3 key questions to ask when evaluating GPS systems
Selecting the right fleet management solution is no easy task. You must make sure it meets your needs, and you need a complete understanding of how it will help you in the long run. Will it help keep your riders safe? Will it help your drivers increase their route efficiency? Will it save you money and provide a noticeable ROI? These questions and more must be considered when evaluating potential GPS tracking solutions.
As technology improves, more and more solutions come to market. How do you know which is best for you?
Below are several factors to consider when selecting your tracking solution.
What Is a “Nice to Have” vs. a “Must Have”?
There are many different solutions available now; it’s not just standard GPS tracking. Determine what is important for your school district or company first, and find solutions that match your needs. For example, how does your transportation team currently track time and attendance? Would they benefit from an all-in-one solution that allows drivers to clock in and out on the bus, rather than relying on hand-written time cards or clocking in at the school?
Another aspect for schools to consider is parent communication. Some solutions, such as Synovia’s Here Comes the Bus®, offer unmatched communication with parents and students. Whether it’s knowing how close your bus is or knowing when your child gets on or off the bus, Here Comes the Bus provides an easy answer.
By closely examining your needs and wants, you will be better prepared to evaluate the GPS tracking market and all its available options.
Is the Software User-friendly?
When evaluating different solutions, it’s very important to understand how the software works. First, think through who will be using the software on a daily basis. What are their needs, and how will they need to incorporate the software into their day-to-day lives? You may also consider asking the vendor if you can try it out before you buy. Let the users inside your organization test the software in real time. Is it user-friendly? Does it give them the information they need to make their jobs easier? Demos and trials are a great way to determine whether the technology is going to work for you and your team.
What’s It Going to Cost?
We all know budgets are tight, making the cost of the solution critical. But many times the better question to
ask is: can you afford not to have a GPS solution in place?
On two different occasions a school system in Florida petitioned their board to pay for a tracking system for
their school buses. Both times the petition was denied, and then one day that school system had three different buses collide with each other while out on the road.
While thankfully no children were seriously injured, later on it was determined that speeding was a significant factor in the cause of the crash. The crash could have been avoided altogether if the school system had simply been tracking their drivers’ behavior a little more closely.
The liability alone of what could have happened if just one of those students was seriously injured is scary, not to mention the real toll of such an incident to parents and students. Fleet tracking software can let you know in real time (as it’s happening) if your drivers are exceeding the set speed limit, and by how much, in order to help prevent things like this from happening.
As with any investment, you must take the time to fully explore all options available to your school system. Speak with other school districts to see how they are managing their fleets. Ask vendors for references and case studies. And, ultimately, find the solution that works best for your organization.
To learn more about GPS tracking, download your free copy of our magazine, Ridealong with Synovia Solutions. We'll help you stay on top of the latest fleet management trends, and decide what's right for your team.