The Digital Supply Chain podcast

Fleet management and electric vehicles - a chat with Samsara's Rushil Goel,

June 19, 2020 Tom Raftery / Rushil Goel Season 1 Episode 46
The Digital Supply Chain podcast
Fleet management and electric vehicles - a chat with Samsara's Rushil Goel,
Chapters
The Digital Supply Chain podcast
Fleet management and electric vehicles - a chat with Samsara's Rushil Goel,
Jun 19, 2020 Season 1 Episode 46
Tom Raftery / Rushil Goel

This is the 46th episode of the Digital Supply Chain podcast, and I spoke with Rushil Goel. Rushil is Vice President and General Manager Fleet Management at Samsara.

Samsara are an Industrial IoT company with over 15,000 customers around the world. Much of their work in data capture is in the areas of vehicle/driver data, and also in industrial process controls.

Recently Samsara released the results of an independent study of electric vehicles which showed that the efficiency and cost savings associated with operating electric vehicles are large drivers in their adoption.

Being an Electric Vehicle owner, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation, and I think you will too - do let me know your thoughts, by dropping me a comment on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Now we are in June, I am trialling a new feature on the podcast - listeners stories. If you have a cool supply chain story you'd like featured on the show, send it to me via email (tom.raftery @ sap.com), or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Digital Supply Chain solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/digitalsupplychain and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

Show Notes Transcript

This is the 46th episode of the Digital Supply Chain podcast, and I spoke with Rushil Goel. Rushil is Vice President and General Manager Fleet Management at Samsara.

Samsara are an Industrial IoT company with over 15,000 customers around the world. Much of their work in data capture is in the areas of vehicle/driver data, and also in industrial process controls.

Recently Samsara released the results of an independent study of electric vehicles which showed that the efficiency and cost savings associated with operating electric vehicles are large drivers in their adoption.

Being an Electric Vehicle owner, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation, and I think you will too - do let me know your thoughts, by dropping me a comment on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Now we are in June, I am trialling a new feature on the podcast - listeners stories. If you have a cool supply chain story you'd like featured on the show, send it to me via email (tom.raftery @ sap.com), or just send it to me as a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn. Audio messages will get played (unless you specifically ask me not to).

And if you want to know more about any of SAP's Digital Supply Chain solutions, head on over to www.sap.com/digitalsupplychain and if you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it. Thanks.

And remember, stay healthy, stay safe, stay sane!

[00:00:04] But that was a key factor that came across in our survey. You know, about half of our respondents actually, you know, focussed more on fuel savings and maintenance cost improvements rather than the environmental impact as their primary motivating factor for adopting Hinkley C.  [00:00:22][18.1]
[00:00:26] Good morning, good afternoon or good evening wherever you are in the world.  [00:00:29][3.0]
[00:00:30] This is the Digital Supply-Chain podcast. The number one podcast focussing on the digitisation of supply chain. And I'm your host. Global vice president of SJP, Tom Raftery.  [00:00:39][9.3]
[00:00:44] Hi, everyone, welcome to the Digital Supply Chain podcast. My name is Tom Raftery with SCDP and with me on the show today. I have Ruscio Rashid. Would you like to introduce yourself?  [00:00:52][8.4]
[00:00:53] Yeah, thanks. Hi, everyone. My name is Rochelle Doyle, the VPN GM of our fleet management business here at some Sara, some Sahra is a industrial IoT company based across the world. And then we're excited to talk to you time and your audience today.  [00:01:08][14.8]
[00:01:08] Super issued. Before we turned on the recorder, you mentioned that some solera are based out of San Francisco, but that you operate in the US and Europe, is that correct?  [00:01:19][10.2]
[00:01:20] Yes. So we are based out of San Francisco. So we operate across North America. And besides the US, Canada and Mexico, as well as most of Europe as well, we do have a presence in a number of other cities in the US, but also in London to support our European business as well.  [00:01:34][13.9]
[00:01:34] And what is your business? Yeah.  [00:01:36][1.9]
[00:01:37] So we are in industrial IoT company basically offering a combined hardware, software, cloud based solution for customers who support critical infrastructure. So if you think about your transportation, logistics companies, construction, field services, local city governments and so on, basically providing them tools to get visibility into their assets in one place and execute workflows on top of that. Ultimately, a goal is to help those customers improve efficiency, safety, sustainability, kind of tying to the core business objectives that they have.  [00:02:12][35.1]
[00:02:13] OK, and so can you give me a couple of examples of sample customers and solutions you've provided them?  [00:02:21][8.5]
[00:02:23] Yeah, absolutely. So we have about 15000 customers now across those geographies that we talked about, some of the key ones that jump out. So we have customers like our best freight, which is one of the largest LTL distributors in the United States. For them, we provide kind of a combination of telematics and cameras as as an offering, helping them make sure they stay compliant with local regulations, improve driver safety, track fuel efficiency and so on. There's a few other customers like clean harbours. That's a leader in the kind of waste cleaner waste management space. Similar offering for them. We have other types of customers in different domains like City of Boston and more in the city and state governments face. So we track or help them track most of their their fleet and several objectives that they have with that around efficiency, sustainability and so on. So these are, again, free samples of customers that I'd highlight.  [00:03:22][58.9]
[00:03:22] Sure. Great. Now, you've mentioned twice now efficiency and sustainability play are. Why are those important for Uber, for your customers?  [00:03:32][10.3]
[00:03:34] Yeah, absolutely. You know, I think the best if I think about our customers, these are operations businesses really running our core infrastructure for them. Efficiency is ultimately driving our life for them. Right. Any any improvements that they have there have an immediate bottom line impact. And that's ultimately why we are motivated to impact them as well, because it certainly drives value for them. Safety is in a similar way in where where they're motivated to improve the safety of their workflows, make sure they're staying healthy and safe, and an impact that I think sustainability is another one that has been a core pillar of what we've been hearing from customers. It's it's interesting because there's, again, like a longer term environmental impact and a kind of corporate social impact that a lot of our customers have. We share that as well. So that has driven a lot of attention on sustainability and we fundamentally stand behind it. What's also interesting is that, you know, particularly when it comes to electric vehicles and so on, some that focus on sustainability actually impacts the bottom line as well and improves efficiency. So it's a little bit of a double advantage. But ultimately, I think, you know, bottom line, impact some of the long term social and corporate goals that that customers have are why efficiency and sustainability have been such a focus for us.  [00:04:51][77.7]
[00:04:52] And the reason I invited you on the shore issues because you guys published a survey that you can go to. It was done independently in the last week or so on on Evey's. Can you tell me a little bit about that?  [00:05:07][14.7]
[00:05:07] Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we we did decide to give the survey maybe to get a broader sense of, you know, even beyond our customers, how fleets thinking about electric vehicle adoption, what are the factors that they are considering? Also somewhat timely with us kind of going into the covered lockdown's and some of the economic uncertainty that was around it. So we wanted to get a pulse of that. So that's what we executed. And certainly happy to go into specific details of that, if you'd like.  [00:05:35][27.3]
[00:05:35] Yeah, no, I would, because we were seeing globally an uptake of. Probably two to three percent in the passenger vehicle sector of Evey's. I'm curious. There seems to be and correct me if I'm wrong, there seems to be a greater range of passenger vehicles available for purchase than there are commercial ones. So I'm curious what the uptake is like in the commercial sector and maybe you could speak to some of that.  [00:06:05][30.2]
[00:06:06] Yeah, absolutely. Many. You're absolutely right that consumer adoption of Phoebes has been has been tremendous and certainly accelerating. I think we have a right now about a million and a half or so. He's just in the US alone and a lot of a variety of vehicles offered there. While it has been more limited in commercial, we are starting to see quite a bit of traction there. And in fact, a number of industries are likely adopting that more because the arlys starting to make sense. So I'll give you a few examples. You know, we I mentioned a customer like city of Boston into the state government. And in that space, they've set a goal of total fleet electrification by 2030. So they're they're marching towards that. A lot of that is certainly dependent on availability of vehicles and wrapping that up. But it's something that, you know, we've we've seen we have severe Fort Lauderdale and other customer of ours that we actually helped identify that nearly half of their fleet could be electrified. So these are some customers in the sort of citizens and local government space. We're seeing healthy interest from passenger transportation as well. So one of our customers actually locally here in the Bay Area is Bower's transportation. You know, they often run the shuttle services for a lot of tech companies in the Bay Area. They're seeing a lot of traction. In fact, the reason why they decided to adopt Divvies was beyond just the environmental impact. But actually the the cost savings and the efficiency improvements that they could accomplish as a result of that. So I would say overall, early days still certainly not the same scale as we have in the consumer side. But we are seeing quite a lot of attraction and a lot of positive interest on ABC.  [00:07:49][103.5]
[00:07:51] And is there any particular vehicle category that that is moving faster than any other?  [00:07:56][5.5]
[00:07:57] Yeah, I would say that sort of more on the light to medium duty size, you know, things that ultimately look like passenger vehicles. You know, you typically actually see the similar models adopted, which is why I see, you know, when it comes to the city fleets and field services fleets, if you think about your plumbers, your electricians and folks like that, they're driving some of those medium to light duty vehicles. That's where I see the most, is there. But we're starting to see a large trucking cedes, bus fleets actually, you know, really start to work with manufacturers and and start to truck child those out. So I'd say that's a bit earlier in the day. But some light and medium duty scientists at me where we're seeing significant traction.  [00:08:39][42.0]
[00:08:41] And what can you what can you tell me about the survey? What did not reveal?  [00:08:44][3.1]
[00:08:46] Yeah, it was quite interesting. You know, I think it was actually interesting in the insight, especially given the timing with the economic environment. And to be honest, that going into it, we weren't sure what the outcomes would be or what what we would expect in terms of responses. But I think it's actually interesting because I think about 90 percent of our respondents actually continue to reinforce that these are about inevitable future. You know, they're they're positive about the investment there. They see the efficiency savings as being meaningful. So I think some of that was probably brought into sharper focus when the economic uncertainty. But that was a very clear point that came across. I think the other aspects were around, you know, people factoring in the cost savings and efficiency improvements beyond just the environmental impact when making those decisions. And we can talk more about that.  [00:09:37][51.5]
[00:09:37] Yeah. Can you talk a little bit more about that? Because, you know, not everyone might be aware, you know. Yeah. That the perception often of Evey's is that they're more expensive.  [00:09:47][9.4]
[00:09:48] Right. But it's more nuanced than that.  [00:09:51][2.8]
[00:09:52] No, you're right. It's it absolutely is. And I think, you know, most people the first time when I think what he means is like, hey, that's the way to impact emissions. And that's for sure. A key driver. But if you think about the what's the total cost of ownership. Right. How long what's the cost of operating a vehicle over the lifetime of the vehicle? That's how a lot of our fleets think about it, because they're really trying to optimise that. You see a lot of savings coming in. Right. So typically it a reduce fuel spend as fuel prices can go up and and certainly, you know, are harder to manage. ElectriCities is often cheaper. These types of vehicles have fewer moving parts and fewer breakdowns. So your maintenance cost over time goes down. So, in fact, in some countries of Europe today, it's actually cheaper to own a luxury vehicle than it is to. A regular gas vehicle, I think fleets are starting to see that value, you know, that's becoming better and better as the cost of batteries is going down. Even use in general is going down. So I expect that to improve over time. But that was a key factor that came across in our survey. You know, about half of our respondents actually, you know, focussed more on fuel savings and maintenance cost improvements rather than the environmental impact as their primary motivating factor for averting. He was that the impact was still very high, like about 30 to 40 percent. But that's something that was, I would say, a more balanced mix and one would have expected otherwise.  [00:11:23][91.0]
[00:11:24] Sure, sure. I mean, the way I typically think about it is and I would be thinking about it not as up from a fleet managers perspective, but, you know, as an individual owning a passenger vehicle. But very few people, when they go out to buy a passenger vehicle, buy it outright. They typically buy it on a monthly payments. And I assume it's similar for fleets they probably leased to mom three, your police or whatever it is. And if you look at a loan for an internal combustion engine vehicle and let's say it costs 30000 euros and let's say an equivalent electric vehicle costs, that's a forty five thousand euros, then you get your monthly payments come in around, I don't know, let's say five hundred a month or something like that, depending on the terms and so on and so on, so on. But you you will yeah. Your monthly payment for the Eevee will be slightly higher because of the upfront cost. But the fuel costs and the maintenance costs will at least bring it on par if not give you savings. I mean my own, my own car is an Eevee and I drive 10000 kilometres a month and when I got so I 10000 dollars a year a year.  [00:12:39][74.6]
[00:12:41] Very, very different proposition. Yeah. Ten thousand kilometres a year.  [00:12:44][3.1]
[00:12:45] And when I was when I got the keys of the car, the guy in the dealership handed me the maintenance book for the car and I leafed open to the first page and the first scheduled maintenance of that thirty thousand kilometres, the first maintenance and you know, it burned Eevee. The amount of maintenance that will have to be at 30000 is negligible anyway. Right. Maybe rotate the tires or something about.  [00:13:09][24.2]
[00:13:09] But you know, it it's those kind of things are just, I think, opaque to many people.  [00:13:15][5.6]
[00:13:16] Yeah, yeah. You're absolutely right. And I think all fleet managers and fleet owners really think about that. Instead of running our operating cars, running on a monthly basis or our annual basis, are they often calculated per mile as well? It's very clear that that maths is now, you know, coming either at the same, in fact, in some cases better. It's not quite there for every vehicle passed, but 74 for a lot of use cases. It's making sense. I think the other factors that are also helping is charging stations and how easy to access they are. And that network is getting stronger and stronger. But you're right. I think it's worth thinking about the holistic picture. And when you look at that, it's clear that these are becoming a much more COST-EFFECTIVE proposition over time.  [00:14:00][43.9]
[00:14:00] Was there anything else that came up in the survey that was interesting?  [00:14:02][1.7]
[00:14:03] Yeah, I think the other part that I would say was very interesting was that interest customers had in real time data and how important that was for them. And, you know, there's a number of things that fleet managers are critically anxious about with regard to Evey's. Right. So recharge anxiety around anxiety. Is my vehicle going to get get the job done and get there and be briefed on the road, you know, getting alerts around that and getting real time status, being able to monitor our charging schedules to know when they can charge the vehicle and maybe optimise that around when load load is high or low and the rates might be high, you know, being able to monitor performance. So it's a basically a strong interest in getting data from there so that they can build insights that can inform their strategy around electrification. So I think that was very interesting to see, particularly given our alignment and being able to offer tools to help customers with that. Okay.  [00:14:59][55.5]
[00:14:59] And is there any more data available from Easy's than internal combustion engine vehicles or is it typically the same?  [00:15:07][7.2]
[00:15:08] Yeah, I think it's it's a different type of data, but certainly some more insights that one can draw. You know, the base level is a state of charge which is very similar to the fuel level. And, you know, being able to track that, I think is providing more diagnostic information on the helps the battery itself and the vehicle. I think that's been generally happening in combustion engine as well as the newer ones. But just because these are built on are typically a modern platform that allows us to allows you to kind of on that maintenance point we were discussing earlier, be more proactive, you know, estimate what the battery life would be if some if a. Degrading, being able to suggest corrective action based on that. So, again, similar kind of concepts in terms of data set any more? Richard, data in some ways, but something that I think is certainly helpful for managers to be able to make sure their fleet stays in tip top shape.  [00:15:58][50.4]
[00:16:00] OK, super.  [00:16:00][0.3]
[00:16:01] You said we're very early on into the adoption of them far fleets. What kind of timeframe are we looking at before they become, let's say, the norm? Are these the obvious choice for a fleet manager?  [00:16:12][10.4]
[00:16:13] Yeah, it's it's quite interesting. I think I would say some of that answer certainly depends. By industry, I think. And in some domains, it's it's it's so the next five years and then five to 10 years, I think, and then others probably more in 10 to 13 range. But if I were to guess, the next 10 years are going to be pretty interesting for you, the adoption. There's been a lot of data publisher on this, I believe, by UBS as well. Which two in Eevee kind of BBB study or they're looking at 20, 30 or so as kind of that really strong point of cut over across a number of industries. So I'm I'm probably making a guess here, but I would probably say 10 years is a is a reasonable time in which you'd see a significantly higher adoption across industries for.  [00:16:55][41.8]
[00:16:56] Okay.  [00:16:56][0.0]
[00:16:56] And if so, a lot of the people who listen to this show would be supply chain professionals, maybe fleet managers, maybe logistics companies, whatever. What advice would you give anyone listening with respect to Evey's?  [00:17:09][12.4]
[00:17:10] Yeah, absolutely. I think I'm sure all of the listeners have been thinking about these that need to have and I would strongly encourage them to this time. I think given the economic environment, given the societal impact. I think it's timely and and it's something that is becoming much more cost effective, too, to consider. I think from a supply chain perspective, I know your carbon footprint and impact is an important factor for displacing professionals. So likely, you know, talking, having a discussion with their carriers and, you know, partners that they work with and and how they're adopting these. I think the other thing I would encourage folks to think about is, you know, you can be a strong partner with them in their journey to electrify. Right. As they are considering that it's a it's not an easy problem to solve. You know, figuring out which part of their fleet is amenable to add to the charging network available. Do you have the vehicles available in the market to be able to do that? It's a thing that needs planning and needs data, needs a Barkman to help you through that as well. So you said you would encourage folks to think about, you know, who there would be some size and you're one of them. But I think there's a number of folks out there as well. But it's hard to have a partner who can help you help inform and build that plan for you.  [00:18:25][74.2]
[00:18:26] COO coo. We're coming towards the end of the show. No. Is there anything that I haven't asked you that you think I should have? Any points that we haven't hit on that, you know, you think people should be made aware of?  [00:18:39][13.0]
[00:18:40] No, I think overall it's been a great conversation. I think we touched on, again, the fact that these are on this path to greater adoption. We're seeing a lot of encouraging signs for that core value extending beyond just the environmental impact across kind of efficiency and cost savings as well. And then as he talked about the importance of data and tools that can help you monitor your fleet, but also inform your strategy. So overall, I appreciate the time, Tom. I think we really appreciate the opportunity to be able to talk to your audience as well as share some of the learnings that we've had. But I think we covered a lot of those topics there.  [00:19:17][37.0]
[00:19:18] So really, if people want to find out more about yourself or about samsara or the survey that you're carried out, where would you have me direct them?  [00:19:26][8.4]
[00:19:27] Yeah, that's a great question. So we we on our Web site, since our dot com, we have actually published the results from our survey on a blog post as well. We can certainly follow up with you on this specific link, if you'd like to include it and and share with the audience as well. But our Web site is a great place to get information about the company, the products that we that we offer both in the going to fleet space as well as broader than that, and and some of the customer results and surveys that we've published. So we'll be sure to follow up with you on some of the things that these predefine exit where she left went.  [00:19:58][31.3]
[00:19:58] Great. Thanks again for coming on the show. Yeah. Thank you. I was. Oh, OK. We've come to the end of the show. Thanks, everyone, for listening. If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, head on over to SJP dot com slash digital supply chain. Or simply drop me an email to Tom Dot Raftery at SAP dot com if you'd like to show. Please don't forget to subscribe to it. And your podcast application of choice to get new episodes as soon as they're published. Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find a show. Thanks. Catch you all next time.  [00:19:58][0.0]
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