Modern fleet management begins and ends with GPS tracking. This powerful technology can help fleets of all sizes become more efficient as they utilize a series of satellites spinning hundreds of miles off the earth's surface. Small tracking devices that are installed in each vehicle receive the specialized signal that these satellites transmit and turn that signal into useful position information. This same small GPS tracking device will then send the position information to a server somewhere, making it available for you or a vehicle router.
GPS fleet tracking is an extremely powerful tool for businesses of all sizes to better manage their fleet. This is particularly true of the small business service fleet. Here is a just a small example of how this great technology can be used for a business that serves customers.
For the sake of this example let us imagine that the fleet we are talking about is the service fleet of a plumbing company. The fleet consists of nine vans that carry plumbers from job to job throughout the day. The company operates over a 50 mile stretch of urban sprawl in a winding city in the West and receives several urgent service calls a day.
Generally speaking, the vans in the fleet are very well maintained and excellently run. Workers work very hard and spend very little of company time doing personal tasks. This means that they are already working very efficiently in their current capacity. The current system of routing has the dispatcher sending out messages over the radio line to see if any drivers are available to take the next call that comes in.
Even though the fleet works fairly well it can definitely work better with some simple fleet management techniques made possible through GPS fleet tracking. You see, the dispatching system that they employ is not very efficient. Because their area of operation is so large, when an urgent call comes in there is always the possibility that one van will have to travel around 50 miles to get to the next job. This is crazy if there is a worker who is only 5 minutes away with 5 minutes left on their job.
The problem here is that without GPS tracking telling a dispatcher where their fleet vehicles are at any given moment they have to contact each and every driver to find out where their vehicle is when an urgent service call comes in. This is terrible inefficient and waste of everyone's time. But if the dispatcher can just look at a screen that has the real-time location of the vans then they can contact the closest drivers to see when they are going to be available to take the call.
Another problem that this company faces is that drivers are unable to use efficient routes because they don't have GPS devices in their cars with them. That means that they have to take routes that they are familiar with but that might not necessarily be the fastest. When drivers do not take the fastest route to get from job to job they are wasting time where they could be making themselves and your company more money. Why waste valuable time, and by time I mean money, driving from location to location?
There are three main things wrong with this type of waste:
- It wastes gas. Gas is certainly not cheap these days and is only going to get more expensive the more we us of it. That is why conserving and limiting our gas consumption is not only good for our business, but also good for the whole world.
- It leaves highly skilled laborers doing a low skill task. You plumbers are paid to plumb, not to drive around town. For every minute that your plumber drives around is one less minute they can be making the company more money by using their skills.
- It adds additional wear and tear on company vehicles. Taking inefficient routes will lead to more mile on the vehicle and each additional mile means more money drained from your pocket. By sending drivers on laser efficient routes through their GPS devices you can eliminate this inefficiency.
GPS Fleet Tracking Choices
Generally speaking you can go one of two routes with fleet tracking software and device packages. You can go with a high cost, high service package that pretty much does all the tracking and installation of device for you or you can go with a lower cost, no service package that you set up using open source software and compatible GPS tracking devices. There are pros and cons to each type of tracking system, but both work just fine for fleet management.
The Benefits of Fleet Management With GPS Fleet Tracking
To summarize, the benefits fleet management with GPS fleet tracking are as follows:
- More efficient driver routing
- Reduced wear and tear on fleet vehicles
- Lower gas costs