A GPS tracking solution can provide you with greater visibility into how your fleet operates, but how to evaluate a provider isn’t always so clear. That’s why we recommend you focus on nine key areas.
1. Ease of installation
While most GPS trackers require professional installation, some don’t. Be sure to ask if the device you’re considering could be installed by yourself. What’s the difficulty? Do you need any special tools? Does it require a certain skill set? Avoiding installation charges on every vehicle could save you a significant amount of money.
2. Ease of use
Remember, you’re not just buying hardware — you’re also buying the software it connects to. Insist upon a demo that’ll allow you to gauge how intuitive it will be to use the dashboard. Is there a steep learning curve? Will a lot of training be required?
3. Customer support
If the installation intimidates you — or if the software stumps you — you’ll want to check to see if the company’s support channels and hours work for you. Do they align with the times your fleet is active? Do they offer your preferred method of support? Live chat, phone, email?
4. Software development team
Having an internal development team is critical when it comes to resolving bug fixes in a timely manner. It can also have a huge impact on product updates or enhancements. Ask the provider if they’re merely a reseller or if they care enough about their product to employ a team dedicated to its improvement.
5. Website vs. mobile app
When you run a fleet that’s always on the go, it doesn’t make sense to have a dashboard that’s tethered to a desktop computer. You’ll get more out of the monitoring software if you can use it on a phone or tablet. And that’s why you’ll want to choose a provider that has a mobile app.
6. Location data quality
For some fleets, a location ping every 10 minutes might be good enough. But if you require more up-to-the-second information, you should inquire how often location data is updated in the provider’s dashboard.
7. Purchase options
When you’re buying GPS trackers for your fleet, you generally have two choices: outright purchase or rental. In the first scenario, you pay for devices up front and then pay a monthly service fee. In the second scenario, the cost for the devices is bundled in with the monthly service fee. This might actually cost you more over time, so it’s important to do a comparison. Also, ask about the length and terms of a provider’s contract. Is it annual? Multi-year? Does it auto-renew?
Typically, when you buy a GPS tracking device, you can expect some form of warranty. Coverage length can widely vary, from a few months to a full year. Even if you rent, you can generally expect some sort of warranty for the duration of your contract. Either way, you’ll want to verify you’re protected against malfunction.
9. Industry experience
Another important topic to consider is if a provider has experience with the size of your fleet or your industry. An understanding of your business is advantageous, as it shows they’ve successfully implemented GPS tracking in your space and can talk you through best practices. Depending on how long a provider has been around, they may even have case studies or references they can provide.
By using the above benchmarks to assess any provider’s offering, you should be able to find the best product fit. And once you’ve found the easiest-to-use product with the greatest reliability, you’ll be in a better position to increase your fleet’s efficiency.