6 ways to get more insight from your fleet

Want to better understand how your fleet is performing?

Whether you're just starting your Railway IoT journey or you've already covered a lot of distance, here are six steps to help evaluate your needs and make sure you keep moving foward.

1. Pinpoint problem areas

Identify issues in your fleet that you'd like to better understand or problems you want to solve. For example:

  • Availability
  • Maintenance scheduling and planning
  • Reliability
  • Asset location and usage
  • Supply chain communication
  • Operational efficiency
  • Risk management
  • Operational cost reduction

2. Evaluate Make vs. Buy

Determine the direct and indirect costs of connecting your fleet to the Railway IoT. This is can be challenging and will often lead some businesses to make patchwork attempts at creating a data program that's not sustainable. For help determining what a complete Railway IoT program costs, consider these gaps you'd need to fill:

  • Hardware types and changes
  • Integration with equipment
  • Carrier management
  • Gateways
  • Data center management
  • Software apps and services

Take a look at the ZTR Make vs Buy whitepaper for more details on these 6 critical gaps.

3. Find end-to-end suppliers

Identify end-to-end (E2E) suppliers and find out how they can contribute to your Railway IoT strategy.

An E2E supplier can provide a variety of solutions including hardware and software, data centers, analytics, user platforms and customized user support for a wide range of equipment types. You may not need every aspect of a Railway IoT solution, but having a provider who is experienced in each of these areas means you could have help at every stage of your digital journey or be able to easily integrate with other solutions, gateways or hardware.

What you will need from your supplier:

  • Hardware and a single-source platform
  • Proven solutions from a supplier with experience in both rail and telematics industries
  • Customized solutions to integrate all your equipment data in one place
  • Flexible options with a wide range of applications and fleet package designs
  • Rapid implementation through expert installers and technical support so that you can meet your project timelines
  • Strong ROI from a telematics partner focused on your long-term business value
  • The ability to support your growth with data brokerage, hardware solutions, gateways and expanded data points

4. Connect

Determine what your ideal Railway IoT program looks like and implement the CONNECT-ANALYZE-ACCELERATE approach. To begin, prioritize where improvements should start.

  • Collect standard data from across your fleet - e.g. standardized location tracking across ALL your equipment
  • Pick one equipment type and start with it to solve the most critical problems first - e.g. railcars
  • Bring new equipment or data points into your existing strategy - e.g. add railcars to location fleet monitoring

5. Analyze

Take a look at the data you are receiving and see what it's telling you. Determine what additional data you need so that you can get better insights. To do this, make sure your program addresses the following criteria:

  • Available insights - through reporting, an app or an easy-to-use interface, can you get access to the information you need?
  • Communication and support - do you have an open support line to your Railway IoT supplier?
  • Action - does your program allow for immediate action to solve fleet operational issues?

6. Accelerate

After analyzing your current and future needs, identify how can broaden your access, analytics or equipment connectivity to get an even better picture of your fleet.

  • More data - add sensors or connect more equipment to gather more data and get better insights
  • Frequency - increase how often you get data points and reports
  • Analytics - receive more insight on existing data through edge computing or data center analytics

Wherever you're starting from or where you're headed, connecting your railway assets with Railway IoT solutions can vastly improve the efficiency and reliability of your fleet.

To learn more, download our Railway IoT brochure or railway [at] ztr [dot] com (subject: Railway%20IoT, body: I%20read%20your%20blog%20post%20about%20how%20to%20get%20more%20insights%20from%20our%20Railway%20fleet.%20I'd%20like%20to%20learn%20more.) (contact us) to find out how you can arrange a free evaluation of your Railway IoT Program.