How Vodafone helped put tyre management services startup Fleeca on the road to accelerated growth
In times where fuel prices and other variable costs are increasing, owners and managers of the fleet businesses often struggle to find the answer to the all-important question: How can I reduce my operating cost and stay profitable?
Fortunately, Fleeca, the tyre management startup, has a simple tip: manage and maintain your fleet tyres effectively, and you will see a reduction in your business operating cost. Yes, tyres are the most overlooked part, but they can have a big impact on a business’ profitability.
Tire management as a service: saving operational costs by over 40%
Fleeca India Private Limited provides end-to-end tyre management solutions to fleet owners. Standing for ‘FleetCare,’ Fleeca s is a tyre management services company for heavy commercial vehicle fleet owners. Through its various service offerings such as tyre inspection, tyre management as a service, tyre inventory management, tyre retreading, en-route Fleeca Centers etc., and products such as the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Fleeca helps fleet owners increase tyre life and tyre mileage, improve fuel efficiency, reduce capital expenditure on new tyre purchase by ensuring timely retreading, preventing tyre loss, improving inventory management and reducing road accidents and vehicle downtimes, thereby helping fleet owners save operational costs by over 40 percent.
“Through my past experience of working in the transportation sector, many people from the logistics industry told me about the roadblocks they faced because of the poor quality of tyres, and related services. It added a major cost to these companies, and that’s when I decided to solve it,” says Tikam Chand Jain, Founder of Fleeca.
Tikam started Fleeca in 2016, and his ex-colleague and friend Lokesh Sharma joined him as a co-founder in 2018 to handle the business development. Headquartered out of Jaipur, and with offices at Gurgaon and Bangalore, the startup chose a strategic presence on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
How tech helps tyres last up to 15 percent longer
Fleeca uses IoT SIMs and RFID tyre tags to track the mileage of a tyre in its entire lifecycle. A microchip stores the tyre's unique ID, which is linked to the vehicle identification number. The chip can also store information on when and where the tyre was made, its maximum inflation pressure, size, and so on. “One can track the air pressure, non-skid depth, wear and tear, mechanical defects, and other analysis using these tags. Later, we help our customers in preventive action, repairs, retreading, and maintenance of tyres, thereby extending the life of such tyres,” explains Tikam.
Fleeca claims that the Tyre Management System helps fleet owners by reducing costs and provides better mileage.
“Less wear and tear allow tyres to last up to 15 percent longer than before. This means more miles driven on each tyre, and less time spent replacing tyres, which in turn helps in saving on the operational cost of tyres,” says Tikam.
The company also has a user-friendly app to cater to the needs of the customers. Finally, Fleeca also offers to recycle tyres, making them fit for reuse on the roads.
Because mobile asset tracking forms the crux of their solution, it was imperative that Fleeca’s mobile partner delivered on IoT connectivity, technology, reliability, reach, price transparency, customisation and responsiveness. And this is where they found a partner in Vodafone.
“We were introduced to the Vodafone team at iStart Rajasthan. We found their offerings to be intrinsically aligned to our needs and requirements, and decided to go ahead with them,” adds Tikam.
How Vodafone’s solutions empower their mobility
Fleeca’s challenge was to deliver at scale and develop a state-of-the-art system and enable fleet owners to access all tyre-related information such as the health of the tyre, actions to be undertaken to improve its health, Fleeca Centers enroute, tyre inventory data, analysis of tyre performance and cost savings obtained, etc. through one single platform.
Vodafone’s IVRS system helps fleet owners and drivers reach out to Fleeca in the event of any en-route tyre-related issues. This helped Fleeca improve their customer experience while ensuring that no business opportunity was missed out on. Vodafone’s mobility solutions help empower the 120-strong Fleeca team stay connected at all times.
Vodafone’s IoT solution helps to establish realtime connectivity and transfer data to the servers which is then used to monitor the life of the tyre and take preventive measures if necessary. This helps them build differentiation in their core offering and boost operational efficiency.
“Vodafone’s responsiveness, customer satisfaction focus and quality of service were the highlights of our relationship with the company. We have found them to be highly responsive and receptive to our requirements. The IVRS portal developed for us by the Vodafone team helps us keep a track on the performance of our teleservices team. The portal gives a detailed analysis of the TAT of each call, performance of each teleservices engineer, major regions from which calls are being received, major categories of queries on the portal, which helps build a robust business” says Tikam.
Adding that their overall experience has been extremely positive, with the Vodafone team highly receptive, transparent and responsive to their needs, particularly where customised offerings were needed.
Going from strength to strength, Fleeca wants to make their services pan-India, with the aim to become India’s leading tyre management service provider.
“Vodafone has numerous in-built solutions, which can be readily deployed to meet our business needs of the future such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence etc. We look forward to working with them in the future to expand our relationship,” concludes Tikam.
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