Behind the scenes: How to provide a quality telematics product
To provide an outstanding product, you need an environment that demands continual improvement. This isn’t only true when releasing something new - it’s also the case for products already in use. What does this mean in the world of telematics?
As is becoming increasingly apparent across all industries, the power is in the data. We spoke to Simon Wavish, Director of Product Quality, to understand how his team ensure Masternaut’s products and processes are satisfying customers’ needs.
Q: How would you describe your role at Masternaut?
As Director of Product Quality, I have a wide remit to improve all aspects of operations which affect the services we provide. This is everything from our product software and devices, to tools and processes, for example how we collect and assess performance data.
Q: What are some of the difficulties of product quality within telematics?
Vehicle telematics is a challenging environment! Some devices require a complex installation with multiple interfaces, which have to be done within the day-to-day challenges of vehicle operation. Vehicles are always on the move and it’s inconvenient - not to mention costly - for customers to take them off the road for product servicing. Given that a high quality of service and performance is one of our core principles, we’ve invested heavily to optimise remote diagnostics, greatly reducing instances when vehicles have to be taken off the road.
Q: So how much information are you getting every day from the devices?
Most telematics devices report a basic level of diagnostics to tell you how they’re performing - if only on a very basic level of whether they’re working properly or at fault. However, our M400 device has been developed to report more than 500 different diagnostic metrics every day, covering all aspects of the device’s operation.
This huge amount of data allows us to monitor the device and its environment, but it’s not all we use. It’s combined with processed data reported in the Masternaut Connect platform, thereby representing the full end to end service as experienced by the customer.
Q: What are you actually tracking / checking in this data?
All aspects of the device are tracked and reported daily - I won’t list all 500 metrics, but it includes status and activity on all external interfaces, diagnostics from on-board modules such as GSM and GPS, and metrics on the data transferred to and from the device.
The range of data, and the ability to combine and cross reference between device and platform metrics, allows us to continuously and accurately check and report on all vehicles within Connect.
Q: What happens if you notice a problem?
Daily analytics are run across the Connect fleet and the status of each vehicle is reported. If a potential fault is detected we will attempt to fix it over the air - well over a third of all faults are fixed this way. If this isn't possible then we’ll engage with the customer to investigate the fault further, potentially leading to a service.
Q: How do you continue to improve Masternaut’s product quality?
Our quality metrics are constantly reviewed and used to evaluate performance in our product and processes, allowing us to make continuous small, incremental improvements.
Transparency is often key to improvement, so we’re increasingly sharing these performance metrics throughout the company. There are lots of smart people at Masternaut whose questions and ideas can help us continue to enhance our product and ultimately our customers’ experience.
Q: Is there a project you’re working on now that really excites you / you think will have a big impact for customers?
We have a big ongoing project where we’re integrating the quality metrics into our CRM system (Salesforce). Making this information available to our customer-facing operations within Salesforce will significantly increase the speed and accuracy of our response to customer issues. Customer satisfaction is our ultimate goal, and our strong NPS scores are a strong indication that we’re doing a good job.
Byon Nov 13 2019
A copywriter with a diverse background in marketing, I’ve dabbled in a variety of sectors including retail, education and gaming. But whatever the industry, whatever the format, writing is always about effective communication. In my role at Masternaut as Product Marketing Manager, my aim is to tell our customers about how telematics can improve their fleet management.