Investing in software can be a hard decision to make for a business owner. Will the software help my company? Will I get a ROI from the software? And many other questions might be swirling in your mind. Before you dive into the decision making process, it is a great idea to write down what it is you need from the software company.
Being prepared is half the battle. This is true for many things, and is true for finding a great software company. Some things should write down are:
- How many trucks do I have to monitor?
- Do I need a real-time solution?
- Do I need to cut down on route times?
- Will I need extra IT support for the system?
Besides the cost of the actual software system, there are many other costs that should be accounted for in your budget. If you will be hosting the software in-house, you might need to purchase more servers and/or hire extra IT support. There are also the devises you will need to install inside each vehicle. The simplest devices for real-time systems are ones that plug into the trucks on-board diagnostic computer.
A more expensive, but safer option is a hardwired under-dash system. These systems are underneath your dashboard, making them invisible to criminals and a of course your coffee won’t be able to reach it either.
If you decide to go with an ASP (application service provider) you will have a monthly charge to take into account. This is on top of the initial set up fees, and any hardware you will have to purchase.
Before signing the contract make sure you go over every detail. That is just business 101. Once you have decided on all aspects of the contract, make sure you are getting exactly what you want and need. If you need some education on the software, make sure it is in the contract that the vendor will be able to train you and/or your employees on how to use the system.
Ask if you can test the software out on a few of your tucks for a limited time. This can help you see how your staff will be able to use the software, and how it will fit with your company. Ask for references as well.
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on GPS fleet management software based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as ecommerce credit card processing at Resource Nation.