Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services
Fleets can do digital too – with "connect business"
Especially for large fleets, fleet management is not often something that is done on the side. And here too, digitisation is becoming increasingly important: Under the brand name "connect business", Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH develops connectivity services and solutions for fleet and business customers. In her blog, Linda Deckmann, marketing and PR manager of this Daimler Financial Services subsidiary, tells us how everything started and explains the advantages of telematics.
Until recently, WASEL GmbH in Bergheim near Cologne was faced with a challenge:the company, which is one of the world's 30 largest in the heavy-duty logistics sector and has both Mercedes-Benz vehicles and other brands in its fleet, was unable to administer it collectively. The situation was remedied by Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH (MBCS) with our telematics-based multi-brand solution "connect business". Since then, WASEL has had rapid access to up-to-date vehicle data and mileages. Furthermore, the family-owned company has been able to reduce its fleet management workload by 8% thanks to a higher degree of automation.
This is only one of our many success stories. We recognised the relevance of telematics-based digital solutions for the fleet market, and founded the corporate start-up in spring 2016. As such we are agile and able to respond quickly to customer needs, but we also benefit from the resources of a large company – ranging from vehicle know-how to the sales network.
Under the product brand "connect business" we offer fleet and business customers telematics-based digital solutions and connectivity services for fleet operations. These include e.g. the Digital Driver’s Log, the location service Vehicle Logistics and Vehicle Monitoring & Maintenance. These quickly enable companies to achieve fuel savings in double percentage figures.
Logistical processes can be optimised by locational data, and the electronic driver's log enables significant tax advantages to be generated. We later added our notification service Driver Messaging, and since January of this year it has been possible to activate real-time traffic information in Mercedes-Benz vehicles via "connect business" with Live Traffic Information. The digital services are currently available in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
It all started in 2016, with a small team of just seven colleagues. This has now grown to 45 employees from a wide range of backgrounds, enabling us to cover the entire value creation chain of our company. From the architects and developers who create our services to the key account managers in sales, and right up to direct support – all are able to contribute their own individual strengths and realise their ideas.
But who are actually our customers? In principle, any commercial customer with a fleet of more than five vehicles can use our services. The business sector, brand of vehicles or company size are of no importance. Our experience over the last two years has shown us that the vehicle location data and real-time information are of particular interest to customers.
Telematics makes it possible to transfer real data directly from the vehicle to a user interface. The necessary hardware is already installed in Mercedes-Benz vehicles ex factory. We offer a retrofitted solution for other brands and older Mercedes-Benz vehicles (produced before 09/2014). This enables our customers to retrieve their vehicle data – e.g. odometer readings, maintenance information or locations – at any time and manage their fleets on that basis.
This makes Daimler the first automobile manufacturer to provide a multi-brand telematics and connectivity portfolio specially developed for fleet and business customers. We intend to expand this pioneering role in the market in the future.