Deciding whether to invest in telematics? It’s not something to purchase rashly. Here are five questions you should focus on to find a telematics service that gets results for your business.
You’ve heard about the compelling benefits of telematics. It all sounds great.
Then reality bites.
Is this really what your business needs? Will telematics deliver the benefits it claims to? Will it be too difficult and frustrating to use? They are valid questions. And with several telematics providers on the market, it can be difficult to know how to find the service that best fits your business and drives ROI.
Committing to any new technology is daunting. Especially when it promises to change the way you work. (For the better, we promise.) Your secret weapon in the decision-making battle is research. If you want to find the best telematics product for your business, here are five of the biggest questions to ask before committing to a specific provider.
1. What type of contract are you committing to?
There are two main types contract when it comes to telematics: Perpetual licence and subscription-based. With perpetual licences, you buy the software and telematics devices upfront, which can be a big outlay in the initial stages of implementing telematics fleet management. Furthermore, you will then also be required to pay out for the installation, maintenance, software upgrades and support of the system and devices long term.
A good way to know exactly what you’re paying for is to buy the vehicle tracking device and pay a monthly subscription fee. This option doesn’t require you to pay any fees upfront, there are no costs for hardware and no installation fee. All you have to pay for is the monthly subscription cost, it’s simple.
Think about this? If a customer paid all their money up-front or a paid monthly subscription fee, who do you think would receive the best customer service and training? It is obvious, the customer on the subscription-based model as they would want customer to be happy so they would continue to pay.
2. Are there any hidden costs?
Hands up if you like hidden fees? Thought so. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for some telematics providers to use sneaky extras to bump up their margin, which can inflate the amount you pay across the course of your contract. Check the small print for hidden charges such as cancellation fees, installation costs, training and system customisation.
3. Is full training provided?
Speaking of training, find out if your vendor provides it – and whether it’s free or not. In an ideal world, you will find your telematics system so user-friendly and intuitive that you won’t need training. But when you are making your debut with unfamiliar software, a little guidance can go a long way. Training is also a good way of getting your staff on-board with telematics – especially if there are several people in your fleet management team. Some providers charge for training. Others provide a complementary session. One or two offer unlimited training for free. Something to keep in mind.
4. Does your provider issue product updates and are they free?
Like most software, telematics technology evolves fast. Getting the best from your product and pushing continued cost-savings for your business requires a provider that keeps their product up-to-date – especially if you want to stay ahead of your competitors. Ask your provider how frequently the product is updated and whether updates are free.
5. Does the system give you all the benefits you need?
It sounds obvious, but sometimes the obvious things get forgotten. Does your chosen telematics system deliver the business benefits you need? Spend some time thinking about the features you need in your organisation.
Can the system identify individual and fleet-wide fuel consumption? Does it monitor and report on individual driver behaviour such as idling, speeding and harsh braking? Can your system respond to live traffic alerts and find the most fuel-efficient routes for your drivers?
When you know the type of features you are looking for, it’s far easier to cut through sales waffle and find the product that fits you best.
You know, informed decisions feel good…
You have lots to think about when considering telematics. But figuring it out needn’t take the rest of the year. That’s why we wrote a short, free eBook that spells out exactly how telematics helps SMEs save time, money and hassle – and the essential things to do before you part with your money. You should read it. (It’s good, we promise.)