staff

  • Future-proofed to grow in scope.

Coates Hire’s chosen solution is entirely Australian designed and manufactured. It can be fitted to any eligible equipment in Coates Hire’s range and it currently tracks location and utilisation, as this is where customers extract 90% of their value. The device can also grow in scope if there is an appetite to do more with this technology at a later stage. 

According to Joshua, the speed of installation and provisioning is another surprisingly innovative feature of this device. “Because of the enclosure design and the fact that this device doesn’t need to be wired in, our branch staff can install each device in roughly 15 minutes, saving at least two installation hours per machine,” Joshua explains. “This may not seem significant, but when you scale this up to the 12,500 units we will be retrofitting, we are saving the equivalent of 12 working years of labour* through these features alone.”

The impact

By logging into the Coates Hire IoT portal, Coates Hire customers can already manage their own hire equipment online. As part of the telemetry retrofit project, plans are in place to give customers access to all equipment hire, utilisation and location data through one central customer portal in the newly launched Coates Connect. 

Alongside the retrofit project, Coates Hire also continues to work closely with its network of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to design telemetry solutions for new equipment, and to connect customers with valuable data and insight from both OEM-fitted and Coates Hire retrofitted devices. 

“By designing a universal telemetry solution we’re not limited to supporting devices from just one OEM,” says Joshua. “This means we’ve been able to design a portal that can ingest and analyse data from different telemetry solutions, so our customers will have a single source for streaming telemetry data.”

As well as connecting customers with a platform to access data, Coates Hire understands the importance of helping customers to extract maximum value from this information. 

“Not all businesses have the experience or capacity in-house to leverage telemetry-sourced data, so we can offer varied levels of service to suit each customer’s specific needs,” says Joshua. “When we consulted our customers we found that some want to manage their own data, others find they benefit from some analytics and reporting being provided and, for customers with more complex hire arrangements, a full managed service delivers the greatest value.” 

Coming soon to hire equipment near you…

Work is already well underway to retrofit an existing fleet of approximately 12,500 pieces of equipment, and Coates Hire expects to have all target equipment retrofitted by the end of next financial year. 

“This is a strategically important project for Coates Hire, for our customers and OEMs,” says Joshua. “It’s helping us to stay focused on innovating, supporting our customers and building long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships across industry.”

Reach out to discover how a telemetry solution could benefit your business, or find your local branch.

*Based on a typical working year of 2,080 hours.


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