Disappointments for fleet management programs help guide future purchase decisions
Source: FleetAnswers When choosing a fleet management or telematics company, today's fleet managers have a wide range of choices at their disposal. Often, knowing which one is the best is the biggest challenge. A closer look at the recent telematics survey performed by FleetAsnwers (part 1 and part 2) will show areas fleet managers felt worked well, and areas that were lacking, in their own systems. This, in turn, will help other managers choose the right systems for their needs.
Fleet Managers Weigh in on Telematics Struggles
As part of the survey, fleet managers were asked "What are some of your biggest struggles or challenges when using Telematics/GPS in your fleet?" of those who responded, the largest number, 20, indicated underutilization of the system was the biggest problem. The remaining popular answers were in regards to the data. Of note were:
- Quality of data
- Complexity of data
- Application of data
- Relevance of data
- Consistency of data
Fleet managers were finding that they were often given data they could not act upon or did not need, and sometimes the data was unreliable.
Fleet managers were also asked about their biggest disappointments. The answers to this were quite varied, and some indicated that they fleet the sales staff promised more than the product delivered. The responses that were directly linked to the systems included:
- Fleet reporting
- Lack of a standard platform
- Not gaining usable data
- Results of data were inaccurate
- Unreliable reporting
- Complexity and poor performance
- Lack of ROI
- Random location errors
- Need for more information
Looking at these complaints can help today's fleet managers make better choices when purchasing a system.
Factors Influencing Purchase Decision Point to Need in Industry
The survey also asked what factors influenced the purchase decision. The most compelling reasons were cost, with device cost ranking first and monthly data cost ranking second. Ease of configuration and integration, depth and scope of analytics and quality of customer service also ranked among the top five.
Respondents were also asked what they hoped to gain from their systems. Improved driver safety, behavior and productivity were ranked high, as were increased fuel savings and accurate vehicle tracking.
Using This Information to Impact Future Purchase Decisions
This information is valuable to fleet managers as it can help focus their purchase decisions. By looking at the list of complaints, fleet managers in the market for a new telematics system can search for one that avoids these problems.
Another item of interest is the statement that device cost influenced purchase decisions so strongly. This is not surprising, since most fleets are on tight budgets, but it may indicate that letting budget alone make the purchase decision is not the wisest choice. Because a large number of respondents indicated they had complaints about the data provided by their systems, and many also responded that they chose based on price, it may be concluded that the cheaper systems do not provide the reliable, usable data managers need.
In light of this, those shopping for a new system may wish to look at the data provided first, and use price as a secondary consideration. Fleet managers need to decide what they want to receive from their telematics system, then shop based on that list, rather than price alone. This strategy should result in greater satisfaction and a better ROI from the systems chosen.
Also, because data problems were listed as one of the biggest complaints, fleet managers need to have a clear understanding of what data is included and how it is presented. A system with accurate, timely and usable data is going to be the most effective.
This article is part 3 of our telematics survey report series. Read part 1 of our telematics survey results to learn more about the (mixed) uses, metrics, and ROI.
Read part 2 of the telematics survey results that reveal poor ROI but good satisfaction rating.