Whether you run a small or large fleet, the benefits of GPS fleet tracking can be seen throughout your entire business. The close monitoring and management of fleet vehicles is an essential part of the smooth operation of any distribution or transportation company. GPS tracking helps to do this efficiently, effectively and in real time. By setting up a GPS tracking system, the benefits you will see throughout your entire business will be plentiful. This will leave more time to focus on increasing fleet, identifying cost saving opportunities and improving your management processes.
We’d like to begin by introducing you to the idea of GPS tracking, GPS tracking tools, benefits of GPS tracking and GPS tracking for large- and small-scale businesses. We are certain that with the right implementation, GPS tracking can help to simplify your business operations.
What Is GPS Fleet Tracking?
The term GPS stands for Global Positioning System, which is a form of technology used to track the location based on a GPS device. Though these were traditionally stand-alone devices, modern GPS systems can be found in smartphones, newer cars and SUV’s, cameras and even in the microchips of your beloved cats or dogs. The technology works by receiving a signal from satellites orbiting the earth to track the positioning (or location) of the object holding the GPS module. The information received through a GPS device combines with cellular and mapping data to offer an output that’s accurate and in real time as long as the signal strength is reasonable.
What Is a GPS Fleet Tracking Tool?
A GPS system can be used to track multiple vehicle types and devices to help in centralizing the monitoring of both fleet and business vehicles which can help to optimize and enhance your business operations. This type of technology is commonly used to help businesses obtain the data they need to improve, maintain and improve their operations. The physical GPS device which is generally embedded within each vehicle will send real time information to a cloud-based platform that can be monitored from mobile devices, tablets or computers. There are handheld GPS trackers but for ease of use and allowing multiple parties to participate in monitoring, we highly recommend going the cloud-based route.
Additionally a GPS fleet tracking system will provide managers a detailed overview not only of the real time location of the vehicles, but will also offer many other out of the box benefits. Many GPS systems can assist in routing and mapping, gathering analytics on drivers and routes, keeping track of maintenance and repair schedules, logging of accidents, and automated notifications to customers and employees.
10 Benefits of Using a GPS Fleet Management System
We’ve already touched on some of the benefits that a GPS system can provide by simply describing some of the key features it offers. However, we’d like to offer some more context on the not so obvious benefits as well as how some of the obvious benefits will have positive impacts on your business operations.
- Real-time location tracking
This may be a more obvious benefit, but real time tracking can allow you to foresee delays in schedules, visualize locations of potential accidents and track deliveries. In many cases, you can also set up specific boundaries for your fleet to stay within, and with real time tracking you can be alerted almost immediately if one of your vehicles goes beyond their boundaries. Though this may help you to catch the odd rogue driver, its most beneficial in helping to locate unauthorized use or theft.
- Communicate accurate ETAs with customers
Offering accurate and automated ETA’s to your customers is a critical component in optimizing the deliveries being handled by your fleet. By automating these communications and ensuring their accuracy, customers can have a better idea of what to expect and by when. This means less waiting around between deliveries and less frustrated customers. Predictability is a great thing for a fleet company to be known for.
- Avoid Hours of Service violations
Using your GPS tracking system can also help to ensure that you are only traveling during the approved HOS to avoid any potential violations. In most countries, and specifically in North America, tracking hours of service has become mandatory, and your GPS system can offer a more efficient approach to this tracking. With many existing systems, you can also set up alerts to go to dispatchers when drivers are approaching breaks or the end of their shifts. This can help in mapping routes to avoid violations based on time available and safer roads for everyone.
- Optimized routes
With a real time overview of all the drivers currently on the road, using your GPS system, you can optimize routes based on the current locations of your drivers and who may be closest or best suited to attend the next job call. Define the shortest route available for your fleet avoid potential overtime costs. This will help to keep drivers running efficiently and in turn decrease your cost per mile. By planning your routes, avoid unproductive working hours and unnecessary fuel expenditure.
- Reduce maintenance costs
In many cases, GPS systems can help to track the overall health of your vehicle and upcoming services needs on your fleet. Everything from vehicle diagnostics, engine temperature, fuel level and engine oil are all common elements that can be tracked within your GPS system. This can help avoid emergency mechanic visits and keeping your fleet on the road.
- Improve Cost Efficiency and reduced fuel costs
With a complete overview available of active and past routes, fleet managers can use the data obtained through the GPS systems to help manage the efficiency of existing and future routes. By analyzing past data, fleet managers can better understand approximate cost per mile to assess how profitable their operations are. Details like distance traveled, arrival times and stationary hours are great indicators of how efficiently a route was completed. Many insurance companies also offer a cost break to vehicles with GPS tracking systems. Additionally, drivers can log their hours using digital time keeping to reduce potential discrepancies in billing and improve dispatch inaccuracies. The GPS system will automatically track all of these details for the driver, making the management of their timesheets and route details much simpler.
- Higher Driving Standards
Should anything happen to a driver while on route, having GPS tracking in place will allow you or your team to offer direct support and assistance to your driver. Many systems have built-in two-way communication available to make it easy for a fleet manager to work with the driver and ensure their safety. Additionally, the data obtained through the GPS system can help fleet managers better understand which of their drivers may be using unsafe driving practices. Some systems can record things such as sudden braking, sharp turns or abrupt acceleration. You can even set up mobile device alerts to be notified via email or text message when a harsh event is detected. They can use this information to offer additional training opportunities, or to offer incentives for improving their driver’s individual standards. Work with your drivers to continually improve their safety with ongoing coaching and training based on the data you’ve obtained on their current driving practices.
- Reduce Vehicle Theft
A vehicle is an expensive asset and not one that could go missing without notice. Whether you own your fleet or lease it, managing and protecting these assets while also keeping a close tally on their current location will help to prevent any potential vehicle theft from occurring. With GPS, if a vehicle is stollen, the information can be provided to police and tracked in real time hopefully leading to its recovery relatively quickly.
- Reduce downtime
Using many GPS systems, you can plan maintenance based on the detailed insights provided per vehicle, while also optimizing the routes of drivers on the road. By reducing downtime, you will in turn increase both the profitability and productivity of your operations. By reviewing data and schedules, you can make better and more informed decisions related to efficient route planning and scheduling. Additionally, fleet managers can spot idle vehicles and assign tasks quickly and efficiently, which will in turn increase your profitability.
- Increase Customer Satisfaction
With the help of your GPS tracking system, send your customers real time updates on their deliveries. Automated notifications and predictable arrival times have very positive impacts on the overall satisfaction level of your customers. Customers feel more comfortable as they know where their parcel or shipment is, and when they will receive it. Keeping customers happy will also keep them loyal, which is essential to any growing business.
GPS Fleet Tracking For Large And Small Scale Fleets
Recent data shows that both small- and large-scale fleet businesses often experience many of the same business challenges. Though it may initially seem more beneficial to larger companies, profit loss margin tracking, improving efficiencies and optimizing routes are key considerations when trying to run or grow a business of any size. GPS tracking makes it easier for business owners to oversee business operations and reduce operating Costs. Whether you have 10 vehicles on the road or 100, there is always room to improve.
By using a GPS tracking system as part of your business, regardless of size, the benefits can be seen throughout your business. You can expect to retain more drivers, increase earnings per mile and ensure that you are carefully tracking and monitoring that safety regulations are being followed and that you remain operational. A GPS system can prove as a helpful tool in reducing operational stressors, creating a more holistic understanding of your business and alleviate common business challenges felt in more traditional business models.
Using a GPS tracking system will help you build a safer and more lucrative business. From allowing you real time visibility into your drivers and fleet, not only will you identify opportunities for greater efficiency, you will also help keep your drivers safe. Optimizing your routes and keeping customers informed of their deliveries will in turn create a happier customer base. The benefits of GPS tracking far outweigh the cost and effort to get it up and running, regardless of the size of your business.
Need assistance with your fleet operations, warehousing between deliveries or storage solutions for your inventory? We’ve got you covered. Contact us at Camelyon Group today and let us tell you how we can help.