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Telematics Buyer’s Guide

Industry analysts estimate that the percentage of vehicles equipped with a telematics system has exceeded 50%. It is clear that businesses and government agencies see the value in the technology and need to find the right vendor to help with their initiatives.

In the next few years, it’s estimated that the percentage of vehicles equipped with fleet software will exceed 50%. With this rapid rate of adoption, it’s clear that businesses and government agencies see the value in fleet software.

If you are researching fleet software again or for the first time, it’s crucial to make sure the investment is worthwhile. It may seem like all systems are the same, however, technology is certainly not created equally and neither are the providers.

This buyer’s guide provides tips and guidance for your journey through the fleet software purchasing and implementation process to ensure you select the best system for your fleet.

Identify Your Needs

Any important purchasing decision, especially long-term investments like business software, should be done with great consideration. That’s why it’s recommended to analyze all business opportunities, self-evaluate areas for improvement, and define your goals before purchasing fleet software. This process not only helps avoid buyer’s remorse, it’s essential to maximize the effectiveness of the technology.

Identify Telematics Needs
Who Needs Telematics

Assess Every Department’s Use Case for Fleet Software

Fleet software is used for far more than location information these days, and it’s likely that different areas of the business will benefit from what the technology offers. That’s why the first step to identifying your business needs is to meet with all stakeholders to determine what areas of the business will use fleet software and why. Having a collective understanding of what the system will be used for and collaboratively decide on the most important functionality will help avoid backpedaling later in the process.

Selecting a provider and realizing later that the platform doesn’t meet a critical need of a department is not an ideal scenario. It’s better to get everyone’s input from the start.

Who Should You Include?

CEO/Owner
Get a bird’s eye view over your full fleet operations.
Dispatch
Obtain real-time visibility into your fleet’s location and status, simple dispatching functionality, and more efficient communication methods to get the job done quickly and accurately.
Finance/Accounting
Streamline payroll and easily invoice customers.
IT
Integrate GPS tracking with existing software to make smarter business decisions overall.
Operations
Get an effective way to remove all the unknowns and improve fleet operations from the top down.
Safety & Compliance
Use GPS tracking data to reduce risk and improve driver and public safety to protect your most valuable assets.

Set Your Criteria

Once you identify who will use fleet software and the most important business challenges you need to solve, the next step is to put together your criteria. Going into a conversation with potential providers with a set of requirements will help narrow down your choices to only those that offer exactly what you need.

The criteria you set should go beyond features alone; you should also determine your expectations for the vendor.

Test Customer Service

Customer service should be a part of everyone’s fleet software criteria, as it becomes of paramount importance once the system is implemented. If you have existing fleet software in place, you likely understand the importance of customer support already (it may even be the reason you are evaluating new systems).

If you are implementing fleet software for the first time, it’s important that your business tests customer service for potential providers because the offerings vary considerably between vendors.

Complete a Trial before Purchasing Fleet Software

Testing fleet software before purchasing it is a highly recommended best practice. There is a good chance that most of us wouldn’t even purchase a pair of shoes without trying them on first. It makes sense to ensure more significant investments like fleet software live up to expectations before signing a contract.

Any reputable fleet software provider will not only be willing to let you try out their software, but they will also encourage it. A good way to ensure you select the right system and provider is to conduct a few trials simultaneously to compare systems side-by-side.

Top 3 Reasons to Run a Fleet Software Trial

software passes test

Make Sure it Works for Your Business

Your business is unique. So, why choose a system based on a list of features rather than seeing how it works in your real business? Applying fleet software to your vehicles and equipment will allow you to determine if the system is truly the best fit.

quality service

Test Customer Service Quality

Completing a trial of fleet software is not only about testing the software; it is a dry run of the working relationship with the provider as well. Take the opportunity to experience the effectiveness of their technical support and account management.

benchmark telematics data

Receive Benchmark
Data

The metrics you receive from the trial will help you determine if the system will be the right fit. This information is also useful to make the business case for the technology to the rest of your organization and track your success after implementation.

Your business is unique. So, why choose a system based on a list of features rather than seeing how it works in your business? Applying fleet software to your vehicles and equipment will allow you to determine if the system is truly the best fit.

Completing a trial of fleet software is not only about testing the software; it is a dry run of the working relationship with the provider as well. Take the opportunity to experience the effectiveness of their technical support and account management.

The metrics you receive from the trial will help you determine if the system will be the right fit. This information is also useful to make the business case for the technology to the rest of your organization and track your success after implementation.

business handshake

Choose the Right Business Partner

It might not be obvious at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, but selecting a fleet software provider is more than purchasing a software platform; you are entering a business partnership.

When making your decision, you should consider what type of partner you want in fleet management. Look back to the trial to determine if they were in fact customer focused and willing to work with you. Consider if they will think outside the box or create custom functionality to help solve your specific business challenges.

The Cheapeast Option Does Not Mean The Best Fit

We all have a budget to consider, but selecting a fleet software system solely on price almost always ends in dissatisfaction. If you don’t weigh the system’s ability to solve your business challenges, how easy the provider is to work with, value-added services, and a variety of other factors, you will likely suffer from buyer’s remorse. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for with fleet software. It’s worth paying for a system that checks off every item on your fleet software checklist.

cheapest Telematics
Telematics ROI

The Total Cost of Ownership Is What Really Matters

What should ultimately help you decide on the right fleet software provider is the potential return on investment (ROI) that becomes possible through their technology and partnership and the true cost of ownership. The initial cost shouldn’t matter nearly as much as the potential savings or the ability to help your business drive revenue. Before selecting a provider, don’t only weigh the initial cost of devices or service, make sure to evaluate which system provides a better value in the long run.

Implementing Fleet Software

When you have successfully selected a fleet software partner, the next step is to implement the technology to your vehicles, equipment, and operations. Easier said than done, right?