Author: Justin Schmid
Content Marketing Specialist
How to Choose the Best GPS Tracking Solution
Follow these five steps to get the best gps tracking solution for your organization!
- Identify Your Organization’s Challenges
- Match Products and Features to Your Fleet’s Issue
- Test Drive Potential GPS Tracking Solutions
- Choose the Right Partner
- Implement Your GPS Tracking Solution
5 Steps to Choose the Best GPS Tracking Solution for Your Business.
Right now, more than half of the commercial and government fleets in the US are using GPS tracking technology. It’s hard to count all the business that sprang up to meet the need to help fleets with accountability, compliance, efficiency and safety issues.
There’s a problem, though: Some of them didn’t deliver. Now, their customers are looking for new solutions. They don’t want to repeat their mistake and wind up with another solution that falls short.
Investing in a GPS tracking solution can be fairly easy. But finding a partner with the skills, experience, and compatibility that will provide the results your organization is looking to achieve is the more difficult part. That’s where the right vendor can help: Here’s a proven process to help you navigate through the myriad of vendors so no matter who you choose, you’ll have the information you need to buy with confidence.
1. Identify Your Organization’s Challenges
The first step to purchasing the best GPS tracking solution is identifying your challenges. For example, are you spending too much on fuel? Do you have a problem with at-fault accidents? Are employees using your mobile assets for side jobs? Is it often hard to find your trailers or generators?
All departments that will use the technology should be part of this process. Having different points of view will help you choose the best solution and make sure you don’t overlook important challenges that are going unsolved. Also, involving all departments from the get-go will ensure buy-in from the start.
Also, consider involving drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, and others in the process. While it’s excellent to have people with a big-picture perspective, the people who are likely to be daily users can offer valuable input about what issues they face. This is another great way to get buy-in.
2. Match Features and Products to Your Fleet’s Issues
Once you determine what problems you want to solve with GPS tracking, start matching these issues to the benefits and features of potential solutions. When you are thinking about the functionality your business requires, consider both your current and long-term goals. You may need a more powerful solution down the line, so it is important to choose a GPS tracking solution that can grow with your business and scale to your needs in the future.
You should also consider everything the GPS provider offers. Aside from GPS tracking, do they have other products to meet future needs?
Many organizations that use GPS tracking also use solutions for compliance as well as safety products like smart cameras. Business management software is another product that helps companies that rely on mobile workers to generate revenue.
Here’s one other thing you shouldn’t overlook: Take the time to identify other operational software your organization uses. Chances are, you could benefit from some data integration – and be sure to consult others in your organization.
Fuel card data, diagnostic information, routing and dispatch software, GIS software, and work order management are just a few of the data sets that can be moved onto other platforms. Adding data integration can be a huge time and money saver for many departments.
3. Test-Drive Potential GPS Tracking Solutions
You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive, would you? The same logic applies to selecting a new GPS tracking solution. We recommend running a pilot with a few different vendors so you can compare their functionality side-by-side. If a provider will not let you try before you buy, it is likely that your expectations will not align with the provider’s claims.
This is also a great opportunity to generate some real-world results. Your pilot can provide a benchmark for improvements.
4. Choose the Right GPS Tracking Partner
During a pilot, you should be able to see how the potential GPS tracking solution will add value to your business. You should also assess the GPS tracking provider’s experience, credibility, and customer service quality. While cost is most certainly a factor, it shouldn’t be the only factor. It is not advised to go with a GPS tracking solution just because it is the cheapest if these other important criteria are not met.
Another great indicator for a good partner is the quality of their installation. Be sure to ask questions about their installation process, especially if you’re planning to use vehicle-installed GPS tracking hardware rather than a plug-and-play device.
Many GPS tracking providers rely on vendors for installation, so it’s wise to see how they select vendors and ensure their ongoing quality.
5. Implement Your New GPS Tracking Solution
Once you’ve determined the best GPS tracking provider for you, it’s incredibly important to implement your new solution effectively. Share your plan with employees and make sure they are trained on how to use the software. It is also important to keep the GPS tracking installation process organized.
And you must use the software. If you do not utilize the data from a GPS tracking solution, you will not see the full benefit of your investment. It is common to see over 100% ROI just by making a few small adjustments to fleet operations.
It’s a common pitfall for companies to see some immediate improvement in key fleet metrics when they implement a solution. But it’s important to keep fleet management top of mind after that initial success.
Finally, staying engaged with your vendor provides your organization with access to best practices developed through years of field-driven experience working side-by-side with successful customers. Regular contact with your vendor’s staff can reveal plenty of insider tips, plus you’ll be aware of new features and any changes headed your way. Determine how engaged you want to be with your vendor, let them know, and work together consistently to make your fleet management effort succeed.
Wrapping Up: Getting the Best GPS Tracking
These steps provide a great basis for success with your fleet management program. If you need even more information, our “2021 Fleet Management & Telematics Buyer’s Guide” provides an even deeper dive to help you make the right decision.