Navistar’s analytics system cuts maintenance costs

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Updated Jan 8, 2016
After getting its start in 2013, Navistar’s OnCommand Connection now has 165,000 subscribers and is saving its customers an average of 30 percent in truck maintenance costs.After getting its start in 2013, Navistar’s OnCommand Connection now has 165,000 subscribers and is saving its customers an average of 30 percent in truck maintenance costs.

Navistar International Corporation has taken the old adage ‚ÄėNo man‚Äôs an island‚Äô and has applied that philosophy to its growing segment of truck performance data analysis.

Thanks to internal and external data sources, which includes a collaboration with 11 telematics companies, Navistar’s OnCommand Connection analytics system is saving its average subscriber 30 percent in repair and maintenance costs.

That news appeared this week in The Wall Street Journal which also reports that while Navistar’s CIO Terry Kline will not comment on OnCommand’s profitability among its 165,000 subscribers, he did say that the three-year-old data division is generating revenue through Navistar’s parts and service branch.

Real-time data from Navistar’s trucks and those of its competitors is gathered around the clock and analyzed against data from outside sources, which includes Rand McNally & Co. and Geotab as well as public sources offering up geographical and weather information.

A staggering 20 million records of data is gleaned each day from OnCommand customers and other data sources. More than half of OnCommand’s subscribers are from Navistar’s competitors.

Data streams lead to a Hadoop cluster which in turn provides reports designed to improve vehicle maintenance and performance. That real-time information can be accessed by fleet managers, dealers and service companies. In the event that a truck experiences a performance problem, a diagnosis for the truck as well as its estimated repair time, warranty information, prior service history and proximity to an authorized service repair center is provided.

Twenty-five data analysts on staff stay busy reviewing visual data trends and look for patterns that will help further improve performance outcomes. Kline says more analysts will be hired this year.

Having access to so much relevant data has led OnCommand’s subscribers to correct vehicle issues before they evolve into greater problems.

‚ÄúEach bit of data tells its own story,‚ÄĚ Dan DiFilippo, global and U.S. data and analytics leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers tells The Wall Street Journal. ‚ÄúIf you have a richer data set than I do, you‚Äôre at a better starting point than I am.‚ÄĚ