If you’re an innovative and skilled fleet manager, you’ve probably realized by now that an advanced fleet management solution is the way of the future. Though finding a solution to help optimize driver routes, promote safe driving and reduce wear and tear on your vehicles is important, it’s far from the only step in the process. Understanding and mapping out how your team is going to use this new technology, researching options on the market, making a purchase decision and then actually implementing this new telematics program are all steps your team will have to go through. Unfortunately, for many teams, the actual long-term success and results of a telematics solution hinge on the implementation of the program and how well end users, management and even customers respond to the new advancements.
Here are 9 mistakes to avoid during telematics implementation to ensure the best results for your team and your customers.
Mistake 1: Not identifying clear goals
It’s challenging to devote time and energy to implementing a new technology if you’re not sure why you’re actually doing it, what you are expecting. Before you even start the process of looking at specific vendors and solutions, think about what you want to achieve. Is it simply reducing gas mileage and costs for your vehicles? Or is it more complex, like adding more customer stops in per day? Identify and document specific and measurable goals you’d like to achieve with the solution you choose.
Mistake 2: Choosing the first solution you find
It’s always a good idea to explore know what your options are, and fleet management is no different. Be sure to do your research and shop around a bit with providers to find the one that works best for your team, your business objectives and your customers. This is a big investment, so confirming your solution is backed by knowledgeable and accessible customer care is also a plus.
Mistake 3: Purchasing without seeing the solution in action
This goes for any major purchase but especially so for technology—never purchase without seeing the product in action first. If a provider refuses to walk you through the available features that would meet your unique needs or show you their platform in a one-on-one conversation, it’s best to move on. A live demo is the industry standard and how you can see exactly what solutions will help support your business, including dashboards, reports, maps and live displays.
Mistake 4: Not including both management and end users in the decision
This is a mistake for multiple reasons, but the primary risk is that you may end up with staff that does not buy into what you’re trying to achieve and therefore do not participate as they should to get the most out of your solution. Get everyone, from technicians to your leadership, on the same page by highlighting specific benefits of the new solution that apply directly to their team or operations.
Mistake 5: Not planning carefully for installation day
Once you schedule an implementation day with your new provider, everyone should be there and accounted for. If your provider comes out for an implementation but only half of your fleet is present, it will just end up wasting more time and money. Look to your provider to help accommodate your drivers’ schedules to minimize the impact on daily operations.
Mistake 6: Not providing the right training resources for drivers
The last thing you want to do is dedicate resources to purchasing and installing a fleet management solution and then not help your staff learn to use it effectively. For the best insights and results, you’ll want to make sure to teach employees at all levels, from management to drivers, to use the product correctly and consistently. Set up an ongoing training schedule to keep new services and updates top-of-mind.
Mistake 7: Allowing negative reactions to endure and ruin utilization
If drivers may be uncomfortable with new technology or hesitant to use the solution but first, but any lasting refusal to participate could hurt implementation by spreading and ultimately impact utilization of the platform in a negative way. In addition to open communication and customized training, make it fun for drivers to get up to speed with driver scorecards, rewards and a points system to motivate and help mitigate any sense of negativity.
Mistake 8: Missing out on opportunities for financial ROI
One thing your fleet management provider might not tell you is that your insurance company may be willing to reduce your coverage costs once you have a fleet telematics solution in place. Armed with clear data around how this new solution is affecting your driver safety and events like speeding tickets or collisions, you should set up a call with your insurance provider to see if there are some financial benefits in it for you.
Mistake 9: Forgetting your customers
Improving customer service and care should always be a goal. In addition to identifying specific ways you want to improve customer service using your telematics solution, let your customers know that you’re taking steps to improve their experience. You might even be able to get a new review, quote or success story from them in the process.
Take your first step towards an improved fleet with our free e-book, 10 Steps for Purchasing and Implementing a Fleet Management Solution.