If you’ve ever considered GPS vehicle tracking, chances are you’ve either thought of, or heard, some of these common objections. They’re all based on reasonable assumptions -- but, the actual experience users have had with this technology tells a much different, and more encouraging, story.
The responses that follow each “myth” listed below are all based on exactly that: actual user experience, drawing from data Navtrak has collected as well as independent, third-party field research.
1. We don’t need GPS tracking because we trust our people.
GPS tracking is not about monitoring your employees’ every move – it’s about reducing operating costs and inefficiencies in the field in order to grow your business. A healthy, thriving business is good news for everybody involved. GPS tracking systems have been proven to reduce fuel and maintenance costs, increase the efficiency of routing and dispatching, provide safety and security for drivers and increase the speed and accuracy of your responses to customer questions.
2. All of our guys are going to quit if we get GPS tracking.
According to our experience with thousands of customers over many years, this is simply not true. In fact, once field workers gain some experience with this type of solution, they very often come to depend on it – for routing information, roadside assistance, verification of work performed on time, etc. And in many cases, GPS tracking eliminates time-consuming paperwork and provides additional security for both themselves and their cargo while on the road. These and many other driver-specific benefits are overlooked all too often when the decision to purchase GPS tracking service is being considered.
“Our guys have adapted very well to the system. We didn’t have anybody leave, and now the drivers are starting to realize the benefits of the system for them.”
-Clay Phillips, President, Ross & Witmer HVAC
3. GPS tracking systems are complicated to install and complicated to use.
Most fleet tracking systems are comprised of the same basic components: a GPS receiver installed within each vehicle, and some kind of software operating on office PCs that organizes and displays the information gathered. Both installation and usage of these systems are actually fairly simple – but may seem complicated to those unfamiliar with the technology. This is why your relationship with your GPS tracking provider is always much more important than the tools they provide. A reputable, experienced GPS tracking vendor will:
· work with you to make the implementation of their fleet management solution as seamless as possible within your organization;
· guide you so that you know how to interpret the data you’re receiving and apply it to improve the efficiency of your field operations;
· provide you with knowledgeable, accessible technical and sales support to cover any service issues that may arise
4. GPS tracking is unnecessary – I can keep track of my fleet well enough using cell phones/handhelds.
Though useful as communication tools, cell phones/handhelds cannot provide the kind of information that’s really useful to fleet managers: real-time vehicle location, engine status, history of stops and stop times, and other metrics you need to know, such as mileage, fuel consumption or speeding patterns. In fact, cell phones and handhelds have proven to be an inefficient way of managing a mobile workforce because they can so easily be turned off, left at home or somewhere else, dropped/damaged, etc. And when they are functioning correctly, they are usually with a person, so that you end up tracking your people rather than your mobile assets.
“With the handheld GPS cell phones, we were not able to track vehicles... We had some instances where employees would just simply turn the phones off. If the phone is turned off, you can’t track the trucks. The system becomes totally ineffective.”
-John Boucher, Founder & Owner, Boucher Real Estate Co.
5. All GPS tracking systems are essentially equal – you experience the same benefits regardless of who’s providing the data.
“If you can tell me where all of my vehicles are at any moment and can give me information about their daily activities, that’s good enough for me.” That sounds reasonable enough on the surface -- but the business-enhancing potential of fleet management goes well beyond tracking dots on a map. The reality is that most users of GPS tracking services don’t realize the full impact the information can have upon their organization until after they start using the system on a regular basis. This is precisely why your choice of GPS tracking providers is so important: many of them are content to set you up with basic GPS tracking capabilities, but don’t commit to helping you leverage this powerful technology to transform the way you do business in both the short and long term. (If you’re currently evaluating one or more GPS tracking providers, ask yourself: how much interest have they shown in actually learning about my business and its specific requirements – and goals?)
There is an element of truth to this myth, in that the technology is not the most important criteria for choosing a GPS tracking service provider. Experienced users know, and will testify, that your relationship with that provider over the course of the service contractor is where the value truly lies.
“We started using the technology about five years ago, but quickly became unhappy with the system we had purchased. Once we had bought it, we had to maintain everything. It became clear that we needed a more capable and sophisticated GPS partner. Navtrak offered us exactly what we were looking for: a system that they were hosting, with nothing on our end as far as weighing on our IT resources. And any time there is a question or issue, they’ve been available to us – nothing is too simple or too difficult for them. They’ve always been very responsive.”
-John Doyle, Director of Technology & Communications, Alure Home Improvements, Inc.
6. A GPS tracking system is another product I can buy to help make my business more productive.
We’ve included this common myth because it uncovers a widely-held misunderstanding about GPS tracking technology. GPS tracking should not be viewed as a product, as if it were an accessory you can purchase for your fleet. Rather, GPS tracking is a service you are, in effect, subscribing to – delivering information you lack the means to collect yourself, but know would greatly help to increase the overall productivity and profitability of your business. All GPS tracking vendors will ask you to sign a service agreement with them, typically for 3-4 years. So the question becomes, which vendor will I trust to help me to manage my valuable mobile assets for the next several years? Service is the crucial factor when it comes to effective GPS fleet tracking.
7. My company can’t afford a GPS tracking system.
This is an understandable concern, since GPS tracking systems do indeed typically require an investment in hardware for each vehicle and in some kind of mapping/reporting application for use in the office. However, these systems have been proven to identify those inefficiencies and practices in the field that are already costing you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars every month – excess overtime, inefficient routing, side trips, excess engine idling, reckless driving, etc. The money you end up paying for these inefficiencies in most cases far exceeds the monthly investment required for a GPS tracking service. In other words: in a very real sense, you’re paying for it already! Most of our customers achieve a return on investment within the first few months of using the system, due to savings in overtime costs, fuel expenditures, lower insurance premiums, reduced vehicle maintenance, and more.
8. GPS tracking is an unproven technology.
GPS technology itself (the ability to locate and track objects at any time and in real-time using satellites and wireless communications) has been effectively used for many decades. The core technology is becoming prevalent even in the consumer market now, with GPS navigation brands such as Garmin and TomTom escalating in popularity. As far as its application to commercial enterprises goes, the effectiveness of GPS fleet management systems in terms of increasing productivity and reducing operational costs has been well-documented by reputable third-party sources*. Navtrak has been tracking thousands of fleets across the country for almost a decade, and 99% of our customers renew their contracts with us when they expire. Any business that is actually using this technology will vouch for its effectiveness.
9. Our company is so busy, we’d never use a GPS tracking system.
Actually, a GPS tracking system makes perfect sense for a busy mobile operation, since it helps to better manage fleet activities and presents a clear picture of all that is going on in the field at any given time. The busier a mobile operation is, the more critical it is to have accurate information from the field -- to ensure that money is not being wasted, work is being done on time and customers are being served effectively. Business managers know that high work volume and tight time frames can lead to chaos if jobs aren’t being effectively scheduled and kept track of. A GPS tracking system is an extremely effective tool to help do that, especially when combined with work order tracking, remote data capture and other mobile field service capabilities.
10. GPS tracking doesn’t make sense for a small company.
Any business with multiple vehicles to keep track of – whether it’s 4 or 40 or 400 – will benefit from having access to accurate, real-time information from the field. If you depend on your vehicles to get most of your business done, you need to know where they are now, where they’ve been and what they’re doing. GPS systems tend to pay for themselves quickly due to savings in operational costs and improved efficiency leading to additional jobs completed per day. And businesses that take advantage of this technology usually experience growth, because of the increased revenue gained and the positive word-of-mouth generated by the rapid customer response real-time information affords. Whether you’re managing a handful of service technicians or a fleet of hundreds of delivery trucks, real-time, location-based information will help you to make the most of your field operations and take your business to another level.