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When looking for your ideal GPS fleet tracking solution, it’s important to thoroughly research the market. Not all systems are created equal and what’s right for one business may not be right for yours.
That’s why, as well as getting to know the products on the market, you should also ask some specific questions of the vendors behind them. These questions should go beyond the basic functionality of the system and will have answers that you’re unlikely to find in any marketing material.
Here are five suggested questions to help you learn as much as possible about potential vendors before you sign on the dotted line.
1. Does your technology integrate with other systems?
To truly leverage the potential of your fleet data, it’s important that it can be easily accessed by and shared with your current programs and systems. That’s why it pays to check how well a fleet management system can integrate across the board.
Standalone systems with no integration can lead to data silos and gaps in your knowledge and may require duplicated data entry.
You should look for a solution with a solid API toolkit that allows for easy integration with your other software solutions such as billing, payroll, HR and finance.
2. How reliable is your service?
The best system in the world is no use to your business if it is down 99% of the time. When shopping around for a vendor, make sure to ask for records of system downtime in the previous year and beyond.
You can also build a picture of a GPS provider’s reliability by asking how much of their system is in their direct control and how much, if any, is managed by a third party? What system do they use to power maps? What plan is in place should the system fail?
You want your solution to be there whenever you need it, so don’t be afraid to ask tough questions of any potential provider.
3. Is your system easily scalable?
You want your fleet tracking system to grow and evolve as your business does. Every business changes over time, whether it’s expanding to new areas or taking on additional vehicles during busy periods.
You need to know that your provider can cater for such changes in your requirements. A system that can only cope with 50 vehicles may be fine for now, but will it still be fit for purpose in two, five or ten years?
4. Do you have experience with businesses like mine?
Even the most well-known providers may not have a lot of experience dealing with businesses like yours.
Before making your choice, you should ask potential vendors if they have customers in your industry, of your size and with similar needs.
As well as requesting testimonials and case studies, you should also ask for customer references that you can call to discuss their experience with the provider.
5. Are there any hidden costs?
As with most business transactions, when it comes to purchasing GPS fleet management software, the price you see isn’t always the price you pay.
Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to ask for a breakdown of costs – ideally on a per vehicle, per month basis.
You should also enquire about future charges for adding new units, removing units, system upgrades and more. If there is potentially a fee to pay in the future, you need to know about it.
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