In nowadays trucking industry there is almost no one that doesn’t use some kind of Fleet Management Software. No matter are we talking about owner operators or trucking companies, all of us rely some part of all entire company on certain Fleet Management Software.
Things started to change dramatically 20 years ago when software entered every day business life. Since that period of time, there is a lot of exceptional software solutions on the market.
Trucking companies face a lot of difficulties when deciding which Fleet Management Software to buy.
There are more than 20 serious companies offering astonishing solutions on today’s US market. It is not an easy task to choose the one that suits you best.
Knowing that it is not an easy thing to choose the best, I have decided to create this list of things you should check before making a final decision.
Believe me, as an ex-founder of Fleet Management Software Company (Roadmiral) based in Chicago I’ve gone through this process many times. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Most of the Fleet Management Software purchases start with the question about the money. How much are you willing to spend?
Are you thinking to spend few hundred dollars or you are OK, also with few thousands (monthly?) and maybe even with few tens of thousands of dollars.
To be honest few hundred dollars won’t get you a very good software solution. Usually, this is where the software begin and you can get only the very basic solution.
This is OK if you are independent owner operator or you own a very small trucking company with the fleet of a couple of trucks.
As the company fleet expands there will be more and more tasks to handle and the list of requirements expected from software solution will continue to grow.
If you are small to medium trucking company you can expect to spend somewhere in the area of hundred up to few hundred dollars monthly to run your entire company operation with one Fleet Management Software.
Questions related to hardware investments required to have a full operating software were asked ten and even twenty years ago. Back in that time in order to have a fully operating Fleet Management Software you needed to invest in expensive equipment such as servers, data rooms, power, and cooling system.
Fortunately, those days are over and on today’s market pretty much all the best software providers offer some kind of cloud-based Fleet Management Software solutions.
I said pretty much because still, you will be able to find some companies that require you to invest a significant amount of money into hardware.
My advice is to stay away from that kind of companies if you are small and medium trucking company. Only if there is a company policy in place that prevents you from using the cloud based solution you should consider this.
Talking to other companies and users that are using the software you shortlisted should be your priority.
The feedback collected from real time users can be extremely valuable and could save you a lot of money; you would burn buying a solution that is not a good fit for you.
I know that on most Fleet Management Software company websites a lot of testimonials can be found, but still, this is not enough to validate that this is the right solution for you. Ask the company that is selling you a software to introduce you to few of their customers.
Give them a call or even better, pay them a visit. Talk to the real people and ask them is there anything that makes them regret the decision to buy the software.
Ask also for suggestions and recommendations they get from the experience of using the software as tool to run your trucking business for some time.
Maybe certain features are overvalued and in reality, don’t bring much added value. Use the data and facts to maybe negotiate the lower price.
This is a very important question and you need to prepare the answer in advance, prior to starting the Fleet Management Software selection procedure. Who are the people inside of your organization that is going to use this software on a daily base?
Are you planning to switch the entire company to a new software or just a part of the people? Will the transition be at once or you are planning to do it step by step. Consider finding and having answers to these question prior to starting to choose the software.
A good idea would be to include all groups in your trucking business into a decision making the procedure to hear their feedback and possible recommendations. Most of the software have a different set of features for every possible user group that can be found in every trucking company:
If you do, then switching to a new one might be a slow and painful procedure. Not because you are buying a software that is not as good as the one you are using now, but simply because people are resistant to changes and your company employees might be against the transition to a new software.
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