Sacramento County procures telematics to improve operations
Published on February 8, 2021
The Challenge: Procuring a new telematics solution to improve operations
Limited resources, department silos and drawn-out procurement cycles. Government agencies operating fleets nationwide can attest: these are just a few of the common issues they battle when addressing problems within their departments. In this case, the team in Sacramento County was dealing with all of the above, and to make matters worse, inaccurate data from their existing telematics solution was causing frustration among those trying to improve driver safety for their fleet.
Their inability to pinpoint the speed and location data typically used to coach drivers, left the team without a reliable method to realize their goal of improving driver safety. They began their search for a more robust telematics solution, but getting approval felt like a bit of an uphill battle, until the team in Sacramento came across Geotab.
The Solution: Procurement simplified thanks to Geotab’s State contract
The Geotab solution was different right from the start. Yes, it could provide the county with the reliable data they needed to help inform their driver safety program, but that was just the beginning. The more they dug into the other benefits that Geotab’s integrated solution could provide the more they realized they could use those features to help them convince everyone on the team at Sacramento County to get behind a comprehensive telematics solution. With Geotab, they would be able to replace their existing telematics platform and expand the program across all their fleet assets. From there, they could use the data to help identify under-utilized vehicles to properly rightsize their fleet, optimizing operations. And, the data was not only superior to anything they’d used before, it was also easy to interpret thanks to the dashboards available to every manager, any time.
What’s more, Geotab made the procurement process simple, thanks to their contract with the State of California. In 2019, Geotab was awarded a single-source Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) to supply the State of California and participating local government agency fleets with their industry-leading telematics solution.
“Just knowing the State of California and the Federal Government is using Geotab, in my mind, was an easy justification to make, when it came to choosing Geotab telematics, not to mention there’s no upfront cost for hardware or installation,” explains Keith Leech, Chief, Fleet Division & Parking Enterprise at Sacramento County. “Utilizing the State contract was so easy. When we took our recommendation to our board of supervisors for approval there were literally no challenges, everyone accepted it.”
To add to this, Geotab was also approved for participating in the California Bureau of Automotive Repair’s (BAR) Continuous Testing Program (CTP). With the State of California requiring smog checks on vehicles every two years, this was a big help in getting buy-in to move ahead with Geotab in Sacramento County. As an authorized BAR Program member, Geotab could help Sacramento County’s fleet avoid in-person smog checks through the use of telematics data pulled directly from the vehicles. This is a huge benefit to the team in Sacramento County, as traditionally, vehicles put through the in person smog checks would be parked for the entire day, resulting in lost utilization, not to mention the $50 price tag per vehicle, which is now saved.
The team’s ability to expand Geotab to the rest of the fleet is not an uncommon story. “It’s really contingent on our ability to sell the ROI to our other departments,” explains Leech.
“It’s not a top-down approach. I don’t have the regulatory authority for a fleet management policy coming out of the county board of supervisors or county executives. Essentially, if the department wants to pay for it and implement GPS telematics across the board, we have to facilitate that.”
The team, led by Leech understood that the key to expanding telematics to the other departments was to help them understand the potential benefits, like the reduced costs, improved utilization and other functionality and features that would allow his team to be more proactive with maintenance with department vehicles.
Of course, with strict budgets to consider, Joe Trujillo, Fleet Manager at Sacramento County explains, “the fact that Geotab provided the hardware and installation at no cost definitely helps us when pitching the solution to other departments.”
The Results: Robust, reliable data to inform decision making
With Geotab devices onboard their vehicles, the team in Sacramento County now had the robust, reliable data they needed to properly coach drivers to improve safety. Plus, with real-time monitoring, they’re able to cut down on diagnostic times when a vehicle goes into the shop, and be more proactive by identifying potential issues before they turn into catastrophic failures.
As the team began their rollout of the Geotab solution in the Department of General Services, other departments have started reaching out with questions about whether or not the solution might be right for them too. “We started out with just our own department, and we would receive calls from Animal Care, Water Resources, and others who were hearing good things,” explains Trujillo. “We shared our positive experience with these other teams and explained the benefits of the Geotab solution, and now we’re working with them to implement it on their teams.”
The benefits of telematics have been felt across the board. They now have reliable data to help make data-driven decisions on Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), utilization and fleet optimization. Before Geotab, the primary input when making decisions on utilization was mileage, which is not truly an indication of the true use of the vehicles. With Geotab, they’re now able to confirm the number of total trips, which helped one division confidently reduce several vehicles to rightsize the fleet.
Looking ahead to future possibilities with Geotab
The team in Sacramento County is looking forward to expanding the Geotab solution by exploring car sharing opportunities for some of their divisions. They believe there’s a significant opportunity to cut down on the number of rental fleet vehicles at multiple locations across the County.
“We still have a number of low-use units out there,” explains Trujillo. “There are departments that share a geographical location, but have vehicles assigned to their individual departments just in case. We could absolutely find ways to manage this with a car sharing solution.” Leech adds, “We believe if these departments have the convenience of being able to plan ahead and reserve vehicles, there’s a huge potential to cut down on the number of vehicles.”
- The County was able to leverage Geotab’s State of California contract to simplify procurement and receive Geotab hardware and installation at no extra cost.
- Thanks to automated smog checks through Geotab’s BAR CTP partnership, the County will avoid costly downtime and lost utilization and save $50 per vehicle.
- Several departments in Sacramento County are planning to rightsize their fleets based on Geotab’s carshare solution.
“Geotab provides us with reliable data to help us make data-driven decisions on TCO and utilization, with the goal of best business practices in fleet management. It helps us educate our internal departments where there’s opportunities for not only operational savings through utilization improvements, but also through improving our fleet’s sustainability by implementing renewable fuels and electrification of the future.”
– Keith Leech, Chief, Fleet Division & Parking Enterprise at Sacramento County
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