The Best GPS Tracker For Your Business
With so many GPS tracking service providers to choose from, how do you decide which is the best GPS tracker for your business? It’s all about getting the most out of your investment. Here are a few pointers to help.
1. Define your needs
Determine what the basic requirements of your company are. Are you concerned about driver behavior (speeding, idling, territory, extended lunch breaks, excessive overtime, reporting to jobs on time, moonlighting with your vehicle and service, excessive fuel use, personal use of vehicles, etc). Do you need dispatching capabilities, an open API (can the software connect with your dispatching programs), what vehicle alerts are available and what reports can be downloaded or emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis. How long is the history stored on the provider’s servers (should be at least 6 months). Is there a need to verify payroll against your employee’s time sheets. This is easily done with a good GPS tracking system.
2. Your Budget
What are you willing to pay for GPS tracking. Tracking devices can range from under $200 all the way up to $1000. Today’s technology combines a satellite receiver and GSM (cellular technology) modem to transmit the information to a server. The high end devices use only GPS satellite communication, meaning they do not rely on cellular communication. Thus the higher cost of the device and expensive communication cost. I would recommend this type of device only for areas where there is no cell coverage or is a government requirement. The other factor of cost is where the devices were made, US or China, and what components are used in manufacturing, and does the company you are buying from make their own devices. I always recommend buying from a US company. Sometimes a GPS tracking salesperson may try to over-sell you with features that sound good at the time but you wind up never using or is too complicated to use. I have heard this happen many times from companies I speak with. This only adds to your monthly cost.
3. Your Needs
The GPS company you choose should be looking out for your needs and not the commission of the sales person. Look for a company that has been around for at least 10 years, they have the knowledge, expertise, and a stable GPS tracking system. That system should always be web based and easy to navigate. That company should also have at least 50,000 vehicles on their current tracking system and should supply you a list of companies to call and ask about the services provided. Ask other questions such as down time, errors, and customer service support, etc. The GPS tracking company you choose should also have the capabilities to program the device over the air, wirelessly, when there is a firmware or software upgrade. Upgrades are common in the industry since technology is always changing and new platforms are developed.
4. Service Fees
What is the cost of the monthly service and is there a contract? The monthly service cost is based on the amount of data is transmitted, (vehicle location updates). This can range from every second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 2 minutes. There are systems out there that update every 15 or 30 minutes. Our most popular plan is the 2 minute plan.
The next item of concern is the contract. Do you really need another one?? Many GPS companies try to lock you in a 3 to 5 year contract, similar to the cell phone companies. There really is no need for a contract, especially when it comes to GPS technology which is ever changing. Look for a company that does not require a contract.
6. Customer Service
Customer service should be another main concern. There are no GPS systems that are perfect or flawless — systems go down, trackers stop reporting, employee tampering and many more errors occur. Live customer support personnel should be available to you to answer your questions, not machines or an answering service – or Heaven forbid, Peggy from Russia! System training and installations support are also necessary. Look for a GPS company that has that type of support and ask the hours of operations.
Your return on investment, how soon is the cost of your GPS system recovered by your company. Your GPS sales person should be able to answer this question by asking a few questions regarding your operation. The ROI is usually less than 6 months for some companies. I have seen profitable ROI’s in less than 2 months.
Remember to always be an educated consumer when searching for the best GPS tracker for your business.