by Lori Ward
December 14, 2011

Take advantage of all the features available with fleet tracking technology.

Owning your own fleet is a significant investment. And it can be difficult to make sure your employees drive the vehicles efficiently. Some business owners manage their mobile workforce by controlling fuel card usage, tracking odometers through mileage reports and constantly calling their employees to check on them.

Other businesses even hire supervisors to manage their drivers. Some of these methods have worked, but none of them produce reliable, objective data like GPS tracking technology. With GPS tracking technology, you can go to the Web and find out exactly where your employees are in a matter of seconds.

 

Gather Data

 

Before you purchase GPS tracking equipment and services, carefully benchmark what you spend on fuel and how much time your employees spend in the field. Also, note the number of client visits made daily. Once you begin using GPS tracking technology, compare this data after one month, six months and one year.

 

Outline Objectives

 

Once you have gathered sound benchmarking data, outline your objectives to improve the numbers, such as spending less on fuel, managing your workforce and fleet efficiently, purchasing fewer vehicles, hiring more people, increasing customer service and decreasing customer response time. Your goals must be measurable.

 

Use the Features

 

After you have defined your objectives, start using features in the GPS tracking system to accomplish your goals.

 

Alerts

 

Set up report and alert functions to text or email you when your employees break company policies so that you can take immediate action. This immediate corrective action will ensure your staff understands your objectives and what you expect.

 

Dispatching

 

How many times has your office staff dispatched a worker miles away from the jobsite while another worker who worked much closer was available?

With the ability to see where your mobile staff is located within seconds, you can dispatch the closest technician within minutes, which decreases your response time and increases your customer satisfaction. This also helps when you receive those last-minute customer requests.

 

Messaging

 

Imagine that one of your workers needs a part to finish up a job before the workday is over. Instead of the worker traveling back to the main office for the part, you can use the messaging features that some GPS tracking systems offer to find the closest coworker who has the part on his truck. Within minutes, you can coordinate a time for the two employees to meet, which saves you time and money.

 

Safety

 

You can also help your mobile staff find their destinations safely and quickly. Some systems even allow you to overlay live weather conditions such as radar video loop and cloud cover. They can also show traffic conditions. This dramatically improves safety and your ability to reroute employees to avoid delays.

 

Geofencing

 

If your workers need to report to the construction site by 9 a.m., you can draw an invisible fence around the site, and run a report that shows when their vehicle enters or exits the area. You can also set up automatic alerts that will send you a text or email when the employee enters or exits the site. This feature will prevent workers from running personal errands when they should be working.

 

Maintenance Notifications

 

Some GPS tracking systems have vehicle maintenance notifications. With these, you can allow the GPS tracking system to keep tabs on mileage and hours-of-use to remind you when the vehicle or equipment needs routine maintenance (such as tire rotations, oil changes, annual inspections and licensing).

 

Historical Data

 

A GPS tracking system provides a historical playback that shows where a specific vehicle was located at a specific time. With this capability, you can gain significant insight into your business.

 

Construction Business Owner, November 2011