The most important step is to decide on what goals you want to achieve. When it comes to vehicle tracking, common objectives are:
- I want to know where my vehicles are at all times
- I want to improve driver safety
- I want to cut fuel expenditure
- I want to improve productivity
- I want to improve compliance
For example, a small breakdown and recovery company might want a solution to reduce customer waiting times, by being able to quickly identify the nearest employee. In this case, a low-cost, basic track-and-trace solution would be ideal.
A larger fleet might prioritise driver safety and reducing overheads – particularly spending on fuel. In this instance, you should consider driver behaviour technology. These systems monitor and tackle key aspects of driving that increase the risk of accidents and reduce vehicle MPG, such as over-revving, engine idling, harsh braking, sharp cornering and heavy acceleration. Along with improving road safety, driver behaviour systems are proven to cut fuel bills by up to 15% and reduce insurance premiums – in fact, some insurers now offer special discounts for fleets that install driver behaviour solutions in their company vehicles.
Flexible and Scalable
When starting out, some fleets decide to invest in a basic vehicle tracking system to test the water. This is perfectly understandable – but make sure that you are not boxed in. Look for a supplier that can offer you simple upgrades and bolt-on modules, so that you can upgrade your system to meet the changing needs of your fleet.
For fleets that are more comfortable with telematics, a good vehicle tracking provider will have a range of products that can be tailored and combined to meet your specific needs. The very best will offer additional solutions that work with or alongside your vehicle tracking, to further enhance safety, compliance and productivity. In addition to vehicle tracking systems, these useful extras should include:
- Dashboard cameras – hardwired or plug-and-play dash cams for cars and vans, plus multi-cam systems for vans and trucks
- Tachograph analysis tools – remote tacho download integrated with your vehicle tracking
- Mobile phone blockers – devices to combat the growing menace of driver distraction due to smart phones
- Route optimisation – fleet scheduling that goes beyond basic route planners, helping to slash transport planning time and cut total fleet mileage
Finding the right system is not just about the technology and its capabilities. It should be user-friendly, but the supplier should also have a strong track record when it comes to after-sales service. Make sure you make product support capabilities one of your criteria when it comes to appointing a supplier.
Find a Good Listener
The best way to find the perfect vehicle tracking system for your business is to talk to potential suppliers. You will soon be able to tell which ones are trying to sell you an off-the-shelf solution, regardless of your requirements.
However, those who actually listen to your needs – whether you want to increase safety, security, productivity or reduce overheads – are the suppliers worth taking forward to the next stage.