When it comes to choosing the best telematics and making sure you have the most up-to date technology and the right fit for your fleet business, what you don’t know might be what matters most.
If you have a telematics solution in place, you’ve likely spent the life of the telematics contract busily interacting with the platform and accessing and utilizing the fleet data it provides to manage your operations. Along the way, you’ve probably grown comfortable with the solution and accustomed to its functionality – and maybe even gotten used to some of its shortcomings.
Maybe what you haven’t done is consider what else is out there. Is there a solution that doesn’t have those shortcomings? Who is the best telematics provider? Is there one that is easier to use and eliminates the need to monitor multiple platforms to get a full picture of your fleet data?
These are all great questions in determining the best telematics device, and if you are within six months to a year of your current telematics contract expiring, the time is now to seek answers. Here are some great reasons why it's critical to find the best fleet telematics for your business.Your business has likely changed. It’s unlikely your business is the same as it was two or more years ago when you first implemented your current telematics solution. You may have added additional vehicles or assets to your fleet. You may be deploying your fleet in a totally different way. You may have added locations or even launched a new division. Your entire customer base may have turned over. You hopefully have grown significantly.
Take stock of the current state of your business versus what it was like at the outset of your telematics contract. As your business has changed, have your telematics needs also changed? There’s a pretty good likelihood that they have and the best telematics companies evolve with you.
Telematics technology keeps improving. The technology behind telematics continues to get more powerful and put more data, insights, and capabilities in the hands of users – think smaller, more able hardware, artificial intelligence-powered dashcams, and more. Many telematics providers keep pace with these advances and incorporate them into their solutions on an ongoing basis. But not all do.
Also, as a technology product, a telematics solution needs to be continually updated to fix bugs and improve performance. The interface also should be periodically refreshed to improve the user experience.
The best telematics providers update continually. If you haven’t seen changes in your telematics solution over the life of your contract, there’s a very good chance that your solution is out of date.
Avoid an autorenewal of your current contract. Many telematics contracts auto-renew for at least an additional year if the customer doesn’t inform the provider of their intention to discontinue the relationship at the end of the contract. This intention must typically be communicated within a specified time window, typically at 60 to 90 days before the contract end date.
Check your telematics contract for this language and be sure you begin evaluating other options early enough to transition to a new solution – should you decide to make a switch – with minimal disruption to your business, and without being locked into an extended contract you would instead prefer to get out of.
What Else Is Out There?
The possibility always exists that you can look at the other available telematics options and decide that your current telematics solution is still the best fit with your business. But you’ll never know unless you explore what else is out there in the market.
From time to time, you likely hear from telematics providers who want your business. If you’re nearing the end of your telematics contract, maybe you should take those calls to be sure you still have the best telematics provider for your fleet.