How to Sell Your Boss on the Investment of Fleet Automation Technology


How to Sell Your Boss on the Investment of Fleet Automation Technology

How to Sell Your Boss on the Investment of Fleet Automation Technology man counting pennies, Routeware
You may be sold on the value of fleet automation for the waste hauling business that employs you…but the owner may be a different story. You know that implementing fleet automation can save the business time, truck operating costs, make your company become the employer of choice for drivers, reduce customer service time and issues, and so on. But convincing the person at the top may seem like a long shot. Here’s what to do when you need to get buy-in for the tech that will save you (and everyone else in the company!) time and money:

1. Make the case in terms of dollars saved

In a business, it all comes down to dollars and cents. Comparing results pre- and post fleet automation will show a clear, hands-down win for technology. Fleet automation technology has a high upfront cost but reduces operational costs and saves money over time – and your fleet automation vendor should be able to give you an idea of how much operational time can be saved with their solution, as well as revenue opportunities in the form of extras. To establish a baseline comparison to running routes manually, don’t forget to calculate both the direct costs (reams of paper, record-keeping) and the operational costs, which are often taken for granted. These can include hours spent dealing with go-backs, customer service calls, missing extras, and planning helper routes – and if you can calculate the amount of time spent weekly on such tasks by the wages of the employees who do those tasks, you can demonstrate a clear cost of running things the old way vs. the new way.

2. Forecast a break-even point

With every large investment, it’s critical to define the point at which the investment will be recouped for the business. Adding up all the costs associated with the technology, from the direct costs (software licenses, onboarding fees) to indirect (consultants to assist with implementation, data export fees, team trainings) allows you to calculate the total cost of the investment for the business. Then, based on the vendor-provided ROI model featuring operational savings, you will be able to forecast the break-even point: when the investment costs are fully recouped. To perform this due diligence will have you thinking like a business owner and equipping yourself to make a clearer case to management.

3. Find a trustworthy vendor with an excellent track record

An unvoiced concern management may have lingering in the back of their minds is the reliability of the vendor. There are horror stories out there of companies that tried to implement new fleet technology, where the implementation dragged on over months and even years, issues stalling the implementation cropped up unexpectedly, where the implementation did not take into account all the areas of the business where it needed to work reliably, or the product simply did not work. A good rule of thumb is to get at least 3 references for your recommended vendor – as well as talk to companies that didn’t opt for your vendor of choice or that converted from your chosen vendor to a different one. Often the negative references will paint a more complete picture than the positive ones. It’s also a good idea to get a clear implementation timeline from a vendor, as well as to develop a contingency plan if things do not adhere to the timeline.

4. Point to vendor training and customer support

One concern that management may have is whether new technology will be adopted and properly utilized by their employees. This is where a solid training and adoption strategy helps, and where reinforcement is key. You want to choose a fleet automation vendor who provides these necessary steps in the process to ensure success for the initiative. We often find that the employees management is most concerned about when it comes to the adoption of new technology, turn out to be the ones who are able to use fleet automation the most consistently and effectively in their roles.

5. Get buy-in from other stakeholders in the company

Fleet automation technology touches many departments, and we find that companies are able to adopt new technology most effectively when multiple people are involved and in support of the initiative. We typically find the Head of IT, the Operations Manager, and the Head of Finance are the three most important people in an organization to help convince management or ownership of the value of a fleet automation initiative. It’s a good idea to talk to your colleagues and other managers and present your case to them first, before tackling a presentation to ownership.

Finally, understand that changing mindsets can take time. A polished presentation showing a clear ROI, break-even point, vendor training program, and proposed timeline can help make the case, but it sometimes takes a village, and a couple different inroads, until you can make headway with shifting an organization’s thinking.

Having trouble convincing leadership of the need for a fleet automation solution? Routeware provides a customized ROI model calculated to your specific business, that can address your concerns and help make the case. We also assist in how to make the case to the higher-ups at your organization. Call us at 1-877-906-8550 for a no-obligation ROI assessment today.