Expert Opinion: Optimisation on Demand

15 March 2017

The word “revolutionary” is often over-used, but we are undoubtedly living through a Big Data revolution. The key question for fleets is how to make Big Data work for you – and we believe that the answer lies in optimisation.

Telematics, the connected car and the Internet of Things are converging to generate levels of data that would have seemed impossible a decade ago. As part of the Trakm8 Group, Route Monkey is at the leading edge of these developments.

Today, fleet managers have unprecedented access to precise information on the location, condition, and performance of every vehicle, as well as data on driver behaviour. The challenge, of course, is two-fold: firstly, not to drown in data so that it actually inhibits your operations; and secondly, how to make the best use of the mountain of information at your fingertips.

Make Big Data Work for You

The good news is that fleet optimisation thrives on data. The more information you can feed into the optimisation algorithms, the better the results. The data gathered by telematics in particular enables solutions like Route Monkey to accurately analyse your fleet’s operations. Our powerful algorithms can then assign vehicles, drivers and schedules in the most efficient way possible.

This process can be fully automated – the telematics sends data via our middleware to the optimisation algorithms, which crunch the numbers to schedule your fleet. Data collection, analysis and optimisation are all delivered without any intensive human resource required. Some clients prefer a partially automated system, which we can also provide.

Software as a Service

Until now, the procurement options for optimisation were limited. Typically, providers request an up-front payment, plus an annual licence fee. Hosting can be on your own servers, or in the Cloud with access through a web portal. The downside is that this payment model is not always viable or cost-effective, particularly for smaller fleets.

Increasingly, solutions are available via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, also referred to as on-demand software. Instead of paying a licence fee, users pay a monthly subscription, which can rise or fall depending on how often you use the software and which features you are using. It can even be a completely pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service.

Many organisations already use this pay-as-you-go procurement model for back-office applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, payroll, and even accounting. At Route Monkey, we believe the SaaS model is the key to unlocking the potential for smaller fleets to benefit from optimisation.

Optimisation on Demand

Working with our parent company, Trakm8, we are developing optimisation on demand, which we believe will make the benefits of fleet scheduling accessible to all. Fleet managers will be able to log into a website, upload their fleet data and receive optimised scheduling, all with just a few mouse clicks.

The PAYG element of on-demand optimisation gives smaller fleets much more flexibility, helping to ensure that you only pay for the service when you need it. Payment options could include a per-mile or per-vehicle basis. With mileage savings typically in excess of 10%, PAYG can give even the smallest fleets an immediate return on investment.

The potential operational benefits are also magnified for smaller companies. For example, a fleet with very simple and defined operations would not need optimisation on most days. However it could now access optimisation for periods when operations are more complex, such as multi-drop collections and deliveries. Another fleet might require basic optimisation on most days, with the scalability to add more complex features on a PAYG basis.

There are even wider applications that could prove invaluable. A company pitching for new business could access on-demand optimisation to predict what additional resource would be required to deliver the contract, thereby helping to inform your price points and service level agreements.

In 2015, Route Monkey saved its customers an estimated total 38,844,000 miles and a corresponding 26,258 tonnes of CO₂ emissions. Imagine what we can achieve in 2017, by making the software accessible to all fleets?

Call it revolutionary, call it transformative, or call it disruptive technology. Whatever you call it, on-demand optimisation is coming - and it has the potential to change fleet management forever.


Colin Ferguson is CEO of Route Monkey, a leading provider of fleet optimisation solutions that is part of the Trakm8 Group. A former transport operator, Colin founded Route Monkey to create algorithms that drive significant savings for fleets. It developed the world’s first electric vehicle optimisation software and remains an acknowledged global leader in this field.