In the previous two articles in this series, we talked about digital vehicle inspections and their unexpected benefits and how customized digital inspections can help an array of organizations.
In this final article, we want to talk about digital inspections and the construction industry.
As we have acknowledged in other articles, often construction companies face challenges in managing their mixed fleets. These fleets can include a wide array of vehicles and assets – large trucks, trailers, dump trucks, yellow iron, generators, etc. – and this variety of vehicles and assets, and the different types of mixed fleet data needed to optimally manage their utilization and maintenance, requires a complex telematics and data solution. Digital inspections are a major part of this solution, as a means of gathering critical data.
Construction software that enables digital inspections for mixed fleets do exist, and while, yes, they are complex, the best ones are also flexible, customizable, and powerful. As you try to identify the right solution for your business, there are some important considerations construction companies need to keep in mind.
Multiple systems aren’t necessary. Because some trucks in your construction fleet will require ELDs, there are providers that may try to sell you on the benefits of an ELD package for all your vehicles, whether they need ELDs or not. For your other construction assets, you may then be tempted to purchase a separate tracking system for digital inspections, creating both an extra expense and ending up with two separate systems from different vendors that may not work well together or provide a single view of data across your fleet. With the right construction fleet management, you should be able to get digital inspection capability for your entire fleet in one streamlined solution.
Beware of the limitations. While many providers claim they account for the digital inspection needs of mixed fleets, be aware that these solutions aren’t created equal. For example, some will limit the number of questions that can be included in an inspection checklist, and that maximum number may not be sufficient for construction inspection needs.
Watch out for additional costs. While it might be possible to customize the digital inspection tool in a telematics system, there can be additional costs associated with it. If the solution provider doesn’t have the resources or expertise required for customization, costs can add up. It’s even worse if these costs either weren’t disclosed at the time of the sale or anticipated as part of the implementation.
The Value of Being in the Know
There is certainly great value in identifying the differences in the various telematics solutions available, including digital inspection customization capabilities as well as other features, benefits, and how they relate to your business.
When talking to a system provider, we encourage you to ask lots of questions, especially those related to what will be required to meet your needs, the potential limitations of the solution, what level of customization is possible, and what might cause additional costs. Ask specifically about support for each module in the field – you may find that the digital inspection tool is actually from a third-party vendor partner which could translate to extended downtime and headaches.
Whatever your industry, you can never be too curious or know too much before investing your company’s dollars in a telematics and data system that enables electronic inspections.