GPS Fleet Tracking Technology
GPS tracking solutions have taken the fleet industry by storm and it is no longer just a luxury or nice thing to have, it is a necessity to managing a mobile workforce. This technology is changing the way fleet operations run and are making them more efficient than ever. If you have been thinking about implementing this technology to your plumbing fleet, this article will help answer some frequently asked questions fleet executives have about GPS tracking software.
What is GPS fleet tracking?
GPS fleet tracking software is location intelligence that gives you a complete overview into all fleet activity. It provides real-time location, navigation, advanced dispatching, maintenance schedule and tracking, and more. GPS fleet tracking software is not just dots on a map — it is a solution to expensive and unnecessary overhead costs, a way to increase driver accountability, productivity and efficiency. GPS tracking technology gives you the tools you need to execute smart business decisions for your fleet.
Some fleet executives think the only advantage to using a GPS fleet tracking solution is current vehicle locations. Although vehicle location intelligence is definitely one of the reasons to use this technology, there are many other benefits. As the HVAC and plumbing industries continue to implement this technology, the disadvantages become clear to those businesses who continue to run without it.
Less driver accountability. Without a viable way to see how your drivers are behaving out on the road, you will without a doubt endure less driver accountability across your fleet. It is impossible for a fleet manager to ride in the cab along with every driver, but fleet tracking solutions are the next best thing. If drivers know they will be held accountable for their behavior, they will be more productive on the job, practice safer driving habits, minimize personal errands and ultimately waste less time during the work day.
Higher fuel costs. One of the most successful ways fleets use GPS tracking solutions is to reduce fuel costs. Advanced solutions can help lower fuel costs by reducing idle time, minimizing speeding, eliminating unauthorized usage and increasing route optimization. Without access to reports or alerts in a GPS tracking platform, fleet managers have no way of knowing what areas are increasing their fuel costs.
Increased maintenance costs. The traditional method of tracking fleet maintenance is time consuming and lacks accuracy. Manually logging maintenance will not only waste a fleet manager’s time, it will end up costing much more when scheduled maintenance is overlooked. This will result in expensive repairs or the need to purchase new vehicles sooner than needed. With a GPS tracking solution, schedule any type of preventative maintenance like tire rotations, oil changes, gas emissions testing, etc. and track the associated costs to keep a healthy fleet.
Less productivity and efficiency. With the insight GPS tracking provides on all fronts, it allows fleets to be more productive across the board. Ensure that you are both dispatching efficiently and your drivers are being as productive as possible. Automated reports and alerts also make your office more efficient with less paperwork and manual, possibly error ridden work. You don’t want to be noncompetitive from an efficiency and productivity standpoint. You certainly want to exceed your competition in all ways. If you aren’t using GPS tracking to be more productive and efficient, just know that your competitors are.
Higher labor costs. GPS tracking will help to identify drivers who pad hours to increase their paycheck. Through advanced reporting, you will be able to identify when drivers begin and end their day, how many stops they made and the duration of each stop. This will eliminate timesheet disputes, identify drivers who may be taking an extra-long lunch hour and expect to be paid for time spent unproductively. Without GPS fleet tracking, your business will unknowingly be paying unneeded labor expenses.
How GPS tracking helps dispatchers
GPS fleet tracking solutions are definitely a dispatcher’s best friend. With advanced dispatching capabilities, it makes the job simple and increases your fleet’s efficiency at the same time. With a GPS fleet tracking platform, you won’t need to pick up the phone to call a driver to find out if he is close to, or has the right vehicle for, a job. Have you ever accidently sent multiple drivers to the same jobsite? GPS tracking solves the problems traditionally associated with dispatching and gets the job done right the first time.
Send the best vehicle for the job. Identify the closest vehicle for the job with GPS fleet tracking. Don’t waste time by sending a driver that is on the other side of town when there is a vehicle right down the street from the jobsite. With advanced solutions, you can also choose the best vehicle type for the job based on tools on board, ladder heights, etc. This combination will ensure maximum dispatching efficiency.
Two-way messaging. Two-way messaging gives dispatchers the ability to be in constant contact with drivers throughout the work day. Relay important information or send new stops straight into drivers’ daily job list. Dispatchers can send and receive messages through a mobile app, a dashboard messaging interface and a portable navigation device.
Accurate estimated time of arrival. Improve customer service by giving accurate estimated time of arrivals. You will no longer need to call your driver to find out how long it will take them to get to jobsite; you will already have this insight. You can also view current traffic and weather conditions to give even more accurate ETAs to customers.
What fleet size will benefit from GPS tracking?
The truth is that any fleet size can benefit from GPS fleet tracking in different ways. If you are a small business owner with just a few vehicles or if you have a large fleet, advanced GPS tracking technology will help improve business operations.
If you are a small fleet and you intend on staying that way for the prospective future, there are many benefits that you will see if you utilize the solution to its full capability. If you are only looking for current vehicle locations, a simple solution may be fine for your needs. If you are looking to improve your business and have full insight into your fleet operations, then it may be worth your time to look into a more advanced solution.
For a lot of small fleets, overhead costs can be a big concern, so making sure that you are not spending money on unneeded expenses is very important. Along with reducing fuel costs and increasing efficiency, GPS fleet tracking will also protect your fleet from vehicle, labor and fuel theft.
For large fleets, more organization and automation is needed from a GPS tracking solution to make sure all fleet operations are running smoothly. For intermediate sized fleets, it is valuable to create custom groups for vehicle types, departments or locations. Adding these groups will give you access to the most relevant information and allow you to create alerts, receive scheduled reports and look at mapping for just the groups you want.
If your fleet is large or at the enterprise level, it is important to make sure that the solution has a hierarchy administration capability. Creating hierarchies in a GPS tracking platform is essential for large fleets because there are often many vehicle types across several geographical locations. Like groups, hierarchies can be customized by vehicle type, organization, or geographically. You can also set attributes for vehicles and drivers for filters on reports and mapping. Creating hierarchies gives you the ability to easily send custom reports and alerts to employees throughout every level of the organization.
As the fleet industry advances, it is important to have a solution in place that will help your business keep the competitive advantage. There are many benefits to implementing a GPS fleet tracking solution to your fleet operations that will increase fleet efficiency and your bottom line.