GPS fleet tracking provider Verizon Connect has sought to challenge what it says are some of the common misconceptions it encounters regarding vehicle tracking systems.
For companies that choose to operate without a fleet management solution, the reasons are often the same, says Derek Bryan, Vice President EMEA of Verizon Connect – including high cost, pushback from staff, and a perception that it is not a necessity.
“The reality is solutions often pay for themselves,” he said.
“Staff like to have a solution to help them improve productivity and safety, and once businesses are able to get visibility into their day-to-day operations they often can’t imagine how they lived without it.”
One of the most frequently-heard misconceptions, Bryan said, was that tracking was unnecessary.
“Many fleet managers believe introducing a GPS solution is equivalent to telling drivers you’re no longer willing to take them at their word,” he said.
“Trust goes both ways, so drivers need to understand that a fleet management solution helps make everyone’s jobs easier and safer. After all, accidents involving company vehicles are commonplace and costly.
“Most importantly, drivers should know that management is investing in their safety and giving drivers a way to be recognised and rewarded for jobs well done.”
Fleet tracking not only monitors driver behaviour, he added – it is also a powerful tool to help drivers work smarter and more efficiently.
“Tools such as route optimisation help staff reach their destination more quickly, and live traffic alerts mean they can avoid long tailbacks and roadblocks, which can ultimately cost businesses time and money.
“In addition, near-real-time location data allows businesses to provide customers with automatic estimated time of arrivals (ETAs) and advanced warning of any delays – which can result in more satisfied customers.”
Another common misconception, Derek Bryan argues, is that all fleet management solutions are the same.
“There can be major differences in fleet management solutions and their usability,” he pointed out.
“Some solely track location data and take some back-end knowledge to run reports and analysis. Others can offer a full 360 view of fleets, providing vital information on driver behaviour, fuel efficiency and fleet productivity, while automating processes such as payroll and timesheets.”
The complexity of tracking systems was another reason often cited for not deploying them, he said.
“Like most technology, telematics systems evolve and improve over time. If a system is already in place, users may not be utilising all of the features and functionality, or at their full capacity.
“The right system should allow users to automate key processes such as scheduling and planning and help improve the business’ safety, security, productivity and efficiency. If it doesn’t, then it’s not working as it should be…
“Not all systems are created equal – be sure to consider which solution best suits the organisation’s needs, and engage with employees throughout the implementation process to achieve the best results.”