The 5 essential tips that will save you from making a costly mistake…
Let’s not beat around the bush.
If you run a business that revolves around a fleet – whether that’s cars, light vehicles, trucks, 18-wheelers, etc – you need a premium GPS system. It doesn’t have to cost the Earth. But, it does need to guarantee to upgrade your business, saving you time, money and a whole lot of stress.
So, while you’re scouring the web looking for prospective GPS vendors, here are our 5 essential tips to check before you subscribe (#3 is our favourite!).
The platform must be flexible enough to manage all your assets
This one gets the top spot as it’s arguably the most important.
You’d be surprised by how many GPS tracking vendors only do the basics, yet use clever marketing to sell you the dream. If you’re happy with the bare minimum, great. But, there’s so much more you can benefit from by using the right platform. Your competitors know exactly what I’m talking about.
- So, think about what you want to track.
- What data do you need to optimise your business?
Do you want live, full historical data tracking or is tracking in 30-minute intervals fine. (Advice: A lot can happen in that missing 30-minutes. We recommend full historical tracking for more informed decisions.)
If we’re being frank, it’s a big decision to sign-up with a GPS vendor. So, go deep. Get the sample report that validates what they promise. All reputable vendors will be able to back up their claims. If they can’t…
And, if nothing else, make sure everything is really easy to manage in one place and has regular maintenance modules. You’re in for a bad time 6 months down the line if not.
The hardware had better be top-notch and easy to use
Fact: Most GPS tracking companies just resell poor quality, overseas software with their label on it. It’s sad but true. A classic case of lipstick on a pig.
And, that niggly feeling you got when you first signed up to use one of these overseas software platforms… Well, that quickly evolves into dozens of problems, which you’re contractually tied to.
So, grill your vendor. Don’t be timid. You want them to thoroughly explain all the features and configurations that are relevant to you. They should know how easy it is to install; if it’s hardwired, what’s the downtime needed; if it’s plug-n-play, what vehicles it supports.
You get the idea.
Unfortunately, the industry is plagued with ‘get rich quick’ companies. So, ask the right questions and get the best product. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time using the platform, so it’d better be everything you require.
Ask your vendor to show you a demo. Ask if you can access it via mobile phone and tablet. Ask your vendor if they developed their own platform, or is it something they just resell? Ask, ask, ask.
Make sure SIM data is included in your monthly subscription
This one’s our favourite. It’s pretty devious.
If you’re committing to improving the way you track and manage your fleet, naturally there’s something to pay for that service. That’s normal. However, what isn’t normal is for a vendor to ask you to buy and use your own SIM.
GPS platforms go heavy on data usage. And, using your own SIM will quickly see SIM charges surpassing what you pay for your subscription. It’s a BIG red flag.
It shows the vendor has no control over full-stack and the devices they’re giving you are consuming way too much data.
So, ALWAYS make sure there is a data plan included in your subscription.
Future proof your investment with CAN bus connectivity
This one is for you techies out there.
If you didn’t know, we’ll let you into a little secret: your vehicles are actually computers on wheels. And, all actions, such as your engine starting, have performance data, which is processed and stored via your vehicles’ CAN bus (Controller Area Network).
The best GPS devices connect directly to the CAN bus and get access to mountains of information, including RPM, fuel consumption, vehicle fault codes, tank levels and coolant temperatures.
So, ask your vendor if they support CAN connectivity and don’t settle for legacy technology that only collects GPS location data. You’ll need this information as things evolve.
Plus, it’s the 21st century. You want a platform that is advanced and effective. Don’t settle for antiquity.
Unrivalled support is a necessity
It doesn’t matter how whizz-bang or easy-to-use a platform is, there’s going to be a time when either something goes wrong or you need to get in touch with the vendor for help. That’s just how it goes sometimes and is the reason the most successful businesses invest heavily in their support teams.
- So, make sure you have the answer to the following questions (at least):
- What happens when things go wrong?
- Do they have an online knowledge library?
- Can you track the progress of your inquiry?
- What is the target issue resolution time?
The Right Platform Will Evolve Your Business
This really is only the start of it. But hopefully, from what you’ve discovered today, you’ve gained a more thorough understanding of the tripwires and hazards, and the enormous potential benefits, that are laid in fleet platforms.
We learned all of this the hard way. We were in charge of large fleets and battled through the challenges and decisions just like you. But, that’s why we developed Fleetsu – the #1 most comprehensive fleet tracking platform available.
“But, you would say that, right?”
Well, yes, we would. And, that’s because it is #1. After all, we developed Fleetsu to help us out.
Since then, it’s blossomed into the fastest growing platform in the market. From live GPS tracking that processes each vehicle’s performance status, to never having to worry about renewal dates (and so much more).
Whatever you decide to do, remember: ask questions!