December 12, 2022

A ready-made or custom fleet management system?

It’s no secret that managing a fleet is a time-consuming and daunting task. Not only should you juggle many roles to keep your assets running smoothly, but you also need to make sure that your fleet operates at peak efficiency. Moreover, it’s imperative to overcome such challenges as high fuel costs, aggressive driving behavior, route tracking, and so on. In addition to that, managing your fleet with outdated pen-and-paper methods is inefficient. That’s where a fleet management system comes into play.

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When it comes to managing a fleet of vehicles, businesses often face the dilemma of choosing between a ready-made or custom fleet management system. This decision can significantly impact the efficiency, scalability, and overall effectiveness of their fleet operations. In this article, we'll delve into the differences between ready-made and custom solutions, examining their respective benefits and drawbacks to help businesses make an informed decision that aligns with their unique needs and objectives.

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Only by properly tracking fleets of cars, trucks, etc. can you reduce downtime and control your costs with ease. From finance to licensing to operations and maintenance, a fleet management solution will help you eliminate critical errors in your fleet activities. With modern fleet management software solutions, fleet managers not only can monitor the condition of assets, such as maintenance history, next scheduled maintenance, or service but manage the complete life cycle of vehicles. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s dive into the details below!

What’s exactly a fleet management system?

Basically, a fleet management system aims to help your employees interpret and derive insight from the data to make data-driven and informed business decisions to support a wide range of operational improvements across fleet scheduling, maintenance, and budget forecasting. With tons of solutions on the market, companies faced some difficulties with custom software or a ready-made one that would fit their business needs.

  • Ready-made fleet management system: Built to meet the needs of as many users as possible, and can be implemented easily into existing systems without the need for customization.
  • Custom fleet management system: Designed to help you overcome specific business challenges by creating a product that meets your unique needs.

As you see, there are two ways to choose from when it comes to thinking about fleet management software solutions. However, it’s imperative to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both options and opt for the right one for your business at the very start.

What are the pros and cons of a ready-made fleet management system?

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages a ready-made fleet management system can offer for your company.

Provides cheaper investment optionsProduced for the mass market
It’s ready to use straight out of the box.Limited customization possibilities
Thoroughly testedNo competitive advantages
Community support, a variety of tutorials, manuals, user guides, etc.Compatibility issues and limited scalability

If you tend to support your daily activity without looking for long-term profit and upgrade, then an off-the-shelf fleet management system pulls the task. Moreover, if you have a limited budget, a ready-made solution is an attractive option for you.

What are the pros and cons of a custom fleet management system?

Let’s overview the pros and cons of a bespoke fleet management system below!

Includes only necessary features and functionalityRequires a sizable initial investment
It is completely fit for purpose of your businessNeeds a significant amount of time for the development
Can be properly integrated with existing software solutionsRequires long-term maintenance
Supports any changing business needsThe need for additional technical proficiency to configure the system
Data protection is already included in the design
Complete authority over the control

To sum up, custom-made fleet management software opens up more ample opportunities for your business. However, some companies may not accept comparatively high development costs and long waiting times.

Ready-made vs custom fleet management system

There are at least four key factors to take into account when choosing between ready-made vs custom fleet management systems.

  • Features & Functionality: Only by identifying your business goals can you find out what features and functionality would be a good fit for your fleet business. If you are looking for a pre-built set of features that cannot be modified as your business grows, a ready-made fleet management system comes to the fore. Otherwise, a bespoke solution with great customization capabilities and ongoing support is a good option for you.
  • Timeframe for development: Creating custom-made fleet management solutions takes more time to be deployed. Moreover, the timeframe depends on the size and complexity of the future fleet software product. That’s why if you are not particular about a perfect fit, it makes sense to opt for ready-made fleet management software that is ready to use straight out of the box.
  • Project budget: It’s crucial to find out whether your company can cover the costs required for implementing a project activity from the very start. Not only should you estimate the number of resources required for creating a bespoke fleet management solution by listing all the tasks and assigning the team to them, but you also need to be ready that your custom project could face price changes at any point in the development process. As for the ready-made fleet management systems, they are subscription-based and seem initially cheaper. However, additional extensions or functionality require additional fees.
  • Scalability: With the growth of your technical requirements, a custom fleet management system enables you to extend functionality as well as eliminate the purchase of new products and devices. While the functionality of the ready-made fleet management system cannot be upgraded and becomes unable to support your changing business needs. Having that in mind, you need to weigh up the pros and cons and make a final decision whether to adopt canned solutions in an attempt to optimize your fleet workflows or explore how a custom fleet management software solution can benefit your business and clean up your company’s efficiency.

If you have any questions, contact us now, and we will be glad to provide you with all the answers.

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Ready to automate your fleet workflow?

Making wrong decisions when selecting fleet management software for your business may be very costly. With the right software solution in place, you have access to all the fleet data and can gain insight into every aspect of business processes. Not only does it help you eliminate manual data entry, but you can also improve asset health, and boost the productivity of your workforce and the overall efficiency of your fleet business.

If you run small and medium businesses without many complex fleet processes, an off-the-shelf fleet management system will be a perfect option for you. Opting for custom software means that it will be tailored to your unique business requirements and processes, and you will decide what features and components should be included in the future fleet software product. Moreover, it ensures that your business remains efficient and competitive in the long run. That’s why it’s up to you whether to purchase an off-the-shelf management software solution for your fleet business or hire A-Team Global to create a custom software product from scratch.

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