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Telematics is all but inseparable from the modern supply chain. GPS technologies have been a staple of the industry for some time, but telematics services today can offer even more. With such a variety of services available, choosing the right fleet tracking software can be a challenge.

While some of your needs will vary depending on your company, there are still advantages everyone should look for. If you find that your provider meets these criteria, then you can be sure you’ve made a smart choice. If you’re looking for something new, consider companies with these offerings and characteristics.

2020 Strategic Freight Management Trends

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1. Varied Data and Insights

The very least a fleet tracking service can do is offer GPS services. With today’s technology, you need to be looking for more varied and helpful data. A good vendor is one that provides reports on things like fuel economy, RPM and idle time.

Some devices can measure engine performance, which is particularly helpful. With these readings, you have a better idea of when to perform maintenance on a vehicle. That way, you can avoid unexpected breakdowns, which lead to costly repairs.

If your provider offers the right data, you’ll notice a drop in expenses over time. From maintenance costs to fuel spending, more insights lead to more savings. The more data points and readings a service can give you, the more you can benefit from it.

2. Insurance Advantages

In today’s data-driven business world, some technologies are becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Some insurance providers require telematics systems for them to cover fleets of any size. Even if your insurance company doesn’t require it, the right telematics service can get you lower rates.

Tracking software gives you more control over your fleet, which helps reduce accidents. If you can see individual drivers’ habits on a granular level, you can see who may be a liability and why. You can then work to correct that behavior, preventing accidents and improving your standing with insurance providers.

Dashboard cameras are one of the most advantageous technologies when it comes to insurance. On top of being a teaching tool for riskier drivers, they can also help in insurance claims.

3. Adoption of New Technology

The best fleet tracking services are those that are quick to implement new tools and resources. Ideally, you’ll keep the same provider for an extended period, so you want one that changes with the times. On the flip side, a company that relies on aging systems won’t be able to support you for long.

One particular thing to look out for is the onset of 5G networks. As these new connections roll out, cellular companies will stop supporting older ones, so be wary of technology that runs on them. Verizon has already shut down its 3G network, and AT&T will do so next year.

Your telematics provider should be able to tell you their roadmap for upgrading in the coming years. How well they can implement new technology determines how much they can help you long-term.

4. Real-Time Fleet Tracking

The most immediately apparent advantage of telematics is being able to track your fleet. Seeing when drivers leave and when they arrive at a destination isn’t enough anymore, though. The most helpful services, the ones you should look for, provide real-time results.

Real-time tracking allows you to keep an eye on your vehicles at all times. That level of information can help you redirect drivers to save fuel or arrive faster. It also plays a role in increasing security on valuable cargo. Cargo theft rose by 8% between 2017 and 2018, and the value of stolen cargo jumped a whole 28%. With these rising threats, you need to be able to watch your shipments at all times. Real-time tracking is an essential service for that purpose.

5. Scalability

Changing services intermittently can be expensive and inconvenient, so you want a provider you can stick with. If things go well for you, your company will grow, which means you’ll need your telematics to grow with you. As a result, a scalable telematics solution is a necessity.

You need a service that can sustain a larger fleet than what you run at the moment. On top of being able to handle more vehicles, the system should also accommodate them quickly. You want to be able to introduce new assets to the service with as little trouble as possible.

Listen to “A Look at the Freight Technology Landscape & How Tech Builds Trust” on Spreaker.

Scalability doesn’t just include growing in size but also in features. The best services allow you to keep upgrading as you have the means.

Find the Right Telematics Service for Your Business

The best telematics service for you depends on your company’s size, type, and location. Still, these five advantages are key areas to look for no matter what your specific situation is. If you find all of these in your current provider, then there’s no need to change.