A review on the ability to reactivate the two major EOBR solutions on the secondary market in the battle of used mobile communications supremacy in the trucking industry.
AN UNBIASED OPINION - THE FACTS BETWEEN THE TWO
Over the past six years, Pivot Technology Resources has been responsible for moving thousands of quality used mobile communications and asset tracking systems from many of the industry's top manufacturers and service providers like QUALCOMM or OMNITRACS, PeopleNet, Rand McNally, CarrierWeb, GeoLogic, Xata, SkyBitz, and more. In order to add the most value to our customers, we try to be as up front with our customers as possible. We want to be transparent when informing our customers about a product, service, or ancillary fee that will affect the decision to move forward with a service provider or product. Why we are doing this? Companies need to know what to look for when investing money in a solution provider for eLogs, satellite or terrestrial communications, vehicle tracking, or even simple Navigation. There is an abundance of high quality, functional equipment available on the secondary market in the trucking industry. We do the work to sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly to bring the best to companies that have a use for them.
We have consolidated the information we have experienced in the industry and would like to inform anyone looking to reactivate a used MCP200 or a used BLU2. Let's look at the processes on how to activate a used unit purchased from a company owning used equipment:
OmniTRACS has a minimal transfer fee that most times gets waived for their customers. On a daily level, Pivot Technology Resources initiates transfers to and from current OmniTRACS customers and ensures the success in a transfer has been made. The current process that we experience is defined below:
The seller provides a Bill of Sale for a used MCP200 to Pivot Technology Resources. We pay the company for the unit and upon inspection and approval, initiates a transfer out of their account into Pivot Technology Resources. The equipment is now in a holding account for testing until the equipment is sold to a company in need. Once a new customer orders quality tested, cleaned, and packaged equipment, the Bill of Sale (including the necessary activation serial numbers and account information) is sent via email to the OmniTRACS transfer department with the new customer copied. Once accepted by the new customer, assignments of vehicle numbers and profile information can be set up on the customer's portal. Installations can now begin and the units are working in the new customer's account. The total time for a transfer can be in as little as an hour or as long as a week in some larger orders or busy times.
Working with OmniTRACS, we have a defined process with many successful transfers initiated daily. The support staff is very helpful on the technical as well as administrative side.
A used PeopleNet OBC not only has the highest "reactivation or transfer fee" costs in the market, they are virtually alone in what is essentially penalizing their own customers for not buying new equipment through them. They frustrate the consumer into staying away from used equipment by issuing high "reactivation or transfer" fees, a runaround of policies that change from week to week and from customer to customer. The cloudy policies keep customers from understanding the true and defined processes by which a successful transfer can be made.
Over the past year, we have had PeopleNet customer support reps quote three different transfer fees, multiple procedures, and never have a quick and easy solution. We have even had complete walk-throughs with very helpful PeopleNet customer support personnel on many levels with flying colors on our test bench with all aspects of an OBC checking out okay and is thoroughly approved through PeopleNet tech support. The units have now tested good and can be packaged to ship to a customer to fill an order. However, upon installation, the OBCs are not functional and the company is now instructed that the defective OBCs need to be sent back to PeopleNet for reactivation and a nonrefundable $100 fee. If they want a new warranty through PeopleNet, they can pay an extra $350 per unit. So what could happen during a transit time of a couple days that would allow the OBCs to drop their numbers and become worthless? That is a very good question that we are unable to get answered through multiple email and voicemails to multiple contacts from support to sales and operations.
This undefined process puts stress on everyone when a customer tries to install a known, good working used OBC in a truck, and it "needs to be sent in for further testing and reactivation processes" per PeopleNet. When a mutual PeopleNet customer can't order OBC's directly from PeopleNet for four weeks because of shortages, and a customer can't order known good working OBC's from Pivot to get the next day because of a runaround in policy, how are you as a service provider standing behind your customers when you refuse to support known functional equipment? Unfortunately, we are regressing in our ability to support our mutual customer base on the OBC side of things. So discounting the other equipment is our only option.
In my opinion, our success is summed up when we can allow carriers to save money on the high cost of mobile communications equipment, while continuing to be a resource for trucking companies that no longer have a use for a specific type of product or service. Research the facts, and make an educated decision on how you would like to spend the next three, five, and even 10 years with your investment dollars. Pivot Technology Resources has the customers' best interest in mind with the information we provide, the solutions we make available, and the ease and energy level at which they operate.
If you are still having problems deciding on which provider to invest on the used side of the EOBR or ELD market, here are some front end questions to ask the provider before signing on the dotted line for hardware and messaging fees:
Is there a price break for buying more units over a period of growth over the next few years?
If I order too many and end up downsizing, will you take the units back within a specified time?
Is there a fee for deactivating units if we end up downsizing?
Call I sell any units to which we no longer have any use? Is there a fee? What is the process?
If we deactivate a unit, will it still have any value on the open market to other fleets using the same product?
Does the equipment meet current and future FMCSA ELD mandates?
What is the current failure rate on products over the life cycle?
How many components make up a complete system?
How reliable are the main components?
How often is there a waiting period for equipment when ordered/needed?
What is the perception of the manufacturer and service provider in the trucking industry?
How important is ongoing customer support and the relationship with your service provider?
Additional Distinguishing Factors:
PERFORMANCE AND FLEXIBILITY
USER FRIENDLY HARDWARE
PRODUCT RELIABILITY AND LONGEVITY
POWER AND APPLICATIONS
CUSTOMER SUPPORT ON THE SECONDARY MARKET
WILLINGNESS TO WORK FOR CUSTOMER'S BEST INTEREST
Once again, I would like to state the sole purpose of Pivot Technology Resources: to take the risk out of investing in quality used mobile communications and asset tracking equipment.
Pivot Technology Resources is the premier source to find new and used mobile communications and asset tracking equipment. Call today to see how they can help your company with your equipment needs at 800 679 0177 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, look up the web site at www.pivotresources.com