One of the things many clients are considering when they start looking at vendors of GPS tracking technology is a physical location. It is always great to support businesses in your local community, but location is not everything it used to be. A company may have its official headquarters in your hometown, but support employees may be outsourced to a foreign country. Sales could be working from home anywhere in the country or even outside of it. These days an address is just an address.
When searching for “GPS tracking near me” online, there are so many paid advertisers that any local fleet tracking providers for business vehicle tracking may be several pages in. Most of the results are for consumer products. Quite frankly, Wal Mart, Amazon and Best Buy are probably not the best choices for supporting a business fleet with a tracking solution.
So how can you find the fleet experts providing GPS tracking near me? Searching for Fleet Management is going to filter out a lot of the consumer products. Adding your industry to the search query will reveal companies that specialize in what you do. Asking friends, business acquaintances, even your competitors and then looking at the reviews for the companies they recommend is another good strategy. Your local Chamber of Commerce may be a good place to look for vendors that are active in your local area as well.
Now that you have found some providers of “GPS tracking near me”, you need to determine who are the true fleet experts. How long have they been in business specifically supporting fleet technology? Are they familiar with your industry? Do they have their own support staff or is it contracted to a third party? These are all good questions to ask.
What to Avoid
Beware of blog posts for Top 5 or Top 10 lists. These are often posted by the owners of the top listed company as an advertising ploy. If the blog post is written by a trucking or industry association, it is more likely a valid source of information.
The cellular providers are all jumping in the GPS tracking game these days as well, but most lack true fleet expertise. They just want to sell you a data plan for anything and everything they can by bundling your services. Beware of the many hidden and mystery fees that are mentioned in fine print in their terms document, but don’t appear on your quote. That alone can increase your quoted cost by 20% or more.
Can I Try the Vendor and Technology First?
Most reputable vendors offer a trial, but even so, not all trials are equal. Some trials are in fact a promise to refund if you are not happy and may have limiting conditions. Many are an opportunity for you to try the technology, but not structured to assist you in your evaluation. Best in class vendors will offer a structured pilot for small fleets and a guided evaluation process for larger fleets.
Fleetistics Solution Evaluation Process is a good example of a comprehensive trial. Not only do you experience interaction with the technology, but also our Training and Support Departments. We crunch the numbers with you to find where your fleet needs improvement, implement strategies to affect that improvement, and measure your return on investment when that improvement is achieved.
Which brings me to one final area to evaluate. ALWAYS research after sale support resources. The vendors that pop up when searching GPS tracking near me may be close enough to go get in their face when you need help, but are they available for real support when needed? Is the person that you are close to, the person that can provide the help you need or are you sent to a different department, or 3rd party support provider that is not a fleet specialist at all?
By leveraging technology like webinars, an advanced support ticketing system built into your user interface, one on one screen sharing and by employing highly trained staff with in-depth knowledge of fleet operations, Fleetistics staff is available to assist from wherever they are to solve your problem or answer your question in a timely and professional manner.
Start the New Year by Setting Fleet Goals to Improve 3 Things
Submitted by Kim Thoman
Setting fleet goals is the best way to start off the new year. So, Happy New Year to all our fleet owners and managers! Whether your goals are sales, service or office oriented, it is important to set yourself up for success in 2022. In today’s blog, we will focus on 3 top goals that are trending in fleet management and how can we help you achieve these goals.
1. Adoption of EV
With an increase in tighter emissions regulations, electric vehicle (EV) sales skyrocketed in 2021. This being said, it is only a matter of time before more fleets begin using electric cars and trucks, in fact many already have started the adoption process. Fleetistics can help you evaluate your fleet for EV suitability.
If you are setting fleet goals for EV adoption, there are two major concerns for fleet management:
Cost of phasing out gasoline vehicles and the price of EVs.
The biggest concern is the cost involved with switching to EV. Most experts forecast that EVs will be competitively priced with gasoline vehicles in the next few years. Although there will still be an upfront cost in charging infrastructure, the amount of money saved on fuel will eventually make up for it. According to AAA, in January of 2021, national fuel prices averaged $3.03 per gallon for gas and $3.59 for diesel. Meanwhile, the national average of electricity was just $0.14 kWh. These kinds of savings add up very quickly.
The definition of range anxiety is “worry on the part of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out of power before the destination, or a suitable charging point is reached”. This is a very valid worry however the mileage an EV can drive in a given period of time is also increasing with new technology. In your MyFleetistics accounts under the Resources menu, there is a link a map of charging stations in your area.
There are many apps available for drivers to have available to find the nearest charging stations and based on the miles per day they drive are very suited for EVs. We have tools in place, such as our EV Suitability Assessment (EVSA) that are free in conjunction with our telematics software solutions that can analyze your fleet in the environment they drive in daily. We take a look the types of EVs a company is looking to purchase, and based on their current activity the tool will recommend which vehicles would be candidates and which may not be at this time.
2. Adoption of Digital Key Technology
Some of you may be setting fleet goals to implement a better way to control and manage access to your vehicles. There have been many requests over the last few years, as the variety of applications for telematics has expanded. High on that request list is remote vehicle access and management solutions. Especially with the ongoing COVID pandemic, our customers need more advanced ways to control and manage keys. This is especially true in the public car sharing sector as well as corporate and government motor pooling.
The good news is that this technology is available and can easily be added to some telematics platforms making the adoption seamless.
3. Improved Performance Monitoring with DashCams
If you are not setting fleet goals to implement DashCams, you may want to reconsider. Dash-cams are not a new technology in the fleet space, but there have been a lot of enhanced features developed over the last year.
Paying full attention behind the wheel is critical for drivers, from the moment a vehicle is started. Normally good drivers can become dangerous “distracted drivers” if they use a phone, eat, drink or smoke, even in a parking lot. Distracted driving cameras use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect this behavior and have some built in algorithms to fuse out anomalies.
DashCams can help companies combat risky driving. They work with rules that are already in place using speed and accelerometer data to improve driving behavior. We always tell our clients that our goal is for “every driver comes home safely every night”.
Fleetistics offers the most affordable dashcam on the market at just $19.95 for in/out cameras.
Pilot to Understand the Return Your on Investment
Setting fleet goals is only step one. Understanding how to best implement technology to achieve those goals requires careful planning. Fleetistics offers a pilot program we call our Solution Evaluation Process. It allows our customers to “try before they buy” and get unique implementation and training throughout the process.
We take the time to understand what every client that participates operation looks like and what their top goals to achieve success. In some cases we assist with setting these goals. We then run a pilot phase to get before and after data to analyze and show proof of worth and the value this technology can bring to your fleet. The goal for us is that the client is getting the maximized savings based on their needs, training and everything else they need to set them up for success by the end of the process.