Through partnership with Arvento, Safetrac bridges the market with the latest tracking technology
By Caroline Mwendwa
Car tracking solutions in the Kenyan market are slowly becoming a common place as fleet and car owners, realize the need to keep tabs of their vehicles.In the same breath, service providers are sighting gaps in this industry and coming in to seize opportunities using the ever evolving technology.
Rising to the hilt is Safetrac a two year old tracking companywhich uses technologies powered by Arvento the 5th biggest telematics company in the world to serve clients with beyond the norm tracking services. It is also a sister company to Borderless Tracking Limited which is one of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) licensed vendor to provide the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS). Safetrac is more than just a car tracking company, it goes beyond tracking; into providing critical solutions that aid individuals and organizations in making meaningful operational and financial decisions. It has foot print in the whole of East African region, the DRC, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and South Sudan.
“We came in after realizing that the solutions offered in this industry are of substandard quality and therefore we are about offering advanced technologies with customized solutions for our market,” explains Benard Limo, the Technical Manager at Safetrac. Customers subscribing for services at Safetrac enjoy sundry perks that have not been on offer in the market before.
Solutions available at Safetrac
Technologies used at Safetrac stand out because they support various additional sensors and devices. Some of the additional sensors that Safetrac has been able to integrate into the system include: temperature sensors, engine immobiliser, tipper sensors, driver ID units, and listening units, trailer trackers among others.
One of the core solutions available at Safetrac is the Driver Identification Unit. This enables users to monitor drivers operating the vehicle, distance travelled and hours driven by a particular driver.Trailer tracker is another solution provided at Safetrac. Trailer tracker enables monitoring when tractor is attached or detached on the trailer.
As an intervention in case of a wayward driver, the company offers a solution that allows for immobilsation of the vehicle. “Our immobile device is installed remotely to stop the vehicle in case of misuse. The command to stop the vehicle engine is sent from the system, received by the device and executed when the speed is 0Km/h. When the vehicle is stopped, a second command to authorize ignition by key is sent then the vehicle can be ignited,” explains Mr Limo.
To monitor the use of fuel, car owners can install a fuel lever sensor, which is set in the fuel tank of the vehicle and allows users to easily monitor fuel levels on line, real time or retrospectively. An alert can also be sent to notify users in case of a sudden or unexpected change in fuel levels.
Then there is a door sensor, which is installed on doors and allows monitoring when the doors are opened or closed. It triggers notifications of the status of the doors.
The temperature control and monitoring systems are installed in desired places and report through alerts temperatures of the fitted places. “We market this solution mostly to transporters of perishable goods such as floriculture dealers and fishmongers.
The bucket lifting control systems otherwise known as tippers are tailored for construction companies and uses the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) Socket Integrated Vehicle Tracking System. Other solutions in this category include: Urban Logistics, a cloud-based solution that aims to solve issues related to congested places in towns and CANbus, OBD-II, TachographIntegration which collects and delivershighly detailed information such as gas pedal level, RPM, oil temperature, fuel level, instant fuel consumption, real-time odometer info, among others.
To enable communication between the driver, the tracking center and the owners of the car being tracked, Safetrac has various solutions available. One of them is the audio communication kit, which allows two way conversation between the tracking center and the vehicle. The vehicle can be called through the installed kit and the driver can call the preset number. The listening unit is also a communication solution which allows the tracking center to listen inside the vehicle through a microphone placed in the vehicle. In case the driver is stuck somewhere, there is an option of pressing the emergency assistance button which activates the system and the driver can send an alert to the center or a message to the preset mobile phones.
Safetrac also one of the cheapest vehicle solution in the market known as Trackimo. Trackimo is an intelligent, GPS-GSM tiny device that allows you to track your vehicle, see where it is, and automatically send alerts after detecting distress signals.
Trackimo uses GPS satellites and Cellular tower triangulation as second choice to compute the location of the device and report its location via the GSM cellular worldwide network.
‘’With Trackimo you can view the location of your vehicle, anywhere, anytime. Trackimo unique system has been designed to be highly informative and user friendly. It allows tracking the real-time location of your vehicle, or check the history log of the device with an easily customizable time range. ‘’ Adds Limo.
The Trackimo Tracking device is retailing for Kes. 15,000 with a subscription fee of 5 dollars per month in the first year. This is the cheapest product in the market.
It stands out in innovation
Safetrac has innovated other solutions beyond car tacking, which makes life easy to manage, lessening the day to day worries by simplifying processes. These include: Student tracking and admin reporting system (STARS). This unit is one of its kind and it allows for monitoring of students’ movement in and out of school by parents and the school administration. It uses a powerful light weight solution that has many different track and trace and other custody applications allowing parents and teachers to keep track of children on the move.
For business people wishing to take stock with convenience, Safetrac has a solution called Quikcount®. Stock taking and computing the sold and misplaced or lost items can be an uphill task, but not with the Quikcount® solution. With an RFID tag labelled on each item, stocks can be scanned in seconds, the quantity of the stock computed and updated in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application.
Sometimes we lose an asset that’s hard to trace yet so important and equally hard to replace. ATLAS for asset tracing another lightweight solution provided at Safetrac can be used as a locator tag to track indoor assets within a building using BLE tags to map locations. The BLE tags will beacon its location ID which can then be picked up by readers such as smartphones.
Among the perks enjoyed by customers of Safetrac are warranty and data archiving. Device warranty at Safetrac lasts a lifetime, despite the technologies in use being of high quality.
Secondly, customers of Safetrac get a ten year data archiving which is a major support especially for vehicle owners. “Sometimes vehicles involved in accidents need proof of the incident dating many years especially due to the delays in court process. Our archives maintained by the modern day technologies make it easy to retrieve such information,” explains Mr Limo. Clients can also get regular reports of their vehicles activities and this makes it possible to compare performance over time.
The facility has a team working 24 hours a day to ensure that customers are attended to anytime they need intervention. “We also have technical service across the region to ensure that whenever there is a technical hitch with any of our customers they are immediately bailed out.”
To gain a competitive edge in the market, Safetrac has an elaborate customer service which ensures that in case of anything requiring the customer’s attention, the company reaches out to them in time.
To reach out to potential markets, Safetrac markets its solutions through interpersonal outreach, print media and referrals through the internets. “We strategically target specific industries for various solutions,” explains Linda Omenda, the Business Development Manager at Safetrac.
So far, the company has secured over 650 vehicles with the devices. It operates on competitive prices. The gadget costs $350 and a monthly recurrent charge of $25.
As Limo observes, tracking services industry has for a very long time been price oriented but the grounds are slowly shifting as people seek to get value that comes with convenience, even if it means paying for it. “People want something that works, and dread the back and forth that comes with substandard services,” he says adding that this is an era where clients want more customized solutions rather than a one shoe fits all approach.
Limo however laments that doing business in some areas can be daunting especially the areas with poor infrastructure. “Our devices use GSM to transmit data and if the infrastructure cannot support the systems, then they go offline. This poses a major setback because it distracts the real time visibility,” he elaborates.
Another challenge they have had to grapple with is dealing with clients who are not much aware of the utilities of the services they receive. The fleet telematics data and the information gotten is not being fully utilized. People are still relying on verbal reports when they can obtain trustworthy information from the system.
His advice to people seeking these services is that cheap is expensive. “Quality is of essence when choosing a service provider, don’t be carried away by low prices for substandard services,” he offers.
The ground is still fertile for offering technological solutions, and Safetrac is upbeat that there is more potential markets yet to be reached. “We want to reach out to more customers and diversify our product offering even further,” concludes Limo.