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Fleetmatics Report Shows Retail Sales Correlate with Fleet Activity

April 16, 2015  - By

Fleetmatics has released the second edition of its FleetBeat Report, an in-depth analysis of tens of billions of data points extracted from thousands of commercial fleets managed using the company’s Software as a service (SaaS) platform over a span of four years. The report, “FleetBeat, Vol. 2: The Economy in Motion,” was co-authored by Stephen Fuller, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.

Fleetmatics says the data included in the report reveals that performance of small businesses in the services industry directly reflects the health of the economy.

“It has long been said that retail sales trends are often impacted by the health of small business,” said Jim Travers, chairman and chief executive officer of Fleetmatics. “Fleetmatics is uniquely positioned to analyze small business services activity given we have one of the largest fleet management data clouds in the world. Also, our customers are typically in the earlier phases of consumer consumption, such as distribution of goods and home deliveries.”

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As outlined in the report, the data extracted from Fleetmatics fleet management data cloud suggests that performance of small business services companies can be a highly credible indicator of national and regional economic health, even under changing conditions. The report also looks at small business services performance and retail sales in four Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), and concludes that geographic features can significantly define regional small business activity profiles.

“This is truly a groundbreaking new report, viewed from the perspective of the fleet management industry,” said Fuller. “Based on Fleetmatics’ FleetBeat second edition report, Fleetmatics data explains much of the variation and growth in retail sales. Furthermore, when comparing the Fleetmatics’ small business service fleet activity data with the retail sales data from Moody’s and the U.S. Bureau of Census, it’s clear the two data sets exhibit an extremely high correlation. I believe the ability to analyze real-time telematics data can now be considered an accurate data source on the small business flow of goods and service.”

With a dataset of over 10.7 billion telematics-generated data points from commercial vehicles managed with the Company’s SaaS platform in the United States, the report used regression analysis to compare the data with national monthly retail sales data.

There were eight telematics-derived, independent parameters considered in the analysis, both in aggregate and at the per vehicle level, including those related to mileage, number of vehicle stops, mileage per stop, number of active vehicle days per month and number of vehicles active in a month. The data was drawn from small business customers defined as entities having fleets from 5 to 100 vehicles, and only fleets from business types that were related to or supporting retail and service sectors were considered.

The report also examined regional differences that drive activities of small business services companies in four markets: New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami. The result was an in-depth breakdown of the most prominent indicators of small business economic activity and correlation to retails sales in each core market.

Fleetmatics’ first FleetBeat report highlighted the economic impact of telematics adoption and quantifiable benefits of business intelligence-driven fleet management. The report found that the total estimated economic impact of commercial fleet vehicles armed with telematics – assuming everyone had the same results as Fleetmatics’ optimized customers – would amount to $2.2 billion in fuel savings, a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions by 5 tons per year and $34.9 billion in total cost savings due to decrease in payroll hours.

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