GPS Tracking Software – Buyers Guide

gps-fleet-tracking-software-buyers-guideGPS tracking software is growing in popularity with fleet owners as they discover the benefits, making better use of their resources – vehicles, drivers and mobile technicians.

Frost and Sullivan report very real savings after deploying fleet management using GPS tracking.

  • 25% decrease in fuel spend
  • 30% reduction in unnecessary idling
  • 10% drop in daily mileage
  • 20% increase in asset utilization
  • 15% saving on auto insurance
  • 15% boost in workforce productivity

*Source: “Benefits After Effective Deployment of Fleet Management System” – Frost & Sullivan 2015

These sorts of savings are encouraging a large number of fleet owners to look into purchasing GPS fleet tracking, and this is increasing the number of providers popping up, offering a variety of different GPS tracking solutions.

Choice is good but too many choices can make it confusing for buyers. If you’re currently searching for the best GPS tracking software solution, then all the different suppliers out there are probably starting to bring on a headache – what’s an easy way to filter out the suppliers that aren’t worth wasting time on? Try this handy checklist of questions to make sure you’re getting a GPS tracking product that will help you find a solution that will achieve the desired result – both now and into the future as your fleet grows and meets new challenges.

Questions to ask providers of GPS tracking software:

  1. How old is the architecture of your hardware? Older hardware can limit your options, increase procurement costs and prevent you from taking advantage of cheaper Android or Apple handheld devices.
  2. How many product releases do you have a year? More frequent software releases mean more innovation and quicker access to the latest technology.
  3. Do you have mobile apps? BYOD (Bring Your Own Device; allowing workers to use their own Apple or Android devices) is significantly lowering hardware costs for fleets, increasing adoption and reducing training requirements.
  4. Are you ISO accredited? ISO is an independent quality accreditation given to organizations that have systems and processes of a high standard.
  5. How much do you charge for onboarding? Onboarding is an important part of adopting fleet tracking software to make sure you get the best return on your investment.
  6. Does your software only run on your hardware? If you are locked into using their hardware it will increase costs, reduce flexibility and limit features you can access.
  7. Do you require additional hardware than what is in the truck? If so, it will mean more downtime and cost getting additional hardware installed.
  8. What industries is your software designed for? Some software is not flexible enough to adapt to different industries, or particularly caters for a specific industry.
  9. Has your customer support received awards? Aftersales support is important to avoid, or at least minimize, downtime.
  10. Do you have to touch every truck to activate? The larger your fleet the more disruptive it is to get every vehicle into the shop to get activated.
  11. Can your product be financed as part of a truck purchase? Financing your software as part of the vehicle’s purchase can improve cash flow and offer tax advantages (see OEM telematics below).
  12. Are you a hardware company or software company? What is the focus of their business? This determines how much effort they dedicate to improving their software and how much they spend on research and development.
  13. Will you be compliant with the new ELD HOS mandate? The new ELD mandate is requiring all drivers who currently complete Hours of Service paper logbooks to have their driving hours automatically tracked.

These questions (or, more particularly, the answers to these questions) can help you determine the quality of the solution, and whether the company will provide you with a solution that doesn’t deliver (even if it is cheap) or a solution that will help your fleet perform better and more efficiently than ever before, delivering a solid return on investment.

Ask the right questions, get the right solution

The key to purchasing the right product or service is knowing the right questions to ask. It’s no different with getting the best GPS tracking software solution for your fleet – know the right questions to ask and you can quickly sort out the time-wasters from the providers that know what they’re doing and will deliver quality results.

GPS tracking software that doesn’t need aftermarket hardware

Most GPS tracking solutions you buy today require you to purchase expensive hardware. It’s not only an expense but it means downtime for your vehicles while they get fitted. The good news is that more and more manufacturers are offering pre-wired or installed options on commercial vehicles that are built-in from day one.

OEM telematics means you can activate your new vehicles online and from the moment you drive them off the dealer’s yard you’re benefiting right away from GPS fleet tracking.

OEM telematics solutions, such as Ford Telematics, offers other additional benefits including richer data diagnostics and tax advantages. It’s quickly becoming the preferred choice for a lot of fleet owners looking for GPS tracking software and it’s worth considering if it’s right for your fleet too.