After being used exclusively for military purposes, global positioning systems (GPS) are now available for civil use. GPS technology has become a part of today's life so it is not regarded as some kind of a miracle any more, but rather as a useful tool for navigation in unknown places and getting from point A to point B with less pain. GPS units are cool navigational tools for private car owners, but when it concerns the owners of entire fleets of cars and trucks, GPS tracking systems can be of strategic importance and make the difference between success and failure for businesses operating vehicle fleets. Fleet owners cannot underestimate the importance of GPS vehicle tracking systems because when it comes to saving on costs no business owner can stay indifferent.
Now imagine yourself in the boots of a fleet owner. You have to deal with a lot of issues related to employees and vehicles on the daily basis. What makes it even worse is that your employees work remotely and often out of your direct control. The list of issues fleet managers face can include quite a number of items such as:
- remote employees attempting to take advantage of company vehicles at company expense;
- improper driving behavior which is dangerous for drivers and vehicles as well as wasteful for fuel consumption and harmful to the environment;
- ever-growing prices for fuel;
- constant risk of theft of expensive vehicles and assets;
- finding the shortest routs to where the work is;
- customers demanding as much information as possible regarding their order status.
The reason why the above issues exist and constituted serious constraints for business profitability is the lack of control over remote fleet operations. This is when GPS fleet management solutions come in handy. The value of GPS technology is in its ability to determine the exact vehicle location at any time. However the GPS tracking systems specially developed for fleet vehicles are capable of transmitting a larger amount of data necessary for more efficient fleet management. When employing cutting-edge GPS vehicle tracking systems, fleet owners can expect receiving the following data:
- the exact location of all fleet vehicles with installed GPS units in real-time;
- speed and speeding events;
- idling time;
- engine working hours;
- and more.
So how can this information help solve the fleet management issues? The answer is simple – the problem is much easier to cope with when it can be detected, monitored and analyzed. Let's delve into why fleet managers should control how vehicles are employed.
Be Quick, Drive Less
Being able to track the exact location of all vehicles in a fleet is important for more cost-effective and efficient business. Whenever there is a new job, fleet managers can dispatch the nearest vehicle to the customer by viewing all their vehicles on the map on a single webpage. Thus the vehicle will arrive faster and consume less fuel.
Excessive Speeding Inflates Your Fuel Bills
Speeding is not only dangerous in itself, but it also hits fleet owners in their wallet. According to the US Department of Energy, you pay extra 15 cents per gallon of gas for each 5 mph driven over 60 mph. Thus speeding is obviously something drivers must avoid for reasons of safety and savings. But unless you have a GPS vehicle tracking system specially designed for fleet management, you cannot efficiently monitor your remote operations and discourage drivers' excessive speeding behavior.
Boost Your Bottom Line by Minimizing Idling Time
An owner of a fleet of 56 vehicles reports $ 600- $ 700 savings in gas a week after reducing idling time from 94 hours to 35 hours per week. This dramatic reduction of vehicles idling time could only be done by means of monitoring vehicle usage through a GPS fleet management system which indicates idling in real-time as well as provides history data reports. GPS technology gives fleet managers powerful tools for monitoring, controlling and documenting idling time.
Eliminate Off-Hours or Personal Use of Vehicles
It used to be almost impossible to constantly control how and when vehicles are operated by remote drivers. Now when we have entered the era of GPS technology, fleet owners can easily pinpoint the exact location of any fleet vehicle equipped with a GPS tracking system in real-time as well as track the usage of the vehicle for a certain period of time in the past. Needless to say that such monitoring capabilities are likely to discourage any unauthorized use of company vehicles and thus help fleet owners avoid unnecessary expenditures and risks.
Ensure Extra Security for Vehicles and Valuable Assets
Your fleet vehicles and equipment are too much expensive and valuable to neglect their security. There is always a risk of theft. However, with professional GPS vehicle tracking systems fleet managers can feel more secure as they are able not only monitor the location of a stolen vehicle to recover it as soon as possible but also stop the engine remotely immediately when a theft is reported. This is obviously an efficient way to avoid serious losses from your vehicle or expensive equipment being stolen.
Some Other Benefits You Never Expected
The aforementioned benefits are something fleet owners and managers expect to get when purchasing a GPS tracking package for their fleets. However those major benefits give them a cherry on the cake in the form of some minor benefits they might never expected from GPS vehicle tracking systems. These benefits range from reducing paperwork to presenting a safer business model to insurance agencies for possible vehicle insurance discounts. Fleet manager's being constantly aware of what is going on with any fleet vehicle at any time also means more disciplined drivers and satisfied customers.
As you can see GPS vehicle tracking systems can be a quite indispensable tool to any fleet owner or manager who wish to make their fleet operating business more efficient and competitive. The cost-saving ability of vehicle monitoring with GPS systems has recently been proved with a Location and Service Fleet Management survey published by Aberdeen Group which reported that location aid services, such as GPS systems, resulted in a 13.2% reduction in fuel costs and a 19.2% decrease in miles traveled.