ClearPathGPS Fleet Tracking: 8 Years and Still Growing
”Our original mission remains the same: to provide the gold standard in tracking data for fleet-based businesses. We’re also staying laser-focused on our core strategy: to over-deliver, delight the businesses that choose us as their GPS partner, and to create happy, referenceable customers.Chris FowlerCo-Founder and CEO of ClearPathGPS
Every year, we toast a great milestone at ClearPathGPS: the day we signed up our first customer, Santa Barbara-based custom homebuilder Arroyo Seco Construction. Today, Arroyo Seco is still a happy customer eight years later. Or, as we like to put it, they’ve just completed the 96th month of their month-to-month ClearPathGPS service.
”Over the past 8 years, ClearPathGPS has proven to be a true partner in our success. ClearPathGPS' robust and reliable fleet tracking system enables us to be more productive every day—from billing clients for equipment rentals to optimizing our fleet usage and more. It was clear from day-one that ClearPathGPS’s focus was their customers’ success, and it still shows all these years later.Adam GrahamPresident, Arroyo Seco Construction
To commemorate our company’s eight-year anniversary, Co-Founder and CEO Chris Fowler reflects on the ClearPathGPS journey and what lies ahead, including thoughts on why the company enjoys the loyalty of thousands of customers— including our very first.
Q: When you and your co-founder Steve Wells started this company, there were already a few major players offering GPS fleet tracking. What openings or opportunities did you see to serve this industry?
Fleet tracking providers at the time were all offering the same business model, which didn’t work to the customer’s benefit. They required a two- or three-year contract, and they bundled the prices of both the GPS tracking units and the service into one monthly fee.
That meant the cost was much higher than it needed to be because customers were paying over and over every month for each tracker. Also, these companies had no incentive to provide great service. Or even decent service. They had customers locked in for years.
Steve and I realized that these customers—mostly smaller field-service businesses, like HVAC repair and plumbers—would benefit from a better model: Charge a reasonable, one-time fee for the GPS devices, and then offer a completely flexible cloud solution for the ongoing tracking service, with no long-term commitment.
Q: At the time, were there any industry or technology trends that were working for or against a new player entering the fleet tracking market?
The big trends were all working in our favor. Cloud-based computing—what we now call Software as a Service, or SaaS—was really opening up, because the tools for providers were becoming more sophisticated and available. At the same time, the cost of GPS trackers was quickly coming down. All signs pointed to a big opportunity for us.
Q: And did your unique business model catch on quickly, or did it take time?
It caught on immediately. Between the day Steve approached me with the idea for a GPS fleet tracking business, and the day we signed Arroyo Seco Construction as our first customer, was only six weeks.
At the time, the economy was still coming out of a recession. A lot of these service companies were reluctant to commit to any long-term vendor relationships. From talking with many of our early customers, I knew they understood immediately that our month-to-month service, with the ability to cancel anytime without penalty, meant we had to prove ourselves an excellent partner every month.
Q: What are some of the big milestones in the company’s history, and what do they say about ClearPathGPS’s solution and value to customers?
The first big milestone was signing up Arroyo Seco Construction less than two months after we formed the concept for this business. I think that speaks to the clear market void we were filling: a more flexible, customer-service-oriented way of providing GPS fleet tracking.
The next big one was moving into our own office and hiring our first employee: Operations Specialist Danielle Sideris. And yes, Danielle is still on our team after all these years. I think that says a lot about the company culture we’ve built here. ClearPathGPS is focused on creating great experiences not only for our customers but also for our own staff.
Our most recent milestone—and the one that proves beyond doubt that ClearPathGPS is committed to our customers’ success—has been our migration to 4G and 5G-compatible tracking units. Many of the GPS trackers we’ve sold to our customers over the years were built for 3G telecom networks which are now being phased out for faster 4G and 5G networks. We’ve been proactively working, well ahead of the deadlines, to provide new trackers to our customers, to ensure they never miss a beat in running their operations.
This tracker upgrade has been an enormous investment of money and resources on our part. But that’s okay. We’re happy to do it. After all, these are the types of investments that have led ClearPathGPS to enjoy eight-year business relationships with our customers—even though we don’t require any of them to sign on for more than a month at a time.
Q: Have the mission and strategy of ClearPathGPS changed?
Our original mission remains the same: to provide the gold standard in tracking data for fleet-based businesses. From day one, we knew geolocation data, real-time maps, and vehicle-health updates were key for field-service companies. We’ve been working every day since then to continually expand the GPS data we offer, to help our customers squeeze every last drop of valuable information out of those trackers to improve their operations.
We’re also staying laser-focused on our core strategy: to over-deliver, delight the businesses that choose us as their GPS partner, and to create happy, referenceable customers.
Q: What about the future? What can we expect next?
I’ll put it this way: IoT, or the Internet of Things, is the future. Manufacturers of all types are increasingly adding internet-enabled sensors to their products, and those sensors can communicate important data back to their owners.
Having said that, the ClearPathGPS app today offers so much more value to our customers than the app we started with… because we’ve been improving the platform nonstop, year after year, ever since we launched. But during this next wave of digital transformation—electric vehicles, IoT—you’ll be seeing even more innovation from ClearPathGPS, as these new technologies are providing bigger opportunities to bring our offering to a whole other level, one that just wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago.
So without giving too much away, I’ll just say that we are very excited about what lies ahead for ClearPathGPS. Stay tuned!
To the thousands of businesses that trust ClearPathGPS every day to help them monitor and protect their fleets, thank you for eight incredible years
At ClearPathGPS, we are focused on helping our customers improve their operations and bottomline. Our top-rated GPS fleet tracking solutions provide real-time data insights and tools needed to more effectively manage the vehicles, people, and assets businesses send into the field everyday. Can ClearPathGPS help your operations get better results? Let’s find out – request a demo or contact us today.