In the Business world GPS trackers have quickly become an indispensable business tool.
Delivery services, like UPS and FedEx, use GPS tracking to provide customers with reliable, up-to-date delivery information. Public transportation services utilize GPS trackers to keep drivers on schedule. And logistics companies that handle large fleets rely on these trackers to monitor their drivers and valuable assets.
A company that includes GPS tracking as part of its daily fleet management will see a significant improvement in efficiency, and they’ll see it quickly. GPS trackers can help reduce mileage for local fleets by as many 10 Kms per week, per vehicle. That equals huge savings for a sizable fleet. By reducing mileage, logistics companies can also cut back on driver overtime.
Additionally, GPS tracking can help reduce drivers’ excessive stops by analyzing route efficiency and helping managers suggest improvements. But there’s a lot more to gain from GPS tracking than savings.
How Companies Use GPS Tracking
GPS tracking serves a multitude of purposes. Most commonly, it’s used as a theft deterrent. With GPS trackers installed, companies are able to monitor the locations of stolen vehicles or cargo, report locations to police teams, and enable quick recovery of company property. But companies can also use GPS tracking to:
- Access location data, which offers peace of mind while assets are moving between destinations
- Track utilization, to avoid wasting or underusing certain assets
- Track runtime for pieces of equipment (i.e. forklifts), which can help verify payroll
How GPS Tracking Works
Utilizing GPS tracking is relatively easy. In most cases, the tracker will be installed in a vehicle or attached to a piece of equipment (or asset). The tracker gathers numerous data points – speed, idle time, location information, and diagnostics, to name a few. All of this information is first stored on the tracking device, then transmitted using a wireless or cellular network. The information gets stored in the cloud and can be accessed by your company via the device of your choice (i.e. computer, tablet, or smartphone).
Types of Trackers
There are three primary types of GPS trackers on the market. There are:
- Wired devices: These are easy to install and come loaded with the necessary plug-in connector and wiring harness.
- Plug-in devices: These devices require no installation and are easy to move from vehicle to vehicle.
- Battery-powered devices: These are powerful and portable, with batteries that last for as long as 3 months.
Each type of device is effective; choosing the right one for your business requires an assessment of your tracking needs and your budget.
Some common features of most GPS trackers include:
- Driver performance evaluations
- Ability to find the vehicle closest to a specific location
- Geofences and alerts when drivers move beyond an established route boundary
- Ability to group vehicles, drivers, and assets for easy viewing and analysis
- Establishment of points of interest, for quick reference
- Reports about the fleet’s maintenance history
- Automated schedules, actions (i.e. receiving specific performance reports via email)
There’s no question – GPS tracking is essential for any business with valuable assets to track. From location to utilization, there’s a trove of data that you can use to reduce costs and make the best decisions for your company.