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Each industry faces their own challenges and unnecessary expenses, often as a result of theft. Just as a fleet experiences loss due to theft of vehicles, the gas industry faces loss as a result of theft of industrial gas cylinders. These cylinders are never sold but rather rented to customers but as can be expected, theft often occurs.

The managing director of Legratron Electronics, Itumeleng Matshego, says this challenge encouraged their team to start thinking of a solution specific to the industry. “We are in the business of saving other businesses money. In the same way that a fleet manager would never hand over the keys to a vehicle without tracking it, why is the gas industry handing over canisters without tracking them? Consequently, our unique solution was born.”

The first benefit Legratron Electronics’ solution provided the industry with, is savings on expenses associated with the loss of cylinders. “A market inquiry into the LPG sector estimates there are around 500 000 cylinders in circulation. Each cost a few thousand to replace if stolen, making the potential for loss massive.

“Legratron provides gas suppliers with an option to retrace and reclaim these valuable products. Our tracking solution provides an alternative that even the most experienced criminal will find difficult to beat,” says Matshego.

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While cost is a major driving force behind this solution, there are also ethical implications involved in not recovering stolen cylinders. “Part of the rental that is charged on the cylinders is used for maintenance and inspection. Illegally traded cylinders are dangerous because they have not undergone the required maintenance and inspection.

“Recovering cylinders becomes a matter of safety. While there have been extensive awareness campaigns about the dangers of neglecting maintenance and inspection, theft makes the neglect of this rife in South Africa. The reality is many people might not have the understanding, the means, and for some the inclination, to bide by these safety precautions. It is important for the industry to take this decision out of their hands.”

There is so much more that businesses can use telematics for than what immediately comes to mind. “Much of what many industries have grudgingly accepted as unavoidable, might not be. We enjoy assessing the challenges companies face with issues like theft and then finding a solution that fits their specific needs. Like the gas industry, other industries can take back the power and rather use the money lost on this for much better causes,” concludes Matshego.