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Vehicle Tracking Buyer’s Guide

Vehicle tracking is a wonderful solution to your business problems, which is why it is essential that you choose the right supplier. There are plenty of factors you need to consider when it comes to finding the right supplier for your vehicle tracking device. It is not just about creating financial stability in your company and the business reputation; it is also about how to serve your company’s requirements at the right costs.

Things To Consider

Before you purchase a vehicle tracking device ask yourself a few questions to ensure you are considering the right facts about the system for your company:

  • You will want to choose a system that can be tailored to your needs for budget and operations. Choose only the system that fits your requirements, rather than those that partially fulfill your needs.
  • Check the provider’s reputation to ensure it is strong. You will check for quality of product during this check. The device needs to provide a streamlined business solution to keep vehicle downtimes lower for a more effective business that you run.
  • If your company requires drivers to go abroad, you want to make sure the system can be used overseas with mapping. The costs for roaming may be expensive if they are not included in the regular package, so be aware of the costs you may run into.
  • Examine all costs for the product such as the contract, monthly charges, software charges, airtime charges and others.
  • Ask the provider for a demonstration of the product before signing a contract. With a test you can determine if the product really fits your needs based on the software and other requirements you may have.
  • For companies that have business in the UK, Europe or other parts of the world check the geographic areas while testing the software.
  • The supplier should offer a Service Level Agreement regarding installation and warranty with a full term agreement contract.
  • Check the level of consumer support you obtain with the service provider. You may need technical assistance throughout the contract, so you want there to be a good technical department.

Once the above has been compared and you are aware of the best providers, it is time to look at how you can get the most from your tracking device.The various tracking devices available to you provide different benefits and features. Some of the products will seem extremely similar, which is why you need to consider how you can make the most of the vehicle tracking system. Identify the features that will be most beneficial to you and your company. The following are a couple of ways to examine a system.

Check the setup: every company has different tracking needs, so you want to ensure the setup will work for your purposes; all of your purposes. The supplier also needs to understand these parameters to install the right device for such things as fuel monitoring, increased productivity and more.

Training requirements: even buying the best tracking system out there can lead to defaults if training is not sufficient to handle the system. Your employees and the service providers need to be well versed in how to use the system to its full advantage.

Product Features

Since your determination of the product is based on features it will pay to know what features are provided.

Satellite Overlay: this is where an aerial photograph is used as a Map such as Google Maps Satellite, where you can identify an actual vehicle, road, or house.

Real Time Mapping: live mapping will plot the locations of your vehicles in real time, with no lag time so that the user can narrow down the map for one specific vehicle if need be.

Reports: daily activity, daily visits, driver performance, and excessive idling reports can be provided to you and your business management team in order to help increase your company production.

Alerts/ Notifications: SMS text messages can be sent in the event a vehicle has moved late/ early, is idling, driver activated, or the location is needed. These alerts tell you if the vehicle is on the move without authorisation.

Geofencing: this is also known as POI, Landmark, or Ring Fence in which you can lock a vehicle within a certain border and if the vehicle moves outside of that border you will be sent an alert. Common usage is to include the employee’s home address and their work locations.

Can-Bus Integration: most tracking systems use a CAN-Bus system with electronic control units. These units will communicate with other units to send information such as sending tracking data to the management centre. HGV vehicle fleets often use this to manage fuel and driver behaviour.

Other features exist such as Driver ID, Driver Terminal, Temperature Monitoring, Panic Button, Remote Immobilisation and PTO. These additional features can help you identify the driver, ensure the vehicle cannot move without the proper driver and maintain temperatures for delivery. Some of these additional features can be used as a means to stop the vehicle from moving or get help to a worker in an emergency situation.

Payment Options

Funding options are also imperative. Payments will consist of hardware, installation, monthly access to applications, and monthly data subscriptions. Additional costs can include SMS alerts, extended warranties, maintenance, and additional features.

Your company can purchase the system outright paying for the hardware from the very beginning. There are no further payments and no interest on borrowing for this option. You do have the monthly subscription price, typically 15 pounds. The installation can be 350.00 pounds with a total cost per vehicle of 890.00 pounds.

Leasing options provide you with fixed monthly costs, no deposit needed, and a return on your investment. The key benefits of leasing are no large upfront costs and a term of 36 to 60 months to pay for the system.

Renting is another option where you rent the equipment for a little more than leasing options, but the terms are for 6 to 12 months rather than a 36 month period.

Pay as you go is a monthly payment lease where you pay for the use upfront and have fixed monthly costs. The term is usually for 3 months.

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