How does GPS tracking enhance fleet management?
GPS tracking is a technology that has become relied upon by businesses across the world. In the case of fleet management, being able to access information about the whereabouts and activity of your vehicles in real time has become vital to the successful operation of a fleet. Attitude towards the technology has changed and evolved over the years and what was historically viewed as a tool with potential, it’s now becoming commonplace and accepted as a necessity in most sectors. In fact, a study by Arval suggests that 1 in 3 fleets in the UK now employ a telematics system, with safety, cost and efficiency being the main driving factors.
What is GPS fleet tracking software?
GPS fleet tracking software uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to provide information about the location of tracked assets. Much like the common-place experience of using a satellite navigation device, which pinpoints your precise location using GPS, GPS fleet tracking software uses the known position of a vehicle or other valuable asset and communicates this via a data connection. The data collected is then converted into powerful fleet management information, which can provide businesses with operational insight.
What are the advantages of GPS tracking?
For those involved in fleet management, some of the key challenges and responsibilities include managing operational cost, compliance and safety. The introduction of fleet management software, and in particular GPS tracking for fleet management, provides fleet managers with data to assist in these areas. By understanding where your fleet assets are located, how they are being driven and when they are being driven, it is possible to manage the fleet in a more efficient and effective way. Rather than relying on paper documentation and driver communication, a GPS fleet management system can provide accurate data covering everything required, in real time. Furthermore, all of the information is collected in the fleet management software, so there is no need to use multiple systems.
Businesses who are using GPS tracking for fleet management are able to monitor and manage their driver behaviour. By installing a GPS tracking device in a vehicle, the fleet manager is able to remotely access information about how the vehicle is being driven. This includes speed, idling time, and other driver behaviour parameters associated with fuel use, carbon emissions, safety and compliance. By analysing the information collected via the GPS fleet tracking device, fleet managers are able to identify trends and where negative behaviours are identified, take remedial actions such as driver training or re-training.
Having access to driver behaviour information can also be beneficial in situations involving disputes, either with external parties or in the case of fixed penalty notices or fines. For example, if a fleet manager receives notification of a penalty, which is subsequently disputed by the driver in question, information collected and stored within the fleet management software will be able to resolve the dispute with evidence of how and where the vehicle was being driven at the time.
A GPS fleet tracking system can bring about significant cost savings – both directly and indirectly. Just having GPS tracking devices fitted and their installation publicised will bring about increased awareness of the way in which vehicles are being driven and will discourage vehicle theft. Both of these are associated with huge potential costs. In more direct terms, using the information gathered by the fleet management software, fleet managers are able to proactively and reactively manager their drivers and the way in which vehicles are being utilised. Knowing where a vehicle is can help fleet managers to improve route optimisation and consequently increase productivity. By understanding how the vehicle has been driven, fleet managers can spot any trends and encourage drivers to navigate the roads in a safe and feel efficient manner. Also, by receiving information via the GPS tracking device about where the vehicle is and how far it has been driven, it is simple for fleet managers to track mileage and manage mileage claims. The reliance on manual documentation can be reduced and inaccuracies due to human error can be avoided.
Protection of vehicles (and assets)
Installing an asset with a GPS tracking device or a GPS tracking tag enables businesses to locate it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Research suggests that vehicle theft has gone up by 60% in some police forces across England and Wales in recent years. If a vehicle, which is fitted with a tracking device is stolen, it can be quickly identified and the probability of recovering it is greatly increased.
By publicising that your vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking devices, it demonstrates a commitment to the safety of the driver and other road users. In addition to this it highlights that the vehicle is protected from a safety and security perspective – potentially deterring vehicle and equipment theft.
How does GPS fleet tracking work?
GPS fleet tracking works by an installed device locking onto accessible satellites which orbit above the Earth. Once the position has been triangulated, it is communicated via a data connection to a fleet management system in real time. The data is overlaid on a mapping platform to convert the GPS latitude and longitude coordinates into meaningful data for fleet managers to access. Depending on how the device is configured, updates of the asset’s location can be communicated at chosen intervals and each “ping” is plotted on a map.
The accuracy of GPS fleet tracking
The accuracy of GPS tracking is a frequently asked question for businesses who are considering investing in technology. Accuracy of GPS tracking systems can be affected by a number of factors including the weather, physical position of installation and data connectivity. If a GPS signal cannot be found due to the device being covered by a metal panel, this will prevent the location being identified. If a vehicle is in a location where there is no data connectivity, although the GPS signal may be found, it won’t be possible to communicate the data back to the fleet management system.
Fleet tracking can even offer predictive analytics for vehicles
By managing vehicle utilisation, it’s possible for the fleet management system to give more accurate predictions and recommendations about fleet maintenance and repairs. As a result, vehicle downtime can be scheduled into the fleet planning and unpredicted instances of vehicles being off the road can be reduced. Having a better understanding of vehicle mileage and how the vehicle has been driven, also provides insight into proactive maintenance to avoid serious and expensive vehicle repairs.
Choosing the right fleet management software
Choosing the right fleet management software for your business is an important decision. You should consider cost, installation process, accuracy, look and feel of the fleet management software and the ongoing support available. ABAX GPS fleet tracking technology is simple to install and cost-effective. 24/7 support is available, and you have peace of mind that the technology has a lifetime warranty as standard. On average, our fleet tracking solutions save our customers 18.5% on their fuel costs and provide businesses with a safer and greener fleet.
The cost of fleet tracking
The cost benefits of fleet tracking are well documented, but it’s important to look at the potential return on investment that fleet management software can realistically offer your business.
Upfront and monthly plans are available, to suit the needs of your business.
In summary, a business operating their fleet without GPS fleet tracking software is potentially missing out on powerful data that can help improve the operational efficiency of the fleet. Having access to the data provided via GPS tracking gives fleet managers insight into what’s happening now and help them plan for the future.
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