I see many fleet organizations make highly cost-driven decisions with respect to their choice of GPS tracking solutions.
I have been searching for a good analogy to help companies understand that GPS tracking is more than just about the cost (if you know me, you know I like analogies…).
Typically, I tell people that it’s not the cost — it’s the OPPORTUNITY COST — which fleets should worry about.
If by purchasing a cheap (not inexpensive, I do mean cheap) solution, the customer gives up the POSSIBILITY for significant additional ROI (return on investment) then they have made a terrible and all-too-typical decision. Saving $10 per month per vehicle may cost them $100 since the low cost products typically can’t be easily adapted to exact, costly business challenges which is where GPS Tracking should be directed. They may not have all the necessary reports, alerts, API’s, maps, and features which add up quickly to provide exceptional ROI.
At the same time, choosing a too-fully-functioned solution which costs more and goes under-utilized also is a bad decision. A fleet with few vehicles and a simple set of requirements doesn’t need every bell and whistle, and should choose accordingly.
So here’s my analogy:
Think of GPS Tracking as your permanent restaurant of choice. Not just for you, but all your company’s employees as well. And for every meal moving forward. You get one chance to get it right, and if you don’t, you and your colleagues will be ill-fed for years to come.
You don’t want your whole company to eat somewhere cheap — call it at the “burger shack” — every day in the future (and given some providers’ contracts, this is realistically 2-5 years).
They will not give everyone the nutrition they require to stay healthy. Plus the menu is very limited and won’t allow different meals for different employees who have different dietary requirements. It’s cheap, undeniably, but you get what you pay for, and you probably shouldn’t expect for many new dishes to be added to the menu in the future.
Likewise, you don’t need to eat at the high-end Steakhouse where everything is overpriced, over-sized, and generally too much for your appetite.
Instead, find a medium-priced buffet or sit-down restaurant where there are plenty of options — healthy options — and significant value for all the employees who will dine there with you.
You want plenty of diversity in the product you choose as a GPS Tracking system. Additionally, you want value and maybe most importantly, you want them to have an “A” rating — not the cheapest restaurant you can find. Do you ever eat at restaurants with “C” inspection results in their window? They’re cheap, yes. But also likely to make you sick and get shut down eventually. Splurge and choose a good one which will provide you the best return on your investment and time. GPS is one of the most important systems your company will ever implement, and choosing the cheapest one will give you indigestion at best. The benefits from choosing a good one far exceed the costs savings from choosing a cheap one.