How to pick a telematics solution for your fleet

When it comes to addressing operational challenges your fleet faces, one of the best tools out there is telematics software.

But with so many providers and so many different features available, how do you know which one is right for your fleet?

If you’ve been holding out on implementing a telematics software into your fleet, or are looking for a new provider, here are some tips and things to think about as you evaluate different telematics solutions for your fleet.

Telematics checklist

As you research different fleet software solutions, go through this checklist to see if they meet your requirements.

  • How can this solution help me achieve my organization’s goals?
  • What are the three most important features this software must have to be compatible with my fleet’s operations?
  • What’s the company’s plan for growth and scalability in operations, features, and support?
  • What connections or integrations are available with this software?
  • What’s their customer support like and when are they available?
  • What are the upfront costs and what is the ROI a fleet like mine can expect within the first six months?
  • What reporting capabilities are available so I can track the ROI?
  • What safety features or benefits does this software offer my drivers?
  • Can I do a test drive or pilot of the software before I buy?

Standard telematics features

Want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples with telematics providers? Here’s a list of some common features that should be standard and beneficial for your fleet.

  • GPS and routing: Can you track drivers as they complete their routes and see how long they’ve spent at a job site?
  • Driver scorecard: Can you track if your drivers are wearing their seatbelts, if they’re speeding or slamming on their brakes, if they’re using their phone while driving, or if they’re idling outside acceptable timetables?  
  • Fuel usage report: Can you track your fleet’s fuel efficiency with fuel usage reports, and can you break it down by vehicle or driver?
  • Asset trackers: Can you easily manage your assets from your computer?
  • Maintenance alerts and maintenance logs: Can you review each vehicle’s maintenance history and/or set up custom alerts so your vehicles can let you know they need servicing?

Cars driving on a highway

Complement it with Active Vehicle Management

Here at Derive, we know telematics provides invaluable insight into your fleet’s operations, but why not put that insight into action right away? Here are a few additional automotive technologies that complement telematics software so you get the most out of the data you collect and can make improvements immediately.

  • Speed limiter: Ensure drivers can’t go above the speed limit or your own set speed limit by installing a speed limiter in your fleet vehicles to lessen speeding incidents, accidents, and improve your vehicles’ fuel efficiency.
  • Engine calibrations: When you get a new computer or phone, the first thing you do is change settings so it works the right way for you. Why aren’t you doing that with your fleet vehicles? With just a few minor calibrations, you can have better performing, and fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Distracted Driver Prevention™: Did you know that 47% of commercial drivers had read a text while driving their commercial vehicle? Keep your drivers’ eyes and focus on the road instead of their phone with Distracted Driver Prevention™ technology. Our technology disables a driver’s phone (when paired with their fleet vehicle) so they can use the in-app navigation system but cannot access other apps, texts, or take calls.
  • Seatbelt-enforced drive: We’ve spoken with many fleet managers who say one of the biggest shocks after implementing telematics into their fleet was finding out how many drivers don’t buckle up. Make sure drivers can’t get the wheels turning without clicking their seatbelt into place with seatbelt-enforced drive.

How to introduce telematics into your fleet

Getting ready to pick a telematics provider? Make sure the process goes smoothly with these best practices for implementing telematics in your fleet.

  • Communicate with your drivers: Have an honest conversation about why you’re adding telematics to your fleet, explain the benefits for your drivers, like safer operations, improved productivity, and having their back in the case of an investigation.  
  • Get feedback: This conversation should be a real conversation, meaning you’re open to hearing their thoughts and feelings on the changes, the new software, and any new policies that will come from it. Give them time to voice any concerns or comments they have about introducing telematics to their daily work.
  • Training: Set aside time for training on the new system so they see how it’ll impact their job and how to use it to grow as a professional. Show them what you’re tracking and restate the why of this software.
  • Incentivize: A great way to get buy-in from drivers is to gamify it or incentivize drivers who adopt the technology and show improvements on their driver scorecards.
  • Communicate results: Share the results the software has brought to your fleet with frequent updates, and share the impacts these results have on daily operations, their work, and the company as a whole.

Interested in skipping a step and starting with Active Vehicle Management? Contact us to learn more about Derive’s fleet solutions!