When Is It Time to Evaluate Your Technology for Your Fleet?

When Is It Time to Evaluate Your Technology for Your Fleet?

Having access to technology can make virtually any aspect of our lives easier. In the trucking industry, technology abounds, from the latest GPS systems to dynamic routing software to cutting-edge camera systems and more. With all the technology out there, how can you make a well-informed decision about what you actually need?

It can be tempting to purchase any new technology you come across, but your fleet might not need all the new products you find (or, at least, not yet). If you’ve been thinking about purchasing new technology for your fleet, think about these factors first.

Re-Evaluate Regularly

What prompts you to think about the technology you’re using for your fleet? For many, the temptation to purchase new tech comes from pressure in the industry, whether a new device has been all the rage or you see a competitor showing off an impressive new system, but if outside circumstances are the only things making you evaluate your technology, you could already be falling behind. 

Setting a dedicated time to evaluate your technology can help you stay on top of the latest developments while also saving money on things you don’t truly need just yet. The timeline that works for your business will vary depending on the size of your fleet, your company’s goals, and regulation changes.

Look at your regular planning cycle to determine when to re-evaluate your technology. If you’re already sitting down to assess your company’s performance every quarter, every year, or some other interval of time, add a technology evaluation to the agenda for your next meeting. 

Check Your Compliance Needs

New technology isn’t always necessary, but if regulations are changing, then you might be in need of an upgrade. 

You can always view the current trucking industry regulations by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website. Additionally, the industry can issue Significant Rulemaking Reports outlining potential changes coming to industry regulations. By keeping an eye on these updates, you can become aware of new technologies and relevant laws as they arise. 

Lately, the focus within regulatory activities has centered on safety. Potential changes outlined in the most recent Significant Rulemakings Report include the Integration of Automated Driving Systems (ADS) and Automatic Emergency Braking. 

Complying with the latest regulations not only keeps your business safe from legal trouble, but it also ensures that you’re keeping your drivers safe and making the most of the industry’s promising new technologies. 

Think About Your Goals

Any new technology you invest in should help move your business closer to its goals. For example, if you’re focused on expanding the number of trucks in your fleet, you may be able to hold off on buying new tech until you’ve reached your goal for new trucks.

You should also consider how your current technology is helping you toward your goals. Let’s say you’re working to make your routes more efficient. In that case, it might be worth it to invest in the latest GPS for your trucks. You can more easily evaluate your routes and create updated schedules for your drivers if you upgrade to a new GPS. 

Any new technology you invest in will likely help you in one of three areas: compliance, safety, or efficiency. Identify your goals in these areas and any shortcomings you might currently be facing. By separating your goals into these categories, you can get a better look at which area should be tended to first. 

Tips for Reviewing Your Fleet Technology 

If it’s time for you to review your fleet’s technology, here’s how to get started. 

Like we mentioned, you don’t need to purchase every new technology out there. Start by identifying a problem you want to solve within your business. Have you noticed that your routes aren’t as efficient as they could be? Are you having trouble keeping up with reports and paperwork? Whatever the issue might be, begin your technology search by focusing on a solution to a specific problem that your business is having. 

As you’re reviewing your tech, communicate with your team. Your drivers will be an invaluable source of information here, since they’re the ones on the road with your trucks every day. If they’ve noticed an issue with your existing technology, they may have suggestions about where to invest in improvements. 

You should also be connecting with technology providers, whether by making personal connections or simply staying informed through the news or online platforms like LinkedIn. You’ll stay aware of new technologies as they arise and can more easily find the tech best suited to solving your biggest challenges. 

You know your business better than anyone, but don’t try to evaluate your technology alone. In addition to talking to your team and tech providers, you might also consider talking with your existing suppliers and financing partners. These professionals already have an insight into your business and may be able to help you decide where updates can be made. 

Tips for Purchasing New Fleet Technology

After you’ve reviewed your current tech, you might find that a new purchase is in order. But how can you find the best solution for your needs? 

First, think about how your customers will benefit. Your customers are the backbone of your operation, after all. Will your proposed technology lead to quicker delivery times? More accurate pricing? Better customer service? If you can’t find a specific benefit that the customer will gain from this new technology, you may want to explore other options. 

It’s also important to consider who in your company will be impacted by the change. Your drivers and technicians will likely be impacted by nearly any new tech you adopt, but they may not be the only ones. Other members of your staff may need to adapt as well, including your finance team or your back-office employees. On the same note, you’ll need to consider who should be trained on the new technology and how much time and money the training will cost. 

Finally, consider your existing tech in relation to your new addition. Can your new technology easily integrate with the systems you’re already using? If not, will it be worth it to make the necessary changes that your new tech will need? Your technology can’t (and won’t) exist in a vacuum, so it’s crucial to ensure your new purchase will fit in with your existing operations. 

When you decide on the new technology you’re going to purchase, set up a timeline. You should have an idea of how long it will take to install the new technology, train everyone who will be impacted, and get the tech fully up and running. Then, indicate a time period to test and get used to the technology before evaluating how it’s helped your business. 

Working with Guttman

Guttman Energy is a trusted fuel solutions provider based in the Northeast. We’ve long been known for our customizable fuel programs and extensive product catalog, but we also strive to offer convenient technologies for our customers. 

Many fleet managers already invest in gas cards for businesses, for example, but Guttman’s offerings far exceed the other options on the market. Your drivers can access over 65,000 fuel stations across the country, keeping your fleet on the road no matter what. Plus, with our comprehensive online portal, you’ll always have access to reporting and user-friendly controls.

Guttman Energy works daily to learn about our clients and their unique needs. Then, we combine our unmatched customer service and customizable fuel programs to create a one-of-a-kind plan that can flex and grow with your business. 

Contact Guttman Energy today to learn more about our fuel card programs and discover how they can benefit your business. 

Written by:

As Director of Marketing for Guttman Holdings, I lead our advertising, digital marketing, branding, and public relations strategies, and share my expertise to communicate key messaging to all our stakeholders. With my diversified leadership background, I also drive innovation and cutting-edge business practice and results, to generate interest in Guttman Energy, Guttman Renewables, and Source One service offerings.

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