4 Tips for Rolling out a Fleet Management Platform at Scale

September 15, 2020

This post is a part of our series, Samsara: Your Partner for the Road Ahead, that provides insights and examples from our customers on how Samsara can help you transform your fleet operations. To learn more, visit our in-depth online guide or subscribe to the series here.  

No matter the size of your fleet, rolling out a fleet management platform can be a big undertaking. From replacing technology across your vehicles to retraining drivers on the new system, it’s not always simple. The key to implementing a new solution isn’t just the technology, but making sure you have an experienced partner throughout the process.

Research from McKinsey shows that only 26% of technology implementations succeed. Why is that? A few of the biggest barriers to successful change management are inadequate training, a lack of communication on progress, and failing to engage and inform employees.

In order to ensure a smooth and successful implementation process, we’ve gathered a few tips from customers who’ve successfully rolled out new technology at scale. Read on to learn how Samsara partners with you throughout your onboarding journey and how to apply these best practices regardless of your fleet’s size.

1. Ensure leadership buy-in 

Before you can set your implementation and onboarding timeline, it’s critical to secure leadership buy-in from the get-go. Without proper buy-in from your company or organization’s executive team, timelines and priorities might not be aligned, causing potential delays and confusion later on.  

“In my experience, the most seamless implementations have strong executive presence throughout the journey,” said Customer Success Manager Katie Failinger. “Involving leadership early ensures vertical alignment on implementation goals and they can help unlock resources to maintain momentum on reaching your implementation milestones.” 

2. Prioritize driver communication and education 

Equally important to securing leadership buy-in is making sure your drivers and employees are bought-in, too. To do this, highlight the positive impact this will have on the driver experience. Whether your goal is to improve safety, efficiency, or driver retention, make sure to focus on how your new platform will directly benefit your drivers. This will help reduce any potential friction between drivers and management and speed up adoption. 

This is how trucking company and 2020 Samsara Top Fleets Winner for Excellence in Driver Performance, GP Transco approaches driver buy-in. To get drivers excited about their new technology, GP Transco implemented a driver-focused fuel incentive program that gave drivers a bonus based on their fuel efficiency. Thanks to their driver-first mentality, GP Transco was able to save $350,000 in fuel costs and decrease accidents by 30%.

“We’re always thinking ‘How does the driver feel about this?” said Marija Jamontas, VP of Safety and HR at GP Transco. 

By keeping drivers in the loop from the outset, GP Transco was able to implement Samsara without a hitch to create an award-winning driver experience. “We treat our drivers as the backbone of our company,” Jamontas said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn't be here. We really focus on making sure our drivers feel heard and respected. They’re part of the family and we appreciate what they’re doing out there on the roads every day.”

Samsara knows that educating your drivers on what to expect and how new technology benefits them is a key to success. That’s why we provide you with the tools you need to get your drivers up to speed in no time. Learn more with our webinars and live trainings, knowledge base, and blog to learn more.

3. Set an implementation timeline and stick to it 

One of the most common challenges during implementation can be sticking to timelines. From drivers to back office staff and more, multiple stakeholders can make schedules tough. But it’s important to set a go-live date to help ensure everyone is on track. 

At Samsara, we work closely with you to set a date that is both realistic and achievable in order to help you get your fleet up and running smoothly. 

“Timelines are critical because they help keep your team organized, align key stakeholders, and ensure an efficient and successful deployment.” said Failinger. “Having supported dozens of Samsara implementations, I can say that the most successful rollouts are those that identify key milestones early on and check progress against those throughout.”

Timelines were one of the reasons ArcBest, the 2020 Samsara Top Fleet Award winner for Fleet Innovator, was able to get their massive fleet up and running at an impressive speed. “Once we signed the contract, we were able to roll out Samsara across 250 locations and approximately 5,000 vehicles in about three and a half months,” said Lloyd Keefer, Manager of Strategic Vendor Management at ArcBest Technologies. 

“With the help of Samsara’s customer success team, we were able to accommodate training for 3,000 road drivers and 2,500 city drivers, as well as more than 7,000 staff members,” Keefer said. “Samsara hands down allowed us to excel during training and implementation.”

4. Stay in touch with your customer success and support team

One of the biggest benefits of working with Samsara’s customer success and support teams is having access to their industry expertise and knowledge. Your customer success manager and implementation consultant’s primary role is to support you during implementation and rollout, so be sure to stay in contact with them in case any questions or concerns come up. And, because Samsara is a comprehensive platform, staying in touch is easy because you'll have a single point of contact across all of your solutions, whether it's dash cams, ELD, maintenance, or more.

“From the moment you come on board, your personal implementation consultant will be your team’s point person,” said Failinger. “We'll set up regular meetings to walk you through your training program and provide personalized recommendations to make the onboarding process smooth and easy for your team.”

Sprint Waste, the 2020 Samsara Top Fleets Winner for Safest Fleet, leveraged Samsara’s customer success team to roll out Samsara in record time. 

By sticking to their timeline and working closely with our support team, Sprint Waste was able to deploy Samsara Vehicle Gateways and Dash Cams across roughly 400 vehicles and train more than 350 staff members—all in just 60 days. “In addition to our drivers, we had to train dispatchers at all 14 of our locations, our safety managers, and the mechanics at the shops,” said President Dave Nelson. 

“Our Samsara sales rep and customer engagement manager helped set us up for success,” said Vice President of Collections Chris Russ, who managed the implementation.

Partner with Samsara’s top-tier onboarding and implementation team 

At Samsara, we provide you with the service and support of a partner to guide you through the onboarding and implementation process. Whether it’s through dedicated implementation services, expert-led training, or responsive 24/7 support, we’re here to help.  

For Liberty Oilfield Services, Samsara’s reliable 24/7 support team was able to deliver effective solutions to challenges that came up during implementation. “Any time we had issues that we expected to have with new technology, there was a timely response from your team with solutions,” said Williams. “I believe that Samsara is a true partner for us.”     

We invite you to hear directly from our customers 

We're excited to share more success stories from our customers over the next few weeks. Subscribe to our blog series to get tips from the finalists and winners of the 2020 Samsara Top Fleet Awards, delivered right to your inbox.

Plus, we invite you to watch our on-demand webinar: Inside Look: Secrets from Top Fleets. This exclusive webinar gives you direct access to four of our most accomplished customers—ArcBest, GP Transco, Sprint Waste, and Athens-Clarke County—recent winners of the 2020 Top Fleet Awards. During the 90-minute webinar, leaders from these fleets share insider tips for leveraging Samsara to drive next-level efficiency and safety. 

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