INSTALLING GPS TRACKING DEVICES: Which Method is Best?

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1 INSTALLING GPS TRACKING DEVICES: Which Method is Best? In any fleet tracking implementation, the most important step is to ensure devices are installed correctly so your business can start seeing the benefits of tracking technology as soon as possible. There is a debate among fleet professionals whether it is best to professionally install GPS tracking devices or if it is just as effective to perform a self-installation. Like any issue, there are pros and cons to either side. Typically, fleet tracking providers recommend professional installations to their new customers because results are more consistent. That being said, there may be reasons that a self-installation is the right choice for your fleet. Based on what we have heard from fleets on both sides, here are the pros and cons of professionally-installing vs. self-installing GPS tracking devices in your fleet. PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION VS SELF INSTALLATION PROS Experience in specific installation types Reduce upfront costs Complete the job in half the time They work around your schedule PROS Controlled roll-out with less constraints Helpful for troubleshooting with vendor Lower bundled monthly cost CONS Increases bundled monthly cost CONS Labor cost could be more expensive Self-installs are not warrantied Risk of tampering by employees

2 PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATIONS Pros: Professional expertise is a guarantee The most important part of any installation is that it is done correctly. Traditionally, professional installs have a much better chance of being done right the first time. It is important to note that not all installations are universal and can vary by vehicle year, make, model, and device type. That variability makes it essential that an installer is knowledgeable on your GPS specific installation type and has the correct tools, parts, and expertise needed to complete the job. Devices need to be hooked up right for the fleet tracking software to work correctly. Just because your techs may have done an install in the past does not mean that they are knowledgeable on every type of installation. If you are at all in doubt of your in-house technician s expertise, it is best to go with a professional. Pros: Reduce upfront costs It may seem like it will reduce upfront costs to have an in-house tech install devices, but it is actually not the case. If you are looking to pay less upfront, then a professional is actually the better option because fleet tracking providers should allow you to bundle the cost of installation into your monthly service fee. In addition to upfront costs, professional installation also protects your business from any unexpected expenses in the event that an installation is done incorrectly or if accidental damage occurs. Professional installations are warrantied, whereas a self-install is not. You never know what can happen, and going with a professional ensures that your fleet is not held financially liable.

3 Pros: Get the job done faster Professional installations can typically be completed in half the time of a self-install, which will get your fleet back to work much faster. Because a professional will be familiar with your installation type, have the right tools and equipment, and will not need to troubleshoot with a fleet tracking provider s support team, they can complete installations very efficiently. Pros: They work with your schedule An installation needs to be an organized process with no steps forgotten, so working with people who do it day-in and day-out will make sure that happens. After all, they don t call Another benefit of choosing a professional installation company is that they work around their customers schedules. If you can t have all of your vehicles present for an installation during the week, they will schedule a time that does work for your schedule. Professional installers realize that their customers need to keep their trucks at work to run their business, so installs can be done over the weekend when the vehicles aren t being used. Cons: Overall cost Although it will reduce upfront costs by bundling the installation into your monthly subscription, a professional installation option will increase the total service cost. Your fleet may be able to pay less for the total cost of the installation by having one of your employees complete the job.

4 SELF-INSTALLATIONS Pros: Let s get back to work! If you have the personnel qualified for installations who can spare the additional hours required, you may be able to get your devices hooked up quickly without having to schedule a professional. In-house employees tasked with installing GPS tracking devices may be especially motivated to get the installation done right the first time so they won t need to perform the job twice and can resume their regular schedules and responsibilities. Pros: Controlled roll out An advantage of self-installing devices is that you can control the roll out of your fleet tracking solution. If you only need to worry about working with your team s schedule opposed to a professional installer s availability, you can hook up devices as soon as possible and when it is most convenient for your team. Pros: Helpful for troubleshooting If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your devices, troubleshooting with your fleet tracking provider s technical support team is much easier when your employee is familiar with the device, where it is located, and how it was hooked up initially. Cons: Opportunity and true labor costs Although the cost of the actual self-installation service will be less, it certainly is not free. If your techs are

5 working on an installation instead of their regular responsibilities, you need to factor in the true cost of labor. Once you factor in the opportunity costs, you may actually be spending more to have an employee complete installation tasks opposed to a professional. Cons: Self-installs are not warrantied As stated previously, self-installs are not warrantied. If something goes wrong with the install, you will not be covered for any accidental damage or if it was done incorrectly the first time. You may even require a professional come in later to fix the mistake, which costs more time and money. Cons: Increased risk of tampering When you first install GPS tracking devices, it is important to gather raw data as a baseline for comparison. If someone from your team performs the installation of your devices, then they also know how to disable them. You may run the risk of word spreading to drivers that GPS tracking was installed in your vehicles and you don t want drivers tampering with devices because they are opposed to being tracked. By selfinstalling GPS devices, you may be increasing the chance of your employees tampering with them. SO WHICH IS BEST? Ultimately, everyone s situation is different. To decide which method is best for your fleet, you need to assess the expertise of your employees and the quality of installation your business requires. Proper installation of GPS tracking devices is critical to the software working the way it s supposed to, which results in positive return on investment of the overall fleet tracking solution. Contact us today and take the first step in taking full control of your fleet! CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US

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