Looking into Fleet Tracking can be overwhelming. There are so many options on the market. How do you make sure you're investing your money into the right system for your business?
New England Mobile has been advising fleets in better Fleet Management Solutions to fit their specific needs for over 36 years.
GPS fleet tracking overview
Think of GPS fleet tracking software as your virtual ride-along. Instead of hiring a manager to sit in the passenger seat and monitor vehicles and drivers on the road, GPS fleet tracking software lets you keep an eye on everything from wherever you are, even on-the-go. Using GPS fleet tracking software, businesses can make sure vehicles are operating efficiently and drivers are being safe and responsible.
GPS fleet tracking includes both hardware and software. The type of hardware your vehicle needs will vary based on the plan you select. The vehicle is tracked using a global positioning system (GPS). This information is then rendered on a software platform, providing you with a central hub for all the data from your vehicles to flow through. It gives users access to real-time updates and alerts using data sent directly from the vehicle to the software operator. Some systems require more advanced installation, which usually involves hooking up various sensors to the information centers of your vehicle.
In most cases you can have the company install the hardware. It means one less thing to worry about and you know it will be done the right way the first time. It's important to make sure the company where you are purchasing doesn't just hire random subcontractors. New England Mobile has our own factory trained technicians complete 100% of our installs.
Like regular GPS systems, GPS fleet tracking software can locate vehicles, set up routes and give directions to assigned destinations. However, these services also provide information on vehicle diagnostics, maintenance tracking and safe driving behaviors. A lot of hardware devices, including NEM's Fleet Tracking/Management System, are outfitted with accelerometers and other sensors, so if your driver harshly brakes or accelerates, it will be documented. Not all systems are the same. Only some services (NEM's) offer reporting on harsh turning and cornering. This technology also allows you to track idling time, which is vital information for improving fuel efficiency.
All of these software features provide you with a platform to track your fleet, manage vehicle health, understand your drivers' habits on the road and track fuel efficiency. Most software comes with dispatching tools and scheduling capabilities to improve workflow.
New England Mobile's system takes it a step further and allows integrations with other systems you currently use. Or you can choose from 100's of partner hardware & software add ons that are already partnered and married to our system whenever the time is right for you. These features can also boost customer satisfaction, for instance, by providing more accurate ETAs and making sure drivers arrive on time. Other features include accident tracking, roadside assistance, anti-theft service, time clocks and attendance tracking.
Choosing GPS fleet tracking software
To choose the system that's right for you, first, make sure it has the features your business needs. Most fleet management systems offer a variety of features that come in a standard offering.
They should include:
Integration with fuel cards
Driver safety tracking
Dashboards that have trending on-key metrics
Communication and navigation options
Ongoing customer support
Other key capabilities to look for
A good GPS fleet tracking solution will also offer the following:
Alert systems: This means notifications are sent via text and email when something isn't right with vehicles and drivers. Also, choose a provider that lets you set alerts for specific occurrences, such as if the driver has gone off-route or is engaging in unsafe driving habits.
Ease of use: There are some very complicated software applications out there, so choose one with a simple dashboard that doesn't require technical skills or that has a steep learning curve. Many vendors provide in-person or virtual demos, so try one first before making a commitment. You also should make sure you can get help should you need it.
Mobile access: Not all GPS fleet tracking applications support mobile device usage. If you need anytime, anywhere access to your software, make sure it's cloud-based or check to see if an app is available for your preferred device.
Help/customer support: Find a vendor that lets you contact a representative anytime you need help, whether it be via phone or live chat. Other types of support include help-desk ticket systems, email support, documentation and how-to videos.
While the system you choose should fit into your budget, don't choose your GPS solution based solely on price. Choose the solution that best helps your business reduce costs and track your fleet. Choosing the cheapest service on the market could mean you end up with a service that doesn't perform as well as other, slightly more expensive offerings.
Before you buy
As you look for a GPS fleet tracking service, keep these details in mind:
What type of vehicle and driver information do you want to track?
How many vehicles do you need to track?
How much do you want to spend on monthly fees and upfront costs?
Are there any processes you could automate regarding payroll, driving logs, routing or call scheduling?
Is your business operating in the greenest way possible?
Will this system help you continue to do so or make improvements?
Can you rely on your employees to consistently and accurately log hours worked and service calls met?
Have you experienced or are you worried about theft of equipment or vehicles?
Are you overspending on your mobile workforce?
Do your fuel costs put a strain on the bottom line?
Can this system address the problems you're trying to resolve?
Will this system improve your customer service quality?
What features do you need now, and what might you need in the future?
What type of return on investment will you get with this system?
New England Mobile offers a system that fit's any needs you may have, is fully integratable and streamlines your workflow while cutting costs. Please contact us for an online or in person demo. We also provide on-ongoing training support and advice for solutions that can help you as your business evolves.