Your solution is only as good as its installation and use.
Purchasing the ideal fleet management solution
is only getting half the job done. Getting it installed either directly from the vendor or through third party systems integrators in the right way is critical to make the most of the system.
Ric Bedard, CEO of Cetaris
, explains that you should first ask what goals and milestones you are trying to achieve with the new solution. Plot them out and make sure there is an overall alignment between the team and the organization’s higher-level business objectives.
“Make sure you have clean data,” Bedard continued. “It’s tough to undo the damage of a system running with poor data quality. If necessary, consult with a third party to understand how your data can be cleaned before you begin any implementation.”
You should also understand which systems are mission-critical and determine how you can integrate these systems to flow data between your relevant operational software. Identify where the data needs to flow to drive efficiency for real-time or near real-time updates. Keep in mind that you will need to create efficient flows of freight from the shipper to receive.
Making the most out of the solution
All the stakeholders and customers must be involved in the process to get the best performance from the system. Before going about installing and setting up the solution, there should be clarity on what problems you are trying to solve with it.
In a blog post, Cetaris explains that, for example, if the key objective is increased uptime of equipment, then the software selected must address uptime management. If safety and reliability are essential, then the software must have advanced functionality to support these requirements.
Having a clear sense of direction is critical to making the right decision. There should also be a clear idea of which systems you will integrate into fleet management software. This includes monitoring systems, assets, telematics, etc.
“Once your team has identified the key requirements, it is vital to determine which systems must be connected to the software to optimize the flow of data between all required applications,” Cetaris explains in its post. “This includes the assets themselves, monitoring systems, telematics, ELDs, accounting software, and beyond.”
It is also essential to identify who all will be using the solution.
“Who are the people that will own each milestone from evaluation to implementation to upkeep, and beyond?” Cetaris explained. “Plan out your future critical path being as realistic as possible. Then, determine when each role will be available to accomplish the milestones that they own.”
Expectations on results
According to Terrence Wang, Head of Marketing at FreightPath, sometimes it may be difficult to see the benefits of a system in the beginning. You will need to wait for at least a week for the results to show up. There is a learning curve in the correct implementation of a solution, but once that’s passed, you would begin to see better visibility, cost-efficiency, and management options.
At the end of the day, the solution is only as good as the data that’s collected and the action that’s taken on it. There should be a seamless integration of components with software that provides as much control as possible to make sure this happens without a glitch. With the right plan for the problems that need to be solved, consideration of the stakeholders involved, and the components in use, you can make the maximum use of your fleet management system.