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The hard part of adding GPS fleet tracking to your business is over—or so you thought. Researching and selecting the right provider and getting your staff’s buy-in is absolutely critical, but implementation is another challenge you want to face with the same thoughtfulness and preparation. These five steps will help you have a smooth transition into a system that affects everyone in your business, including your customers.
1. Schedule installation strategically.
Before you schedule your installation, prepare by gathering some information to help you decide the best time with your provider. A full list of vehicles you wish to equip, for example, will help them advise you on how much time you need. Find a time that works best for you to reduce or even eliminate any downtime. Your provider should accommodate your schedule to minimize the impact on your daily operations. It might help to identify a time that all vehicles are on site or at one location for installation. If your vehicles are on the road at odd hours, consider requesting after-hours installs.
Confirm how much downtime will be involved, if any, and communicate frequently and specifically with your staff to avoid any confusion or negative effects on customer service. The more your management, staff, and customers are aware of what is going on, the better.
Coach for success.
Fleet tracking technology is most effective and useful when it’s not used as a “set-it-and-forget-it” system. Get the most out of your implementation by coaching your staff at all levels, including operations managers, dispatchers, and drivers, on how to access, analyze and act on the insights the software provides. Provide ongoing training that keeps everyone on the same page and gets their questions answered in a timely fashion.
Make it fun.
Drivers who are new to technology may resist the implementation process, possibly fearing that the company doesn’t trust them. Put a positive spin on things by rewarding drivers who show the most improvement. Set up driver scorecards to show employees how they measure up and encourage friendly competition and supplement with recognition or prizes. This approach gives a level of transparency and can help eliminate any negative views drivers may have on this kind of technology.
Contact your insurance company.
Did you know that your insurance provider (for fleets that aren’t self-insured) may be willing to reduce the cost of coverage upon the installation of fleet telematics? Once you have your system up and running, it is worth making a few calls to see whether yours is one of them. At the very least, your insurance provider should be able to tell you how fewer speeding tickets or collisions may affect your rates in the future.
Focus on your customers.
Keep in mind the impact of implementation has on your customers. Every customer should appreciate improved responsiveness and accuracy of arrival times, more efficient scheduling and streamlined documentation. Now that you have taken a major step toward improving your fleet’s efficiency and safety score, be sure to promote your investment among existing and prospective customers. Talk about how the new system will improve your services. Send flyers to your customers to let them know how the new system can benefit them directly.