Vehicle Tracking Buyer’s GuideThere’s been a raft of new companies jumping on the tracking bandwagon. But buyer beware! Introducing a vehicle tracking system entails a financial commitment and long-term relationship with the provider, irrespective of the chosen purchasing model. Get it wrong and the investment can have serious financial and business repercussions. All too frequently, vehicle tracking companies have gone to the wall, or have failed to provide the service they’d promised to their customers. According to start-up business research by Barclays, 18 per cent of all new businesses fail within their first year, and 50 per cent fail within three years. Industry experts suggest that failure rates within the telematics sector are likely to be even higher. Do your homework before you commit any cash. Here are our 10 top tips to getting the right tracking supplier for you:
- Consider whether a provider is reputable – ensure it’s financially secure, has a healthy set of accounts, and a trading history of three years or more.
- Don’t assume all suppliers are the same. Ask suppliers, for example, how the system and fleet data is hosted – make sure it’s hosted in a safe, reliable and secure environment.
- Ask to see working systems when investigating potential suppliers and test out the software. If a company has any faith in its product, it should have no objections to leaving customers with live access to its system.
- Ask for customer references – and speak to the references.
- Ensure a preferred provider is up front about any installation charges – installation should be inclusive!
- Find out if, in addition to the fixed costs, there are additional monthly charges – there shouldn’t be!
- Ensure the provider has a dedicated R&D resource, rather than this being outsourced to a third party, and find out if the system you opt for can be upgraded during the contract period.
- Ask suppliers if they source the various system elements from third parties. Select a provider that takes technical responsibility for every aspect of the system’s operation Select a provider that offers a system warranty that last the length of the contract.
- Ensure a preferred provider offers free software and mapping updates