In the business world, there is a never ending quest for increased profits. All companies are looking for ways to increase gross revenue while reducing expenses. GPS fleet tracking systems can definitely assist in this endeavor. However, many firms go straight to the technology, skipping over one of the most important steps, which is identifying the exact business problems they are trying to solve.
As the telematics industry continues to mature, forward thinking businesses in all segments, are looking to implement GPS fleet tracking systems, also known as telematics, to improve business operations. For these telematics roll-outs to be truly successful, firms must develop keep a few key initial concepts in mind.
Step One: Designing a Telematics Strategy
Taking time to develop a telematics strategy is a crucial first step to any telematics implementation.
1. Create qualitative and quantitative goals.
Many businesses are looking to maximize shareholder wealth, but we should be careful to avoid scope creep for these types of projects. Often times, firms try to solve too many problems at once and fail to identify the number one goal for the project. If the aim is to reduce fuel consumption or to increase accountability for the field, then work under those macro ideas.
Once those qualitative goals have been identified, then it is imperative to create quantitative goals. These goals should be attainable. As well, companies should use existing data as benchmarks for success.
Read tips on setting fleet goals from Erin Gilchrist, Director of Fleet Operations at Safelite AutoGlass.
2. Design the software to match the business goals.
Once the goals are defined, the next step is to select the software reporting data that will be most relevant to these needs. For example, if reducing fuel consumption is the goal, we could ask: Will the telematics solution monitor fuel burned at idle? What considerations are being made for the business processes of the organization? It’s essential that the telematics provider listens to the company’s needs and matches them to the program capabilities.
3. Consult with stakeholders during planning.
Many times the sponsor of the project is not the party who will be responsible for implementation. These functional stakeholders must be looped in sooner rather than later upon project acceptance. These parties will help the telematics partner identify the data needed and determine how the program will be structured.
Feedback allows the partner to craft the solution in such a manner that it minimizes the resource strain on the firm, and maximizes the value of the solution at all levels.
There’s no doubt that telematics can improve fleet operations in many areas, and sometimes in significant ways. Telematics may seem like a silver bullet to fix all organizational inefficiencies at a company. However, it’s important to remember that any technology tool is only as effective as the structures put in place around them.
Selecting a strong telematics partner that listens and can adapt the solution to a company’s specific needs will maximize the effectiveness of their solution.
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