The Insight Source Blog
Your preferred Telematics information resource
Author: Lance Holt
Content Marketing Specialist
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Questions to Ask Telematics Providers
During the Buying Process: Part 2
How to Leverage the Experience of Others
with GPS Fleet Tracking Reviews
Is Vehicle Telematics Right for Your Fleet?
Compare Both Sides of the Coin
Questions to Ask Telematics Providers During the Buying Process
How many times have you said, “Cut to the chase – what’s your best price?” when in the process of buying something? Maybe some of you have already asked that question in researching telematics providers. Not everything we purchase needs to be intensely researched. We don’t have to take a deep dive into the background of a toilet paper company. Is it soft or not? It’s pretty simple. However, there are things we buy that deserve a closer look and that we can’t skimp on solely for lower pricing. Finding a telematics provider requires time and research to find the best fit. There’s nothing worse than locking yourself into a new three-year commitment with a provider only to have buyer’s remorse on telematics soon after. In part one of this series, we will look at important questions to ask potential telematics providers during the buying process that deal with the functionality of the product.
How often do you update your software and is there a cost associated with this?
We live in the booming age of technology and the telematics space is no exception. Features and capabilities are constantly growing and evolving, which means that telematics providers should be focused on updating their hardware and software. Some telematics providers update features in their product quarterly or annually with an official release of a new version. Some companies update more frequently to stay ahead of the curve, providing cutting-edge features and technology as it becomes available. This way there is no waiting period for requested features or new technologies. Make sure the telematics provider you choose is a leader in innovation and takes feedback from their customers on feature recommendations.
Do you have an in-house development team?
This is a great follow up to validate the answer to the previous question. Nothing says we’re dedicated to improving our product more than having an in-house development team. When development is not in-house, it can slow turnaround times for bug fixes, feature requests, integrations, or any updates and enhancements. It could also mean that you are dealing with a reseller who has virtually no say in development. Like all software, great innovation is driven through development. Telematics providers who care about their end product will have in-house development teams constantly making improvements and enhancements.
Does your telematics solution offer a mobile app?
We are constantly on-the-go and have our phones/tablets on us most of the time. It is important that managers have the capability to access the vehicle data from a mobile app. The level of functionality of the mobile app is also worth testing.
Do you have experience with my industry and fleet size?
Find out if the telematics provider works with another company in your industry and how they use the software. This is beneficial because you will see proof of a successful implementation and get more ideas as to how you can use telematics to help your business. This information is typically offered through customer success stories published on the telematics provider’s website. The telematics provider should be able to provide customer references you can call and talk to about their experience as well.
Will the solution integrate with my other back-office and fleet management systems?
It feels good when you have a few different business solutions that work great on their own. Having a few different business solutions that work great together…is FANTASTIC! It’s a connected world now where all types of technologies need to communicate in order to help streamline operations for businesses and vehicle telematics software is one of them. Find out if the telematics providers you are researching can integrate with the other software you use in your daily workflow.
Can you handle diverse fleets with diverse assets?
Some telematics platforms do not support asset and vehicle tracking together. If you have a diverse fleet, make sure you can track everything from one interface and that they can provide the information you need from those vehicles and assets. View this overview of vehicle and asset tracking solutions for more information.
Can your telematics solution be utilized by any number of users with different user permissions?
There is a hierarchy with every company. Access to certain information will vary depending on where each person falls within the hierarchy. You have C-level executives, managers, supervisors, and dispatchers who are in charge of different groups, need different information, and therefore need different permissions. Make sure that you also have control over the level of permissions for each user.
Part two discusses how to find out more about the telematics provider itself in order to discover if they are a company you want to do business with.