Achieving ROI doesn’t have to be a full-time job

By Todd Ewing

Return on investment, or ROI—three little letters with one very significant meaning. Businesses today, especially those with fleets, are paying more attention to the ROI they get from each purchase, especially if that purchase includes technology that is intended to help their fleet operate more efficiently. Any opportunity for investment can be met with hesitation, especially when the money you are spending is the money you’ve worked so hard to earn. But would that hesitation lessen if you know that the technology you were purchasing would help you make more money overall by increasing productivity, reducing costs and improving customer service? If you answered “yes,” welcome to GPS fleet tracking.

Where telematics and ROI meet

When it comes to GPS fleet tracking, ROI can be realized in many ways. With each action in a company-owned vehicle, drivers contribute to the business in one of two ways – operating costs or revenue generation. Monitoring fleet activity can help you understand what areas of your fleet need improvement, and justify the need for purchasing a telematics solution. Without the ability to monitor your fleet, you truly “don’t know what you don’t know”; having a GPS fleet tracking solution can help you gain transparency into the effects of your operations that you may not readily see, in dollars and cents.

But where do you start, when it comes to figuring out whether a solution is paying off? Begin with your main pain points. Every fleet has its own unique set of challenges to overcome to be successful. Insight into the areas of your fleet that are or may be causing problems can help you kick-start the ROI process. This will help you understand where you are spending more money than you need to, so that you can reallocate those dollars to help the business grow.

Understanding where ROI comes from

It’s true, GPS fleet tracking solutions can generate a lot of data. Turning that wealth of data into actionable insights can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Here are some common areas of concern you can look into to start gaining a better understanding of where money is being spent versus where it is being made:

•  Fuel: Monitoring vehicle idling, optimizing routes, conducting regular maintenance and coaching drivers to operate safely behind the wheel can help you cut fuel spend while increasing efficiency.

•  Payroll: Knowing exactly how many hours each driver or technician works can help cut down on timecard fraud, which means you are only paying drivers for time worked and reducing spend and manual work.

• Productivity: Scheduling in an extra stop each day can increase revenue and help you get into the habit of using vehicles in a smarter, more efficient way help grow your bottom line.

• Maintenance: Adhering to a strict maintenance schedule means your vehicles stay healthier for longer periods of time, keeping them on the road, servicing customers and making money. This keeps them out of the garage where expensive repairs usually occur.

• Safety: Encouraging safe driving habits can help eliminate harsh driving behavior and speeding habits, which reduces money spent on costly fines and accidents.

• Customer service: Using healthy, safe vehicles to get to customers on time can increase customer retention and even help improve your reputation, earning you new business and adding to the bottom line.

Staying ROI-focused

Focusing on ROI can become less daunting or confusing when you use the right telematics solution. By having technology that improves overall fleet productivity and efficiency, you can easily see ways you can earn back the dollars you spent on your initial investment. This money can be put back into the areas of your business you want to improve or help to continue to thrive. Maintaining successful business operations and implementing sustainable best practices are direct results of using a GPS fleet tracking solution equipped with the intel you need to make the decisions you want. If growth is a priority, this ROI meets expectations – and then some. Now you no longer have to subscribe to the notion that “you don’t know what you don’t know” – because now, you will.

Todd Ewing is the director of product management for the Verizon Telematics companies Fleetmatics and Telogis. For more information on how GPS fleet tracking can help you improve your business, visit