Telematics Update talks to Markus Lipinsky, Managing Director of Daimler FleetBoard.

Telematics Update talks to Markus Lipinsky, Managing Director of Daimler FleetBoard.

Prior to this role, Lipinsky worked as management consultant and chief of staff to Daimler board member Andreas Renschler, who is responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.

What does your company do?

Daimler FleetBoard GmbH was established in 2003 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG and currently has over 1,200 commercial vehicle fleet customers. The company combines many years of experience in the truck, van and bus sector with a wide range of IT know-how to support the freight-forwarding and logistics industry with telematics-based services. Since launching its Vehicle Management services in 2000, the company has installed systems in over 55,000 commercial vehicles.

Daimler FleetBoard is constantly expanding and innovating its range of services. With market-leading standard systems and its own data center, the company provides clearly understandable and future-proof solutions that can easily be integrated into existing freight-forwarding programs. Customers benefit from using their assets more productively by bringing driver, dispatcher, fleet manager and the vehicle itself to the next level.

Daimler FleetBoard has a registered office in Stuttgart, Germany, while the FleetBoard business in the UK is operated through its own sales and distribution company, Daimler FleetBoard UK Ltd. FleetBoard sales representatives operate throughout the whole of Europe as well as in the Middle East, South Africa and Brazil.

How do you differentiate your offerings from your competitors?

Daimler FleetBoard has successfully positioned itself in the telematics market as one of the leading market players over the past 10 years. Today, truck customers with telematics requirements take a very close look at what telematics providers offer. Price is only one evaluation criteria. The question is, to which performance level does a fleet manager want to bring his fleet? Hauliers are increasingly recognizing that a telematics system not only promises savings in the total cost of ownership (TCO), but also offers service and process improvements.

Proximity to the truck development and access to vehicle brands provides a broad basis for growth of our services. For example, by improving the driver grading from 7 to 9, our customers save 11% on fuel and some €100 per month on vehicle wear and tear. In addition, customers save on vehicle damages. I am sure that suppliers of mirrors hate our service. A payback of less than 10 months is common for our system. Every customer knows the investment security of a FleetBoard solution, its continuous improvement and the many years’ experience of the staff that goes into the product range.

What partnerships are you currently forging? What industry milestone did you recently achieve?

We have a wide range of long lasting partnerships with hardware and software suppliers. By partnering with established brands, we provide high quality for our customers. For example, the co-operation between Daimler FleetBoard and Zauner & Partner offers the customer even more benefits. With Tacho Management, FleetBoard offers a first-class service when it comes to reading and transferring data from digital tachographs. With the FleetBoard Edition of analysis software ZA|ARC®, developed by Zauner & Partner, this tachograph data can be displayed and processed in an uncomplicated manner.

We have also developed some special features for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Together with Mercedes-Benz Global Service & Parts, we provide innovative truck service management. Information on upcoming maintenance work is sent to workshop and fleet managers in order to minimize downtime. And our hardware platform works very well in all commercial vehicle brands, offering a FMS gateway.

In 2009, we invested in innovations to help our customers more then ever to gain more time for the essentials. As the very first telematics provider, we started at the beginning of the year with the Dekra-certified mass memory download, which for the first time enables you to remotely read digital tachographs. Further highlights include the launch of the plug & play solution for flexible logistics management and the setup of our FleetBoard service network with 22 certified service partners in Germany and 10 in the UK. In 2010, this will expand Europe-wide.

This year’s FleetBoard drivers’ league brought us unforgettable moments under the motto TRUCKERMANIA, where over 5,400 drivers – more than ever before – from 10 nations took part. In 2010, our development will focus on strengthening our USP Vehicle Management and the positioning of FleetBoard in Europe and internationally as well as expanding our position in terms of logistics and time management services.

Which trends will impact the industry the most in the coming years and why?

In times of increasing environmental protection and cost savings, long-term investments in telematics pay off more then ever. We think that the telematics branch will grow much more in Europe. Using FleetBoard, our customers decreased 2009 CO2 emissions by about 174,000 tons and reap the benefits month after month. New customers report on average 7% fuel savings within the first three months after implementing FleetBoard. Our longstanding FleetBoard customers see the savings distinctly on repair and maintenance costs. The telematics market will develop more innovations to help hauliers more then ever to gain more time for the essentials.

You are a key speaker atour upcoming Fleet & Asset Management Europe 2010 Conference & Exhibition. What key topics or issues will you be discussing with the industry at this leading show in Amsterdam this February?

I don't want to give away too much just yet, but I'm looking forward to meeting industry colleagues and partners. One of the things we are going to discuss indepth isgreen trucking by means of eco-friendly logistics through commercial vehicle telematics.

Which gadgets/gizmos/cars are on your 2010 wish-list?

No gadgets, but a lot of innovative and useful telematics from FleetBoard 2010!

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