While making up your mind for an investment-related to your business, the task of inspecting and selecting the right one can be daunting.
Searching for a telematics provider demands time and research to find the perfect fit. Making the wrong choice for the telematics provider can lock you in a three-year commitment where all you could do is express remorse.
Asking The Right Questions
You need to be wary about asking the right questions to a telematics service provider as it would lay the foundations of mutual trust and help understand the functionality of the product.
Here are the key value points that you should be asking any telematics provider to ensure that you are signing up for exactly what you need –
1. What is their Frequency of Software Updation and any Hidden Costs Associated With it?
With new technological breakthroughs happening each day, it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest trend.
Features and potential of any software are rapidly growing and evolving, implying that telematics providers need to emphasize on updating their hardware and software.
Some telematics providers update features in their product quarterly or annually with an official release of a new version.
Some companies update more frequently to stay ahead of the curve, providing cutting-edge features and technology as it becomes available.
If a provider continually updates their software, you wouldn’t have to wait for the requested features or the latest technologies.
Always check if the telematics provider you choose leads in innovation and collects feedback from their customers over feature recommendations.
Also, you need to double-check that there are no secretive costs accompanied by the constant updations of the software as it can do more harm than good on your pocket.
2. Do They Have a Dedicated In-house Development Team?
This question can also help you validate the previous query. Having an in-house development team only shows just how dedicated the provider is.
When development is not in-house, turnaround times for bug fixes can often be slow-paced and lead to lethargic feature requests, integrations, or even updates and enhancements.
This can also imply that your seller doesn’t prioritize development. More significant innovation is achieved only through robust development processes.
Telematics providers who are concerned about their end product are bound to have in-house development teams to help with improvements and enhancements.
3. Are They Experienced Enough To Handle The Magnitude of Your Fleet?
Do your research if the telematics provider works in collaboration with another company in your industry and the way their software implementation works.
This can help you get more ideas to help you employ telematics more efficiently to assist with your business. This information can be accessed through customer’s video testimonials uploaded on the telematics provider’s website.
Sometimes, the telematics provider might dupe you by claiming that they can handle your fleet, but they might not be well-equipped to handle it if your fleet is humongous.
The telematics provider must be potent enough to provide customer references so that you can get in touch with them first hand and learn about their experience as well. It should also provide the installation of a dash cam in every vehicle to provide real-time progress reports.
4. Can The Software integrate with your back-office and fleet management systems Simultaneously?
It’s good when you have different business solutions that help you achieve exuberant results independently, but owning different business solutions that work great in collaboration is the best.
All types of technologies and software need to interact to facilitate streamline operations for businesses, with vehicle telematics software being one.
You should find out if the telematics providers that you are interested in can successfully integrate with other different software you use in your daily workflow.
5. Can They Handle Diverse Fleets?
Some telematics platforms are incompetent to support asset and vehicle tracking simultaneously.
If you own a diverse fleet, you need software that can track everything from one interface and can provide you with valuable information from those vehicles and assets.
It is advisable to opt for telematics service providers that can handle diversified fleets with diverse assets.
6. Who can have Access to the Telecom Services in the Organization?
Providing access to certain information across the hierarchy of your company varies according to every person’s position in the stack of position seniority.
Your company has executives, managers, supervisors, and dispatchers, with everyone being in charge of different tasks, require different information, and thus would require permissions for access.
While choosing a telematics provider, be confident that you have control over the level of permissions provided to each user.
7. How Long have they been in business?
While selecting a telematics provider, it is obvious to go for one that has a decent track record of providing an exceptional customer experience. You must find a provider that is neither too old nor new in the market.
A new telematics provider might be a fly-by-night type of company and could vanish without a trace someday.
An older company’s equipment and software could be outdated and obsolete. Such companies might even spend little to no time keeping their systems up-to-date.
As the U.S. Federal Government has implemented the eld mandate, you must consider using a telematics provider in your vehicle at all costs to avoid any inconveniences with the authorities.
8. What all Training and Support Services does the Provider Offer?
Training and support are very crucial to keep your business on track using the telematics provider.
Your employees must be given adequate training to enable them to understand the software better. Be on the lookout for a provider that has customer service offerings, including free training to your organization about the software.
As you would use the software, you would have more questions, implement new fleet strategies, and hire more employees. Thus, your telematics provider must provide 24/7/365 technical support to cater to your queries.
Your team must possess the capability to contact the service support with issues any time of day because you cannot afford to waste time while being in the fleet managing business.
There are a lot of telematics providers out there that can baffle you and force you to make the wrong choices. Thus, you must consider all points mentioned above and ask the right questions before getting involved.
The critical takeaway is to research all telematics providers and find out what differentiates between good and great software. It’s all about discovering the right support you anticipate, and a company that is convenient for business.