Any Fleet Manager will tell you that managing a fleet of tens or even hundreds of business vehicles is not straightforward. The risk is further compounded when you consider that many commercial vehicles will be carrying expensive equipment or other valuable contents. Once the fleet leaves the workplace, it becomes difficult for the fleet owners/managers to influence individual drivers’ behaviour, or to ascertain the whereabouts of any individual vehicle.
Therefore, the benefits of adopting a technology that can give timely and detailed information of the fleet activities along with tracking its exact location can readily be appreciated. GPS tracking devices are now more cost-effective than ever, and the business case for adoption has never been stronger. The market is now inundated with a range of GPS tracking devices. For most businesses, GPS tracking systems that can deliver real-time tracking of the fleet is the core requirement, whilst many businesses also see value in being able to send other data from the vehicle’s on board systems back to a central repository. For example, this will enable the business to monitor the vehicle mileage which can for example help identify any unusual usage patterns.
Five of the top benefits from the adoption of Vehicle Tracking include:
1. Improvement of Driving Style leading to cost reduction.
Companies that have taken GPS tracking devices on board have reported that their presence helps to address concerns over driver behaviour and safety risk. Not only can the fleet manager monitor driver behaviour, including setting up alarms should certain speed limits be exceeded, but simply the knowledge by the drivers that their driving style is being monitored seems to be sufficient in itself to modify their driving style. Influencing drivers to adopt a more conservative driving style will have a knock-on benefit of cost reduction, for example through lower fuel consumption, less wear and tear on the vehicle, as well as reducing the risk of costs associated with road traffic accidents.
2. Opportunity to Enhance Business Efficiency.
Where staff are travelling between client sites, then accurate knowledge of people’s location can help the business to react effectively to changing circumstances. If a field engineer is urgently needed at a given location then it is straightforward to identify which engineers are closest and could be most efficiently diverted onto the new job. In addition, where a driver is scheduled to arrive at a client for an urgent delivery or appointment, but is delayed, then the customer service organisation can be proactive and intervene to keep the client informed of progress and maintain a high level of customer service.
3. Vehicle Management Information Reporting Travel Cost Reports can provide data relating to vehicle type, fuel consumption and running costs to
calculate costs of completing a job.
This means you can:
– Bill customers accurately and ensure profit margins
– Determine the relative value of your customers
– Analyse driver efficiency based on speed and routes
Fleet Utilisation Reports which show the activity of the entire fleet over your chosen time period. This helps to identify:
– Measuring the number of vehicles that are on the road at once to help inform what the optimal fleet size would be
– The amount of idling or stationary time to check the time taken to complete deliveries or service visits
– Vehicles that are over or underused to even up wear and tear and minimise leasing costs
Time Sheet Reports summarise the weekly activity of an individual showing start and stop times, shift pattern can be set in the report. This enables you to:
– Allow management of overtime claims
– Keep track of usage outside of normal working hours
– Make comparisons to manual timesheets
– Validate Working Time Directive activities
4. Scheduling of Vehicle Servicing.
A GPS tracking installation can also be configured to send maintenance alerts to the fleet managers based on the mileage covered since the last service point. Where you are subject to ensuring that you adhere to an agreed timed service schedule as part of a leasing agreement, then automating the collection of information for each vehicle in a large fleet ensures that you do not risk some vehicles missing their scheduled maintenance inspections.
5. Managing the Risk of Theft or other Emergencies.
Car-jacking (a robbery that takes place whilst the driver is still in the vehicle) is thankfully not yet a major problem in the UK, but more frequent incidences of this particularly violent and dangerous crime are rising. Some GPS tracking systems also have the ability to be activated by a passenger inside the car, alerting the police of a situation and improving response times. The car’s precise location can be monitored until the authorities have an opportunity to bring the situation under control. This could be particularly useful for lone women drivers who are more vulnerable to this kind of crime.