Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

5 Key Installation Questions to Ask Your Telematics Provider

Posted by James Richardson, Director of Field Strategy on Oct 31, 2015 12:44:59 PM

The installation of your telematics solution lays the foundation for your future success. If the installation falters, your investment may seem like a waste. Your provider should be able to confidently answer some key questions prior to the implementation to ensure you have a complete understanding of the technology. Only then will you be able to truly realize improved levels of safety, productivity, and damage prevention in your warehouse or distribution center.

1. Is the design modular?

If you are considering two product lines of which one is modular and the other one is not, go for the former. A modular design allows for easy install as well as future additions and upgrades. You may, for example, want to start with basic capabilities and, as you become familiar with the technology, add new features and hardware such as pallet detection. The ease of swapping components or replacing severed cables without having to go through the cumbersome process of removing the entire unit is another advantage.

 2. Does the unit include all parts or will we have to put in additional orders?

Frustration tends to amount when your investment arrives and key pieces must be ordered separately. If you need to put in additional orders for, let’s say, hardware, your project runs the risk of being delayed, especially when the parts turn out to be the wrong fit and have to be returned and reordered. Your provider should supply everything you need right away. As obvious as it sounds, receiving all parts at once is more unusual than you might think.

 3. What kind of installation support can we expect to receive? 

The on-site dealer or customer maintenance should work in close collaboration with your provider to perform the installation. Look for a provider with a library of technical installation guides that provide detailed and easy-to-read instructions that take you through the process from start to finish. The provider should also offer on-site training of operators and managers in correct use of the product and software; ensure proper software installation and functionality; provide a thorough understanding of database relationships; configure units to fit your needs; and make sure all units perform optimally and meet your requirements.

 4. How do we know what to measure?

The implementation should be preceded by discussions with the provider about the metrics that you seek to collect. In order to avoid confusion, the pre-planning phase will spell out exactly which Hour Meters or Custom Inputs will be tracked. Then the provider should communicate those meters to the on-site mechanic who is responsible for tapping into your existing system to share data with your new units.

 The modular design of the TotalTrax VX platform, for instance, allows you to have six (3 analog and 3 digital) out of the box or more with add-on cabling. It is worth noting TotalTrax can get pallet detection data from the software, integrating job coding to pallet movements. The result: You receive invaluable productivity data at a much more affordable cost than if the data had come through a traditional labor management system.

5. What will be the role of our IT-team?

One of the more common hurdles to a successful installation is the amount of red tape that frequently ties the hands of IT-teams at large organizations. Numerous tickets may have to be placed and several people may have to get involved to gain IT approval for Wi-Fi network access and to support and maintain a standalone software and data server. A cloud-based solution, on the other hand, does not require the support of your IT team, speeding up deployment and reducing the risk of unnecessary delays. The TTX cloud hosting services, combined with our cellular connectivity option, provide a simple, fast, and cost-effective alternative.

 Do you have more questions? Let us know how we can help.

 

Topics: Customer service, SX/VX Advanced Telematics, Cloud-based solution, Installation

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