So, you’ve either already invested in a GPS tracking and fleet management system for your fleet, or are in serious consideration of doing so. Great! When properly and effectively utilized to your advantage, technology can be the friend that helps your business move into the next phase of success and profitability. However, in the case of a GPS fleet vehicle tracking system, “properly” is the absolute key to achieving maximum results. Let’s take a look at how to successfully integrate your new investment into your current business model and practices.
When I say implementation, what I’m really referring to is how to efficiently integrate your new GPS fleet tracking investment into each department within your business. What I mean to say is, if the benefits of investing in a GPS tracking system are to be fully realized, then it should touch each and every area within your organization that it possibly can. Let me give you some examples…
Most GPS tracking systems offer an engine hour or activity report….or sometimes engine on/off. This can tell a fleet manager EXACTLY when a driver started working, took their lunch break, and EXACTLY when they arrived back at the terminal and finished for the day. So, now the fleet manager has that information at their disposal but, do you know who else has access to that information as well??….your HR department. Now you’ve taken an engine hours report and translated it as a Virtual Time Clock….accurate DOWN TO THE SECOND. Payroll should reap significant rewards from this and your bottom-line profits should benefit proportionately.
Let’s take a look at a “geo-fence alert” or “zone alert”. If you’re not familiar with what a geo-fence is, it is essentially a virtual boundary that can be created within a given GPS tracking system. When a chosen vehicle penetrates this geo-fence, either coming or going, pre-selected individuals get notified by text message and/or email that this particular event has occurred. Most fleet operators use a geofence as an “in-house” tool to benefit dispatch, in notifying them that a vehicle has arrived at or departed a given location. However, let’s say you operate a relocation or moving company. You can design geo-fences to not only send notifications to your dispatcher or fleet manager, but your customers as well. What you would do is set a geo-fence up with a radius of, say, 50 miles from the destination….and once your vehicle penetrated that 50 mile marker, your customer fleet safety could receive an instantaneous text message and email saying, “John Doe Moving Company is only about an hour or so away. Please make sure someone is at your new home to greet them. Thank You!” As of right now, that customer would have to call into your business to inquire as to the location of their moving truck….which would, in turn, require your operator to transfer the call to dispatch, who would then have to reference the tracking system to give the customer that information. This is especially effective in delivery fleets as well….specifically hotshot and expedited delivery when customers have paid a premium for services and are more demanding. Now, by maximizing the effect of your geo-fencing, you’ve greatly improved and automated an important aspect of your customer service. We’ve already enhanced both your human resources AND your customer service. Now your customer service department has received a face lift, and your customers are impressed by the efficiency of your operation. Get ready for some referrals and increased bottom-line profits from the influx of new business.
Now, let’s take a gander at the subject of fuel. This is the 800 lb. gorilla that keeps fleet managers tossing and turning at night. Almost every fleet in existence has, or has had, a serious issue concerning their fuel cost….and issues with getting those costs under control. Time and again I’ve heard of fleet operations investing in a GPS tracking system, and then 6 months later when their fuel waste and shrinkage is still an issue, ask themselves what exactly it is that they’re doing wrong.