It has been a tough year and a half for the logistics market. The riots in July this year just exacerbated an already tenuous market and companies, those that have survived, are being more conservative about their spending.
Overall, says Leon Mynhardt, managing director of Mtrack, the sentiment is negative with people inclined to take a wait-and-see approach before committing to new budgets, even though the crime rate in the logistics market as a whole is higher than ever.
He says this is a challenge for tracking and recovery companies like Mtrack, which means the firm has had to focus on providing better service than ever, even though its 18-year rolling average recovery rate is 95%. Understanding the customer’s price sensitivity, Mynhardt says Mtrack has made some internal changes to ensure its service is personalised and as good as it can be in the asset protection and recovery business.
While servicing its current market is key and its efforts in this area will continue, Mynhardt adds that Mtrack is diversifying its operations as well, entering new markets. One of these markets is the personnel tracking market.
With the current security climate requiring more from the security industry, Mtrack has developed solutions these companies can use to protect their staff and clients, as well as their assets while on the job. The Mtrack Personal Tracker is a small device complete with a panic button that allows security companies to track their staff while on patrol and find them if, as in the case of the recent riots, they find themselves in a sticky situation and require backup.
Naturally, the control room will also be able to provide information on when they do their patrols and if they cover the routes required via the GPS ‘snail trail’. These personnel trackers therefore add value by ensuring security staff are safe, giving their exact location if they need help while providing additional information to help these companies optimise their operations.
The Mtrack control room is aimed at managing exceptions, such as panic alerts from vehicles or people, but as a cloud-based service, the company can also provide this additional information to enable its customers to do enhanced monitoring. Customers can log in via the Internet or integrate the Mtrack information into their own management platforms via an API (application programming interface).
The company also plans to offer a similar service to the agricultural sector, allowing farmers, for example, to track their equipment. Not only will they be able to track farm equipment, but they will also be able to monitor maintenance cycles.
Adapting to reality
As noted, its fleet customers need not feel left out. The company is taking care of its customers and developing and improving its fleet management products, from its MtrackFleet platform through to the new MtrackVII. The MtrackVII is a self-powered, wireless device that enables tracking and recovery of vehicles and assets throughout the country, indoors and outdoors, above ground and below, using a combination of GSM, GPS and RF technologies, and includes a movement sensor and tamper detection among a long list of features – such as a rechargeable battery with a 12-month lifespan.
Mynhardt adds that Mtrack is agile enough to adapt to the changing realities and has therefore been able to develop these additional service bundles quite quickly. However, products are only a portion of its customer offering and its improved service levels will be the differentiator in a competitive market.
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