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Since 2000, NexTraq has helped to revolutionize the telematics industry. A leading GPS fleet and mobile workforce management provider, the company was acquired by Michelin North America on July 17, 2017. Now, with over a year as part of the world’s second-largest tire manufacturer, NexTraq is a key player in Michelin’s Global Services and Solutions business line. Combined, the group boasts over 2,000 employees, serving more than 70,000 customers, with over 850,000 vehicles utilizing telematics solutions, worldwide. In this interview, Pankaj Sharma, Vice President of Marketing and Product at NexTraq shares some insights into NexTraq, a Michelin group company, as well as the products and services that made the company so attractive to Michelin.
What are some of the trends that you expect to have an impact in the telematics industry this year and how is NexTraq planning to leverage these trends and evolve?
Five years ago, our clients were looking for very basic information, including the location of their vehicles and drivers. They wanted to know what they were doing. Today, our customers want to know how to use even more data to improve their business. NexTraq helps our customers streamline their operations, making them more efficient and productive. But we also help them make their drivers and their fleets safer. Our platform has adapted and evolved in response to over 17 years of experience and customer requirements. That means NexTraq’s products and services are highly efficient, user-friendly, and empower clients to seamlessly improve their operations. And that covers their mobile workforce as well as their vehicles and other mobile assets in the field.
Please walk us through the features and benefits of NexTraq.
Our solutions focus on four primary pillars: driver safety, productivity and visibility, mobile workforce management, and maintenance and compliance. Let’s start with driver safety. NexTraq provides Driver Safety Scorecards. These reports provide managers with insights on how their drivers are performing based on harsh acceleration, hard braking, aggressive cornering and violation of posted speed limits. In addition, we offer online driver education courses that help improve their employees’ driving skills.
Our platform has adapted and evolved in response to over 17 years of experience and customer requirements
NexTraq also provides a product that helps prevent distracted driving to block certain activities like texting while behind the wheel, surfing the web, and other unauthorized activities. NexTraq also offers an in-vehicle alert drivers hear when they are driving too aggressively.
On the visibility and productivity front, we provide geofencing and mapping powered by Google Maps. Fleet managers and supervisors use these functions to monitor activities that help them manage their fleet to save money and get more done. For example, excessive idling alerts let managers know when their fleets aren’t moving as they should. NexTraq gives managers a bird’s-eye view so they can send the closest vehicle to a job. Our customers also have easy access to reporting and metrics with over 40 reports specifically tailored to their needs. That provides clarity to the essential aspects of running a fleet. Fuel usage, fraud, speed violations, poor driving behaviors, and geofencing alerts that inform supervisors when vehicles have either arrived at a job site or are traveling in prohibited areas. There’s also a dispatch module integrated within a job schedule board with a simple drag-and-drop interface. That helps managers get even more jobs done.
For maintenance needs, NexTraq offers comprehensive tools that remind managers when service is coming due and when Check Engine lights come on. Plus, we simplify all of the recordkeeping that’s a major pain point with running a fleet. And, in the United States commercial vehicles are subject to the FMCSA’s ELD mandate. Our electronic logging devices (ELDs) are FMCSA-certified. We have a hardwired solution that connects directly to the vehicle to provide accurate and robust reporting for regulatory reporting requirements. These include Hours of Service (HOS), Record of Duty Status (RODS), and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR).
Could you please cite a case study on how you have enabled a customer to overcome hurdles and attain desired outcomes with your innovative array of solutions?
Sure. We have several. One that comes to mind is Interstate Aerials. This is a company in New Jersey that provides rental equipment to the construction industry. They needed to find a way to be able to track the location and stay on top of the maintenance of over 4,000 pieces of equipment. They also needed the ability to track runtimes of the equipment to ensure they were properly billing their customers. Since working with them they said they’ve tripled their fleet and employees.
What according to you are the differentiating factors of NexTraq that give you a competitive edge?
Every time we introduce a new product or service, we consider how we can help our customers grow. What do they really need? Beyond flexible, scalable solutions that can grow with their business, from five vehicles to over 5,000, we make sure they know how to use our systems. NexTraq has a dedicated team that works to set up our new customer accounts. That helps them not only start feeling comfortable with the system, but helps them start realizing ROI right away.
What does the future hold for NexTraq? Any platform enhancement strategies you can talk about?
We have a lot of great innovations in the works. All I can say is stay tuned.