Learning Zone

Telematics v Fleet Management Software: Which is Best For You?

By Gary Thomas
25 January 2021

Do you know the difference between telematics and fleet management software?

Many people don’t, so here we explore the differences to see which solution is best to improve your company’s operations.

Switched-on businesses are increasingly utilising both telematics and fleet management software to help control their fleets, but there are still companies out there who either don’t know the difference between the two or assume they both do the same thing.

This isn’t the case. To help you understand how they can help support your fleet management decisions, we run through the capabilities of each to help you decide which, if not both, is best suited to your needs.


What is fleet management software?   

The definition of fleet management software is, in effect, a large database of information – a place that you can store records of everything and anything to do with your fleet. Such records can include:

  • Vehicles purchased or leased
  • Vehicle specifications
  • Maintenance schedules
  • Parts and service histories
  • Drivers and related compliance documents (insurance, licences, tax)
  • Fuel transaction records
  • Operating expenses
  • Financial data

The main purpose of these systems is to reduce the administrative processes involved in managing all fleet lifecycle information. This helps make sense of a fleet in terms of operating costs and total cost of ownership, that you are operating legally, meeting compliance regulations and effectively maintaining assets.

As such, these fleet systems usually have quite comprehensive reporting tools, are able to set alerts and can send emails. They can integrate with third-party systems such as financial and ERP solutions.

Telematics and GPS tracking systems

These systems are more about dots that are moving on a map rather than the rows and columns in a database. They send data from devices (black boxes) installed in your vehicles to track the location and performance of your vehicle, and the behaviour of your driver.

Data is transmitted digitally to the company’s servers or through a smartphone app.

GPS vehicle tracking provides only a limited set of data. It can show the real-time position of the vehicle and provide information such as routes taken and the location of a vehicle during a specific moment in time.


Which one is right for my business?

Ideally, both! We appreciate that this is not always possible and constraints such as budgets may mean having to choose between the two.


You may be wondering how these systems work together to improve fleet efficiency and productivity. It’s important to understand the relationship between the two to gain even further benefits. By integrating the two systems, the benefits now include:

  • Creating a more comprehensive risk analysis by combining driver behaviour information with data on accident rates, medical histories and fines
  • Ability to attach engine fault codes to work orders to speed up repairs and enhance preventative maintenance
  • Safety monitoring
  • Elimination of costly idling
  • Improved routing
  • Streamlined processes by eliminating administrative time
  • Improved accuracy by eliminating redundant data entry

Incorporating both telematics and fleet management software gives you the opportunity to reduce investment and operating costs across numerous business areas such as fuel purchasing, leasing, maintenance, accident management, accounting, IT and ERP solutions.


Telematics vs fleet management software – which would you choose?

Hopefully can you now appreciate that fleet management software and telematics systems are different, separate solutions. However, when used collectively – and if effectively integrated by a fleet management software provider – they can vastly enhance your fleet management capabilities.

Telematics systems provide your fleet management software with actionable information, which in turn helps to increase the productivity of your fleet. Such combined systems, alongside other integrations, seamlessly and automatically help make your operation more efficient through smart data.

In today’s connected world, integrating telematics systems with your fleet management software can be key to meeting all of your fleet management needs.

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