10 steps to tender for Connected Tech
Use this 10-point checklist when launching a request for proposal (RFP) for a connected fleets solution.
- Create an RFP team
Involve all interested parties from the outset, building a committee that includes finance, payroll, safety, IT, operations, fleet and HR.
- Educate the RFP team
Telematics solutions are frequently full of jargon, so make sure everyone understands the terminology. Distinguish between journey tracking records, driver behaviour data and engine diagnostic information. Define ‘real time’ – is it every second or every minute?
- Define key requirements
Identify your company’s key business requirements from a telematics system, such as an improvement in driver safety, the launch of a new service, better route planning, more efficient despatch or EV charging management.
- Talk to similar fleets
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel - find a similar fleet that has already installed telematics and learn from its experience.
- Establish IT requirements
Make sure all data can be supplied in a format that is compatible with fleet and other IT used by your business, such as payroll for mileage reimbursement, or operations for delivery times.
- Reporting formats and frequency
There is a real danger of drowning in data, so specify the reports you need, how often you need them, and the level of detail you require. Do you need to know the location of vehicles every second, minute or hour? Are red, orange and green alerts sufficient?
- Identify suppliers
Look for telematics companies that have experience in dealing with a fleet like yours. International coverage, financial stability, pre- and post-implementation support and training are all issues to consider.
- Set service level agreements
Specify the areas of performance that will make a fundamental difference to your business, such as the robustness of the hardware, the accuracy of the data, the data security of the platform and GDPR compliance.
- Verify the scalability of the technology and service
Can your potential supplier cope with electric vehicles (which have different diagnostic ports)? How easy is it to update the telematics software or introduce new modules?
- Run a trial
Select a significant number of vehicles and run a pilot scheme, ensuring that the installation process is smooth, the technology works and the data reports are delivered in the right format and the right time span.