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How to buy the fleet management software your business needs

By: Grant King, IndustrySearch Writer
04 November, 2015

Okay, you've got all those fancy vehicles out there racing around the countryside doing deliveries and carrying reps from sale to sale.

And no doubt you can assess if the deliveries are being done on time and if the sales people are meeting their budgets. But do you know how your vehicles are performing? Are they paying their way? Are they fuel efficient for the job they've been asked to do? Is their maintenance program up to date? Are they even the right vehicle for the job? If you're monitoring your fleet's performance manually, chances are a lot of potential problems and opportunities are slipping under the radar. With the right fleet management software, your fleet can operate accurately and efficiently and save you money. So here are some tips to find the right software for you.

Assess your money and motivation

There are as many fleet management software options out there as there are vehicles to choose from. So before you go near a supplier, work out what you want your software to do and what you're prepared to spend on it. Are you a small business with a small manageable fleet and you only want an easy way to keep vehicle maintenance running smoothly? Or do you need something more comprehensive to run the microscope over both vehicles and drivers on a daily basis?

Bells, whistles or both?

With more advanced software you can automatically monitor the exact location of every vehicle in your fleet. You can remotely monitor fuel consumption and receive ongoing data on driver behaviour. With automated vehicle data collection, remote vehicle diagnostics, fuel management and maintenance management, you can create a pretty comprehensive and fleet footed package to watch over every vehicle and driver’s performance.

Talk to the suppliers

Again, you're going to be spoiled for choice so narrow it down to a reputable shortlist based on reviews and recommendations from others. Then go to them armed with your list of requirements. Stick to those and don't be sold up to a package with all kinds of fancy things you don't need. Ask for demos of any systems you like and don't get carried away by the technology on offer. You may well find you're better off with a modest fleet management system than something more complex offered by large wireless carriers. Ask the important questions: How much does installation cost? What are the monthly hardware and cellular fees? Ensure the ongoing costs make as much sense as the upfront costs as they can be the killer in the long term.

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