by: Karen Bradley
A Global Positioning System or GPS refers to a navigation system based on the functionality of satellites. This system comprises of at least 24 satellites that rotate around the earth twice a day in a pre-defined orbit. These satellites are also responsible for transmitting signals that help the GPS to track their exact locations through which the location of the user can also be found.
Once reserved only for the use of the U.S. Department of Defense, this tracking device was made accessible to public in the 1980s. GPS devices are now widely used by private car owners due to their accuracy and adaptability to any weather conditions. The advantages of using GPS in business for managing fleet vehicles are even more significant…
GPS tracking allows a business owner to monitor the location and performance of their fleet vehicles at any time. The system provides extremely accurate information on fuel usage, driver behavior, engine idling, and the exact location within a minute. When the owner has all the relevant data related to vehicle performance, they can focus on specific optimizations that will drive maximum revenue for the business.
Many prominent insurance companies have acknowledged the GPS tracking system to be an asset in proper fleet management and strongly support its implementation. In most cases, business vehicles with GPS tracking can have insurance premiums reduced from 10 to 30%. GPS tracking has become a reliable option for insurance providers, because it can quickly track if a vehicle has changed from its expected course and alert the supervising team, enhancing the chances of recovery from theft (including equipment inside the vehicle). And, because GPS offers driver behavior data, it encourages fleet drivers to act more responsibly when in possession of a company vehicle.
This is the largest savings a business will see once installing a GPS tracking system. Fuel savings are seen with better routing, less idling, improved driver behavior, and unnecessary stops that are not on the schedule or route.
The GPS software can be setup to send alerts when routine maintenance is due. Receive email or text alerts indicating when vehicles are due for oil changes, tire rotations or other routine maintenance. This allows fleet managers to know exactly when these items are due (based upon the odometer of the car) and stay on top of regular maintenance; extending the life of the vehicle. No more white boards or spreadsheets! This efficiency ensures drivers spend less time on the road and more time on billable hours.
Business owners often find it difficult to meet the ever-growing demands of the customer. They want faster delivery along with options to suit their needs and timelines. When a fleet vehicle is equipped with GPS tracking system, the dispatcher is able to make quick and informed decisions that are sure to improve customer service. By knowing where the vehicles are at all times, dispatchers can alert customers in advance if the driver will be late or give his exact location when en route. In addition, for customers who have are billed by the hour, exact billing can be extracted from the GPS by knowing the technician’s arrival time and departure time, providing the exact time they were on the job.
When drivers know they are being tracked they are more likely to improve their driving. GPS tracking allows you to see the repeat offenders and be proactive prior to an accident or incident. And in the event of an accident, fleet managers can ensure emergency responders are given the location of the accident immediately. They will also know how the driver was driving prior to the accident, often proving their driver was not at fault.
Fleet management is a stressful job in which one has to constantly bridge the gap between vehicle performance and customer expectations. Business would suffer if customers could not rely on the expected services in a timely fashion. GPS can provide real-time tracking information to assist in making the most efficient scheduling decisions providing for more reliable on-time appointments.
Lack of correct road directions can leave a fleet driver baffled on the road. However, with GPS, drivers can plan their route to the destination even before hitting the road and get step by step directions for their entire route. This allows drivers to spend less time using cell phones while driving, keeping everyone much safer on the road and helping compliance with hands free laws. GPS tracking can also inform a driver about any alternative routes if and when needed, such as in the event of unexpected roadwork or accidents slowing traffic. With proper route planning and tracking, drivers can often complete an extra job per day.
GPS tracking allows for monitoring the location and road activities of fleet vehicles. With superior satellite technology, a dispatcher can communicate with a driver if a problem is encountered on the road and assign extra trips to a driver if they are found in an idle state. GPS tracking lets a fleet manager control the behavior of their drivers; netting a greater number of trips and increasing revenue margins in the long-run.
Owning assets involves a risk of theft and misuse. Geofencing and after-hours alerts can alert a fleet manager when a vehicle has gone outside of a set boundary or is in use during restricted time frames. This can either signal a possible theft or an employee using the vehicle for personal use, which sometimes includes side jobs using the company vehicle and equipment!
Some accidents can be easily avoided through timely alerts. GPS tracking would send prompt notifications through SMS or email, even when no one is actively monitoring the system. This would enable a business owner to take necessary measures immediately in case of any emergencies.
GPS tracking systems provide very detailed log data, which can be used to prepare profit and loss statement for any particular month with an accurate allocation of financial resources for the management of the fleet.
For service companies that pay their employees by the hour, GPS tracking provides details on when the employee started their day and when they ended it based on when they started and stopped their vehicles. An automated report can be emailed and then matched against the time card to insure employees are actually working the hours they have indicated on their time cards.
GPS tracking systems will automatically track all the information and analytics in a convenient digital format and stores them for future use. This cuts down on the need of doing unnecessary paperwork and improves the efficiency of dispatchers, drivers, fleet managers and bookkeepers. Reports can be run and sent to email on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
GPS tracking software has many convenient options related to vehicle performance and management, such as speed, driver behavior, bearing, trip distance and destination distance, can be measured. A GPS tracking service provider will assist with setup and train staff on using all the features – no need to read an entire instruction manual! Online help videos are also available for quick reminders.
GPS tracking helps streamline businesses by reducing overhead costs, enhancing the performance of drivers, and optimizing the life of vehicles. This all helps to deliver excellent customer service and gain an advantage over the competition.
To learn more about how GPS tracking can help your business generate more revenue and reduce fleet costs, schedule a free EcoTrack demo and estimate today!