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How a universal telemetry solution can help you work smarter

Coates has made it easy to collect and analyse data from your equipment

In an ideal world, telemetry systems can result in significant reductions in operating costs and more accurate forecasting of future hiring needs.

But more often than not, Construction Firm X or Mining Company Y owns and hires lots of equipment manufactured by lots of OEMs. Some of that gear comes with telematics; some doesn’t. Some pieces of equipment have had telematics devices retroactively fitted; others haven’t.

The result? The data that could be used to cut costs either isn’t available or is time-consuming to gain access to.

This is why Coates developed a universal telemetry solution.

Real-world results

Joshua Tompkins, a Product Owner at Coates, was part of the team that developed the universal telemetry solution.

“It’s common for equipment manufactured by lots of OEMs to be found on any one site,” Joshua says. “Every OEM has its own proprietary tech, meaning that accessing telematics data about all the on-site equipment could involve checking, say, 20 different portals. In practice, not only were people not checking all the relevant portals, they were often unaware of the existence of most of those portals.”

Meanwhile, Coates's universal telemetry solution means all Coates equipment fitted with a telemetry device can be monitored on a 'one-stop-shop' portal. It’s also possible for customer-owned equipment with telemetry capabilities to be integrated into the portal. That simplicity makes it instantly apparent that your excavator doesn’t need servicing for several weeks and your forklift is in the south-west corner of the site - no matter the manufacturer.

“Before we launched the universal telemetry solution our customers were, more or less, flying blind,” he says. “That meant their staff were wasting time – and potentially putting themselves in harm’s way – wandering around trying to find a spare forklift. Or that an elevated work platform was getting hired for 10 days when it was only needed for five. Or Cost Centre A hiring an excavator when Cost Centre B had one sitting idle elsewhere on site.”

Making the most of your data

Being able to see telemetry data is one thing. Working out how to act on it is the next step. Coates has made it straightforward to turn raw data into actionable analytics by providing a dedicated data analyst to any customer that wants one.

Data analysts conduct regular ‘three-day reviews’, which involve checking how much every piece of equipment on site has been used over the preceding three days. Simply conducting these reviews frequently leads to both immediate and ongoing savings. “When that sort of accountability is introduced, not only do staff stop hiring excessively on the current job, they are also less likely to engage in equipment hoarding on future jobs,” Joshua says. 

“We had one customer that was spending $600,000 a month take up this service,“ Joshua continues. “The analyst was able to consistently reduce that by an average of $50,000 a month. That was achieved through the analyst arranging early off-hire of underutilised equipment, preventing redundant hires, driving reduced transportation costs by facilitating the freer sharing of equipment among cost centres and completely eliminating long-term hires where the utilisation didn’t support the quantity.”

Both short-term and long-term savings

Using data isn’t just about auditing current use. The bigger that Big Data gets, the more accurate forecasts become. That means as well as cutting costs on their current projects, Coates customers can use this universal telemetry solution to leverage the data collected on previous projects to shrink expenses on future work.

Take the example of a road-building civil contractor. The contractor will require a certain number of rollers at a certain phase. Historically, estimating how many will be needed and when they will need to be available has been an art rather than a science.

But once there is a sufficiently large data sample, it’s possible to predict, with unprecedented precision, exactly how many rollers will be needed and precisely when they should be on site.

“Both overspeccing and underspeccing can quickly whittle away profit margins on projects,” Joshua says. “Having the Big Data, or more precisely the data analytics, available to avoid that happening can make a significant difference to the bottom line.”

Contact us for more information about how our digital solutions can help drive big savings, or visit your local branch.


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