As a business owner, you know how important it is to keep track of your vehicles and assets. With so many options on the market, choosing the right GPS tracking system for your specific needs can be overwhelming. Therefore, there is a need for having a precise structure that can assist you in developing efficiency, reducing expenses, and advancing client relations.
This article highlights the seven ways that you can use to choose the right tracking system for your business, as well as the key factors to consider.
1. Determine Your Needs
Before starting your search, take some time to clearly define your tracking needs and must-haves. This will help narrow your options considerably. The number in your fleet can impact your choices. Know your fleet size upfront since larger enterprises often require heavy-duty enterprise solutions.
2. Consider the Type of GPS System
When it comes to GPS tracking systems, you’ve got three main options – passive, active, and hybrid models.
Passive systems take a simple, low-cost approach. They use a GPS device to record location data you can download and review after the fact. No real-time tracking is enabled, but basic breadcrumb trails show where your vehicles traveled.
On the other end of the spectrum, active systems utilize cellular or satellite networks to transmit real-time GPS data. This allows for live tracking and instant alerts if a vehicle goes off course. Active systems deliver robust, real-time capabilities, but the hardware and data fees make them more expensive.
3. Compare Hardware and Installation
The track for trucks hardware you choose is a significant factor. Consumer-grade devices are affordable but lack the durability and advanced features needed for commercial uses. Industrial hardware better withstands the demands of business uses. When comparing options, look at:
Durability – Systems meant for vehicles must withstand vibration, weather, and rough conditions. Consumer trackers won’t last.
Power options – Wired, battery-powered, or hardwired. Hardwired is most reliable, but wired is easier to install.
Accuracy – Important for operations where pinpoint locations are needed.
Size and placement – Smaller trackers offer more mounting options. Wired options have limitations.
Installation – Professional installation is recommended for commercial uses. DIY is cheaper but risky.
4. Evaluate Software Capabilities
The software platform is where you will monitor and utilize vehicle GPS data. The software capabilities can make or break the value of a system. Key features to evaluate include:
Real-time visibility – Active tracking systems must provide live maps and alerts. Hybrid and passive systems may lack real-time capabilities.
Custom alerts and notifications – Create rules to be notified of certain events like speeding, unauthorized usage, etc.
Detailed reporting – Generate reports on idling, maintenance issues, driver behavior, and more.
Integration with other software – API/SDK for integrating telematics data with other transportation management systems.
5. Calculate Ongoing Costs
The initial hardware and software purchases are just one part of the cost equation. Ongoing fees for cellular data and software subscriptions can add up. A cheap system upfront might have higher long-term costs. When estimating ongoing costs, consider:
- Cellular data fees – Data costs can apply for each device for active tracking. This adds up for larger fleets.
- Software subscription pricing – Lower upfront cost options often require monthly/annual subscriptions. Make sure the total cost of ownership makes sense.
6. Check Reviews and Talk to Users
With so many products on the market, independent reviews can provide unbiased insights into real-world performance and potential issues to be aware of. Here are some ways to tap into user experiences:
- Review online forums and communities for candid feedback on GPS tracking systems. Frank user reviews can reveal limitations not mentioned by vendors.
- Check trusted review sites like G2, Capterra, and Software Advice that compile ratings and reviews across top systems.
- Ask vendors for customer references you can talk to directly about their implementation and use cases. Speaking with actual users is invaluable.
7. Prioritize Ease of Use
Even the most robust system will fail to deliver value if employees find it too difficult or confusing. Whether it is the installer user interface or the tools your team will use daily, choose a solution where the software is intuitive.
A user-friendly GPS tracking system will have faster adoption and higher utilization in your organization. Prioritizing ease of use ensures the investment doesn’t go to waste.
Read Also: 5 Common Challenges When Starting A Business
Selecting the perfect GPS tracking system for your business fleet can initially seem overwhelming. But taking it step-by-step and doing your homework pays off. Start by writing down your must-haves so you can narrow down the options.
Your chosen system should fit smoothly into your operations and deliver the necessary visibility and insights. With clear goals and priorities, you’ll find the ideal solution to maximize efficiency, safety, and service across your entire fleet.