White Paper

2018 GPS Tracking Buyer's Guide

GPS Tracking Uses

According to industry research, between 40-50% of all commercial and government vehicles in the United States are equipped with GPS Tracking.

In the next few years, it’s estimated that the percentage of vehicles equipped with GPS tracking will exceed 50%. With this rapid rate of adoption, it’s clear that businesses and government agencies see the value in GPS tracking.

If you are researching GPS tracking, again or for the first time, it’s crucial to make sure the investment is worthwhile. It may seem like all systems are the same, however, technology is certainly not created equally and neither are the providers.

This buyer’s guide provides tips and guidance for your journey through the GPS tracking purchasing and implementation process to ensure you select the best system for your fleet.

Identify Your Needs

Any important purchasing decision, especially long-term investments like business software, should be done with great consideration. That’s why it’s recommended to analyze all business opportunities, self-evaluate areas for improvement, and define your goals before purchasing a GPS tracking system. This process not only helps avoid buyer’s remorse, it’s essential to maximize the effectiveness of the technology.

Assess Every Department’s Use Case for GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is used for far more than location information these days, and it’s likely that different areas of the business will benefit from what the technology offers. That’s why the first step to identifying your business needs is to meet with all stakeholders to determine what areas of the business will use GPS tracking and why. Having a collective understanding of what the system will be used for and collaboratively decide on the most important functionality will help avoid backpedaling later in the process.

Selecting a provider and realizing later that the platform doesn’t meet a critical need of a department is not an ideal scenario. It’s better to get everyone’s input from the start.

Who Should You Include?

  • CEO/Owner
    Get a bird’s eye view over your full fleet operations.
  • Dispatch
    Obtain real-time visibility into your fleet’s location and status, simple dispatching functionality, and more efficient communication methods to get the job done quickly and accurately.
  • Finance/Accounting
    Streamline payroll and easily invoice customers.
  • IT
    Integrate GPS tracking with existing software to make smarter business decisions overall.
  • Operations
    Get an effective way to remove all the unknowns and improve fleet operations from the top down.
  • Safety & Compliance
    Use GPS tracking data to reduce risk and improve driver and public safety to protect your most valuable assets.

Set Your Criteria

Once you identify who will use GPS tracking and the most important business challenges you need to solve, the next step is to put together your criteria. Going into a conversation with potential providers with a set of requirements will help narrow down your choices to only those that offer exactly what you need.

The criteria you set should go beyond features alone; you should also determine your expectations for the vendor.

Test Customer Service

Customer service should be a part of everyone’s GPS tracking criteria, as it becomes of paramount importance once the system is implemented. If you have an existing GPS tracking system in place, you likely understand the importance of customer support already (it may even be the reason you are evaluating new systems).

If you are implementing GPS tracking for the first time, it’s important that your business tests customer service for potential providers because the offerings vary considerably between vendors.

Complete a Trial before Purchasing GPS Tracking Software

Testing GPS Tracking software before purchasing it is a highly recommended best practice. There is a good chance that most of us wouldn’t even purchase a pair of shoes without trying them on first. It makes sense to ensure more significant investments like GPS tracking live up to expectations before signing a contract.

Any reputable GPS tracking provider will not only be willing to let you try out their software, they will encourage it. A good way to ensure you select the right system and provider is to conduct a few trials simultaneously to compare systems side-by-side.

Top 3 Reasons to Run a GPS Tracking Trial

  • Make Sure it Works for Your Business
    Your business is unique. So, why choose a system based on a list of features rather than seeing how it works in your business? Applying GPS tracking to your vehicles and equipment will allow you to determine if the system is truly the best fit.
  • Test Customer Service Quality
    Completing a trial of GPS tracking is not only about testing the software; it is a dry run of the working relationship with the provider as well. Take the opportunity to experience the effectiveness of their technical support and account management.
  • Receive Benchmark Data
    The metrics you receive from the trial will help you determine if the system will be the right fit. This information is also useful to make the business case for the technology to the rest of your organization and track your success after implementation.

Choose the Right Business Partner

It might not be obvious at the beginning of the buyer’s journey, but selecting a GPS tracking provider is more than purchasing a software platform; you are entering a business partnership.

When making your decision, you should consider what type of partner you want in fleet management. Look back to the trial to determine if they were in fact customer focused and willing to work with you. Consider if they will think outside the box or create custom functionality to help solve your specific business challenges.

The Cheapeast Option Does Not Mean The Best Fit

We all have a budget to consider, but selecting a GPS tracking system solely on price almost always ends in dissatisfaction. If you don’t weigh the system’s ability to solve your business challenges, how easy the provider is to work with, value-added services, and a variety of other factors, you will likely suffer from buyer’s remorse. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for with GPS tracking. It’s worth paying for a system that checks off every item on your GPS tracking checklist.

The Total Cost of Ownership Is What Really Matters

What should ultimately help you decide on the right GPS tracking provider is the potential return on investment (ROI) that becomes possible through their technology and partnership and the true cost of ownership. The initial cost shouldn’t matter nearly as much as the potential savings or the ability to help your business drive revenue. Before selecting a provider, don’t only weigh the initial cost of devices or service, make sure to evaluate which system provides the better value in the long run.

Implementing GPS Tracking

When you have successfully selected a GPS tracking partner, the next step is to implement the technology to your vehicles, equipment, and operations. Easier said than done, right?