Answered! Your Top 10 Questions About Fleet Telematics for Field Service Businesses

Fleet telematics

We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions asked by field service business owners about fleet telematics solutions—and we’ve answered them, too!

Q: Aren’t these solutions designed for large fleets?

A: Fleet telematics tools are a good fit for any-sized business. The use cases are the same whether your fleet consists of 1 vehicle or 5,000. Decision-makers at PepsiCo and Comcast are concerned—just like you—about vehicle and fuel efficiency, employee safety, customer service, ELD compliance, and accurate driver and mileage record keeping. That’s not to say all of the fleet telematics solutions are one-size-fits-all. You need to find the system that is going to work best for your needs.


Q: How do I know when it’s time to make the investment?

A: If you’ve started to think about making the investment, that’s a great sign you’re ready (or almost ready) to take the plunge. Many field services business owners decide to implement a fleet telematics solution because they want more visibility into their vehicles and their mobile workforce, they’re eager to leverage data to make business decisions, and they want to be sure they’re doing their due diligence. They’re looking for back office efficiency, cost-savings, and more satisfied and productive field technicians. If your existing fleet management processes aren’t delivering benefits like these, it’s probably time to consider taking your business to the next level with today’s fleet telematics technology. Also, important thing to keep in mind is to not wait for some incidents (like accidents, unauthorized use, vehicle abuse etc.) to happen as that may end up being too costly for your business.


Q: Can I afford this?

A: Yes! As with any technology investment, what you pay will be related to the size of your fleet, what tools you need, and how you want your solution to be delivered. While every vendor has their own pricing structures, keep in mind that even the smallest field services businesses are leveraging the technology without breaking the bank. In fact, they’re achieving ROI. But isn’t that one of the reasons to adopt the technology in the first place? Get more details in How Much Does Vehicle Tracking Cost?.


Q: Do they require a complex installation?

A: Fleet telematics solutions can either be plug-and-play (not complex at all) or hard-wired (a bit more work needed to install!). Most field services business prefer the ease and convenience of inserting a small device into the OBD II port usually found under their vehicle’s dashboard (See How To Install Your Vehicle Tracking Solution). But you should feel free to choose the best approach for your company!


Q: How much maintenance will this require?

A: If you’re using a cloud-based (aka SaaS) solution, then the answer is very little to none at all. That’s because your company’s fleet data and the software you access to manage it is maintained by your telematics vendor. They handle all system and software updates and upgrades, assist with user support, and ensure you’re using your tools effectively. So aside from plugging in your tracking device, you can leave the technical details to your vendor.


Q: Won’t my drivers be put off?

A: A common misconception about deploying a vehicle tracking solution is that employees will think that Big Brother is Watching. Maybe they will—if that’s what you tell them you’re doing—but most appreciate that the technology is being used to boost productivity, ensure vehicle and driver safety, and improve customer service. These are all good things that employees are usually thrilled about. Learn more in Overcoming “Big Brother Is Watching” And Other Employee Telematics Fears.


Q: Are the “real time” tools really real-time?

A:  Almost! What happens is the GPS sensor in the fleet telematics device “talks” to the software servers, and then the software delivers the location to the user. So depending on the processing speed of your vendor’s solution, real-time is as close as 15 seconds away. (Automile offers the industry’s fastest updates: you guessed it, in 15 seconds!)


Q: Can the solution grow with us?

A: Absolutely. It can grow with your fleet size or your company’s needs. If you’re a 3-vehicle field services operation today but plan to be a 30-vehicle enterprise in a few years, you can count on your vehicle telematics solution to accompany you as you grow. Same goes if your fleet size stays more or less the same but you want to add on some functionality down the road. Check out Automile’s plans and pricing to get an idea of built-for-growth scalability.


Q: Who can access our data?

A: That’s up to you. With most solutions, you can configure your software to give access to as many users (e.g. office workers, technicians, etc.) as you need, and users can access their tools from any connected computer or mobile device. You can even give your accountant a log-in so they can run all the reports they need to help you with your taxes.


Q: What Makes Automile so great?

A: We thought you’d never ask! If we had to narrow it down to just a few reasons, we’d say that customers choose Automile because our self-service product and technology is top-notch, we offer highly competitive pricing and plans for growing field services businesses, and we’re insanely committed to customer service.

But why not take our customers’ word for it?



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