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Picking the Right Telematics System

Choosing a telematics system has never been more complex. While the only question used to be, “what can the solution do?”, today’s fleet manager has to worry about whether the solution integrates with their other business systems.

The question at hand: Why should your GPS and Telematics system talk to your software? The answer is simple. Knowing where your techs are is only half of the story. You’ll need to combine real time GPS information with your order information, if you want to run the ultimate service machine.

Pick the right tech.

Every time a job request comes in, the first, and often most important decision is who to assign to the job. Sending the right tech and giving the customer an accurate arrival time can make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In order to make the right decision, you need to know where the technician is, compared to the location of the new job. Without this information, you’re just looking at half of the equation. Switching between two applications is not good enough. To consistently make the right decision and reduce drive time, techs and jobs must be shown on the map together. That way you can choose the technician with the right equipment, right experience and shortest drive time. Advanced Telematics systems will even suggest the best technician to send.

Reduce drive time.

Less time on the road means more billable hours and increased customer satisfaction, as you provide more precise arrival windows. The benefits also include lower operational expenses for your fleet of vehicles, including fuel, maintenance, accidents and insurance. Integrating dispatch and telematics solutions can help achieve lowered operational costs in two ways: by displaying job locations and available technicians by distance; and by allowing dispatchers to identify actual drive time using real-time traffic information to make the most efficient dispatching and scheduling decisions.

By making it easier to accurately predict arrival times and dispatch the best driver/technician, an integrated telematics solution not only reduces time on the road, but also helps reduce stress, the chances of having an accident and the need to speed or drive aggressively to be at the job site on time. This type of integration can even go as far as planning and executing more optimal and accurate routes.

One-click dispatch.

A typical dispatch process involves double entry of job and location information; initially into the service management system, then duplicated into a separate dispatching solution, or sent as an email, text or phone call. And then finally, the technician will enter the information into his personal GPS navigation system. Sounds complicated, right?

This process is highly inefficient and introduces opportunities for costly mistakes.  The most efficient process captures and delivers work order information in a seamless fashion. In a perfect world, where work order, dispatch and telematics systems were all integrated, the process would create a single work order that is sent electronically to the next available technician in the field. This significantly reduces data entry, associated errors and improves technician response times. No phone calls, texts or emails; the job summary and address information are immediately sent to the technician. They simply accept the job and begin the journey, never having to enter an address or interact with the dispatcher.

Integration culture.

The best scenario for you is when the type of integration you desire has already been completed, implemented, tested and available already. If not, then you or your vendor will have to build it, and test it on you for the first time. This can be extremely costly and time consuming. It’s important to ask your telematics vendor what tools and experience (case studies) they have supporting integrations of the type you require. Additionally, your existing technology vendors must be ready, willing and able to build, test, implement and support the integrated solution.

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