1What are the pros and cons of live truck tracking systems?
Since the GPS data collected is generally the same, the speed at which you can access the vehicles location provides is one benefit. You can make better dispatching and scheduling decisions when you have good data to use.Live systems don't require any installation of a local antenna, computers to store the data or tracking software on the client PC. Live truck trackers generally are viewed through a convenient website. Another benefit is that vehicles don't have to return to a central location to get the data. Many fleet managers don't need live data to make decisions but the trucks don't return to a central location with any frequency. GPS data that is over 2 weeks old is really not of significant value to most fleet managers. The price of live tracking systems is subsidized by the monthly fee that goes with them. This keeps the capital investment lower. The primary disadvantage to live GPS trackers is that there must be a monthly fee. The monthly fee is used to cover the cost of moving the GPS track and telematics data across the cellular network, subsidizing the equipment investment, development, customer service and profit for the service provider. Because there is a monthly subscription service vendors are motivated to support your account and address needs.
2Is live vehicle tracking really "live"?
Not exactly. There is a cost for every GPS coordinate transmitted for live tracking systems. The higher the track resolution, the more expensive the monthly subscription service. While our system logs second-by-second data, this data is transmitted every 1 to 2 minutes. Our devices use a curved based logging algorithm based on driving behavior to determine when to transmit data, not a set time interval. This tends to provide a higher resolution of the actual vehicle path traveled, and ensures vital data is not missed in the case of an accident.
3What is involved in the GPS installation process?
Installation is a very important component of a success deployment, especially for large fleets. This is a step that is often glossed over during the sales process. A good partner will discuss the GPS install plan in detail and demonstrate 1. experience 2. an organized plan. Simply saying it is not an issue is not good enough. As with everything there are limitation and requirements that impact you. Additionally, you need to know how service work is done and what happens when you move a device to a new vehicle.
4What frequency of updates are received on vehicle’s current position ?
Being overwhelmed with too many updates could create driver chaos, or company confusion. Having updates spread too far apart could mean missing key pieces of vehicle or driver information which may cost you loads, excessive downtime or even poorly kept logbooks. Industry normal update times are roughly 120 seconds when vehicles are in motion, and 1 hour when vehicle is off. Most monthly-based companies that require long-term contracts will send updates 6-12 times per hour, and only when vehicle is in operation. Since this does nothing for productivity, make sure you stick with fleet tracking that is around the industry norm, which we offer to our commercial clients.
5Will the system work when you’re not logged in online or near a computer ?
Unless automatic updates or concurrent status alerts are provided through an app, a trucker’s Qualcomm or text messages are given, fleet tracking devices require loads of personal attention. Managers have bigger fish to fry, and have little time to print daily reports. Your chosen fleet tracking device should have automatic report scheduling, some method to receive frequent updates and have the capacity to run whether you’re there to oversee its actions or not. These updates should come at intervals you preset; where many systems fail, our fleet tracking solutions are transparent in their ability to provide quick updates, useful information when it’s needed most and report scheduling at your convenience, not ours.
6Is customer support able to answer my questions via telephone or chat ?
With the economy in a whirlwind and wallets becoming empty, commercial companies are struggling to find fleet tracking customer service, literally, in any nook or cranny they can. Although it seems as though the well has run dry in the fleet tracking market, there are still fleet services available around the clock when you need them most. The most difficult job for most tech companies to handle is also one that is still in abundance: customer service. Dealing with an entire fleet of commercial delivery trucks is enough of a headache; your customer service personnel should add to those headaches. Besides, your equipment is essentially useless when nobody helps with troubleshooting; if any company tells you that every model is self-booting or comes with self-help features with minimal customer service, run. Run quickly. Then check out how our customer service works.
Return on Investment
1Why do prices vary?
The old adage of "you get what you pay for" holds true in the GPS tracking industry. With lower prices come fewer services, features and options. Low price leaders typically don't have as many staff members or resources to support you after the sale. They may have a great sales person or a cool application but ROI is achieved after the honeymoon period is over. Knowing your partner is charging you enough to provide the resources you need shows you that they have a good business model. A win-win relationship is required to be successful; just like you have with your customers. Pay more, get more and expect more ROI.
2How long should it take to recover my investment?
This varies for a variety of reasons. The ROI for a typical service company is under 90 days. This includes the initial capital investment as well as the first year's subscription service. Passive tracking systems take about 18 months with a break even compared to live systems in about 22 months. ROI will also vary by fleet management practices. Fleets that are better run before install GPS will take a little longer. Fleets with more room to improve can receive very rapid ROI, often under 30 days!
3What areas can I expect to see improvement?
This will vary by fleet practices and leadership. If the company leaders are not willing to use the data to make decisions or hold drivers accountable, there is no point in making the investment. ROI requires a commitment to change with policies to support the program and the strength of leadership to enforce the policies. Typical areas of improvement include: - Reduce fuel expenses resulting from a host of reasons - Reduced accidents - Improved productivity - Reduced regular and overtime wages for the same amount of work. - Improvements in fleet maintenance expenses with fewer miles and lower maintenance costs. Dispatching service can reduce or totally eliminate expensive cellular phone plans. This often provides a huge ROI in a very short period. Going from $50-$80 a month in cell phone costs to a $10 dispatching service fee is a major difference for most fleets. You can actually hire better drivers and retain the "best of the best" long-term. Introducing GPS tracking during the interview process will scare off many that don't intend on working a full day once away from the office. With reduced speeds, fewer miles and more attention given to driving, GPS tracking can have a major impact on workers comp claims and other insurance expenses.
4What have other fleet managers experienced in ROI?
Best in class fleet managers have demonstrated a per vehicle savings of $2,500 on average over years of use. Some customer receive much higher short-term benefits as changes are implemented and then level out at a lower level based on a variety of factors. If you save 50% of the best in class fleets, you are coming out well ahead.
1What kind of training should I expect?
You cannot receive your ROI if you don't know how to use the system. Some companies have sales people act as trainers, some offer manuals, some offer videos and some offer online training. A combination of all is important because your needs change according to employee and time available. Many busy fleet managers might be able to watch a video before drivers come in while office staff might be able to attend a webinar. GRG offers all and we have a dedicated corporate trainer to manage content and lead live online sessions. Onsite training is also an option.
2What should I look for in a fleet management partner?
This is really determined by your needs. If you don't know your top 3 issues and the GPS provider doesn't try to learn them from you, keep looking. How can a solution to a problem be provided if the problem is not defined? The more work you do to define and articulate your needs, the more likely you are of achieving or exceeding them. If you cannot do this step, ask yourself if you are ready to collect data to make business decisions. Experience counts. Industry experience is at the top of the list. If your account manager is new, do you want to entrust your job to them when you make a recommendation to your boss. If the consultant is new, do they have a company behind them with experience and training.
3Does the GPS solution recommended resolve my top 3 "must have" issues?
If the solution does not resolve the "must have" issues you have to keep looking. You want a solution for your "must have" issues and as many of your "like to have" issues as possible. If you are willing to forgo your "must have" issues you have not properly defined your criteria.What happens after the sale is where you make your money back. Get comfortable with the people and resources available to help you drive your ROI. It will take up to two years to fully understand and implement all the potential savings available. In recent years there have been more online only vendors entering the market. Online only means no people to talk to when you have an issue. Their solution to your problems is limited to an FAQ page, chat or email. Having human interaction readily available increases the efficiency of resolving issues that always come up with technology. Confirm they have technical support on staff and there is more than one person you can access. Having a larger trained staff means you are not depending on one person being available when you need help fast.
4Should I be worried my drivers will quit?
Not at all. If you have a driver quit, you just saved a ton of money. It seldom happens but anyone that is afraid to be tracked is hiding something. If they quit they can drag your competitor down who isn't using GPS tracking and you don't have to pay unemployment. All drivers are nervous at first but good leadership overcomes this fear and builds a stronger company.
5Am I on my on after the implementation and training concludes?
Service after the sale (STIR) STIR is an acronym for Service, Training, Implementation, ROI. This represents a core value of GRG and is designed to keep everyone focused on our customers and partners.