The search for the right GPS fleet tracking provider can seem daunting. At BSM, a Geotab Company, we take pride in our 20 plus years’ experience in partnering with companies to help them choose the right solution. We’ve learned a lot and want to share some of those lessons with you in the hopes they will help guide you to select the right technology for your business.
After isolating the pain points in your business that need to be addressed, you will want to ensure the fleet management provider you choose will stand the test of time and truly become your strategic business partner. To do this, you must consider factors beyond just product features and functions and hone in on the solution that will be solve your immediate and longer-term needs. Some things to consider:
1. Product Strategy
Market trends, customer opportunities and regulatory developments should all influence product strategy. How are your potential vendors gathering market information: Do they serve on industry boards? Work with industry consultants? Do they host user groups where customers share best practices? Are they active contributors to trade associations? Do they have a product roadmap?
It’s not necessary that new products or features come out every year. Even small, continuous improvements show careful planning and attentiveness to the market. Choosing a provider who is an active participant in the market will give you assurance that your solution will remain current.
Questions to ask:
- What are your plans for this product in the future?
- How do you decide what updates and changes will be made to the product?
2. Strong Leadership
Is the vendor’s leadership team truly focused on long-term success – theirs and yours? You want to find a solution provider who will be watching out for their and your best interests; they will get involved in regulatory decisions and advocacy committees. And they will be respected for the industry knowledge they’ve accumulated over time.
Question to ask:
- How active is your company and leadership team within the industry?
3. Client focus
A fleet solution provider’s relationship with their clients reveals a great deal about the vendor. Do clients know they can rely on the vendor for support? How has the vendor worked with their clients to solve challenging business problems or capitalize on opportunities? Does the solution provider have a customer support team in place? Check the provider’s contingency plan for when things go wrong. The difference between a successful and failed fleet solution is how issues are addressed and fixed.
Questions to ask:
- What kind of support do you provide when issues arise?
- Do you have a customer support team?
- How long are your response times to customer queries?
4. Value for money
The lowest price is not always the best value for money. If you want reliability and quality from your vendors, and if you want a vendor who will be able to grow with you and be willing to work with you to determine the best solution for you over time, you’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay and the balance you want to strike between cost, reliability, quality and service. Consider the total cost of ownership – owning, operating, and maintaining your solution.
Questions to ask:
- What solutions do you have at different price points and how do they differ?
- What are the benefits of choosing you over a competitor?
5. Strong service and clear communication
You need your vendors to deliver on time, to set clear expectations on timelines for implementation and to proactively deal with any unforeseen issues. The best suppliers will want to talk with you regularly to find out what needs you have now and how they can serve you better in the future. Depending on the size and capabilities of your team, you may also want good local support or guaranteed, responsive remote support. Poll other customers to determine their satisfaction levels with vendors.