You’ve probably used GPS to get you where you need to go in unfamiliar territory. But when it comes to managing your business’s fleet of vehicles and drivers, GPS is so much more than a navigation tool: it’s your Swiss Army knife.
GPS is quite possibly the single greatest tool for fleet management. From keeping customers happy to automatically logging a record of vehicle stops and routes, the benefits of a business-focused GPS tracking solution are many and varied. If you’re in any of the following businesses, this type of tool is a competitive advantage that can help you deliver like no one else:
- Construction/general contractor
- Heating, cooling, and HVAC
- Landscaping and lawn care
- Repair services
- Towing services
- Last-mile delivery and other delivery businesses.
Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at fleet tracking GPS solutions and what they can do to save you time, money, and brain space so you can run your business better.
Benefits Offered by the Best Fleet Tracking Systems
What’s best for your business depends on your unique needs, but generally speaking, the best GPS fleet tracking systems have a handful of core capabilities and benefits in common. There are two main components of these systems:
- A GPS tracking device that is either battery operated or powered by your vehicle via the OBD port or hardwiring; and
- The software you use to access your GPS tracking data, usually through a desktop or mobile app.
Here are some of the top examples of what GPS tracking can do for your fleet and your business.
Keep Customers Informed and Happy
You know what it’s like: an unexpected delay made your driver late, and now the customer is angrily calling you wanting to know when your truck will show up. It’s hard to repair relationships with customers who are already upset—but with GPS tracking, you can build trust and loyalty by keeping those customers in the loop.
Imagine how this scenario might play out differently if you could give each customer a live tracking link showing your team member’s location and estimated arrival time. GPS lets you do that. By managing expectations, you can get ahead of complaints and negative reviews. After all, an informed customer is a happy customer.
Ensure Drivers are En Route and On Time
Live tracking isn’t just great for your customers—as a business owner or manager, it also saves you the headache and hassle of trying to pin down where everyone on your team is throughout the day. Save yourself the phone calls and guesswork and get the peace of mind only GPS tracking can give you. A top-notch GPS tracking system will allow you to see your whole fleet at a glance with customizable views and easy-to-use maps. The best systems will even allow you to view past location data, so you always have an accurate record of where your vehicles have been.
Confirm Departures, Arrivals, and Completed Trips
Because your fleet tracking GPS solution can serve up past location data for each tracking device, you’ll be able to see when and where stops and deliveries were made. You can even use geofencing to set virtual boundaries around a specific geographical area—and then configure alerts that will tell you when a vehicle enters or leaves that location. These boundaries are totally customizable, so you can mark areas of any shape or size—from large industrial complexes to small warehouses or parking lots. And with time-stamped location data, you’ll know exactly when your vehicles depart from or arrive at those locations.
Identify Efficient Travel Routes
While everyone knows GPS is great for navigation, when it comes to choosing the most efficient routes for your drivers, GPS goes way beyond getting from point A to point B. With a GPS solution that stores location data, you can evaluate how long each trip actually takes—and drill down into things like traffic and other routine slow-downs that keep your drivers from making better time. That way, you can see whether there are opportunities for your drivers to spend less time in transit—which also translates to spending less money on fuel and vehicle maintenance.
Bottom line: GPS doesn’t just get your drivers there—across your entire fleet, GPS can save your business time and money by giving you all the data you need to tighten up routes.
See Driver Behavior—Past and Present
With a real-time GPS fleet tracking solution, not only can you see your drivers’ current locations, but you’re also equipped with historical data about each driver’s performance. You can see where crew members stopped and for how long, whether they made it to appointments on time, and, with OBD trackers and hardwired GPS trackers for vehicles, you can even see how fast drivers were going. This data helps you identify opportunities for coaching your drivers to improve performance, better represent your business, and comply with safety regulations.
Align Vehicle Maintenance Schedules and Track Mileage for Wear and Tear
With GPS software that stores data on each of your vehicle’s trackers, you have a centralized place to see mileage information without having to manually check every odometer. Set up custom alerts when a device hits a certain number of miles so you can take action on vehicle maintenance and upkeep. If one vehicle is getting considerably more use than another, consider adjusting driver routes and schedules to spread out wear and tear more evenly. With features like these, your GPS solution becomes a valuable member of your crew—part administrative assistant, part mechanic.
Recover Vehicles in the Event of Theft
For small businesses, vehicle theft isn’t just an inconvenience—it’s a major hardship that can set your whole business back. In addition to losing the vehicle itself, theft robs you of time, productivity, and the ability to deliver services that generate revenue. But with a GPS tracking solution, you put would-be criminals at a disadvantage. Set up customized boundaries and alerts so you’ll receive an instant notification when a vehicle leaves your lot, garage, or property.
Then, aided by the location data from your vehicle’s GPS tracking device, police can hunt down and recover your vehicle—and potentially apprehend the thieves. All those features you use to drive efficiency on a daily basis can be crucial to protecting your business in the event of a theft. After all, the sooner you can recover your business’s valuable assets, the sooner you can get back to work.
OBD Port Trackers and Hardwired GPS Trackers for Vehicles
For the best fleet management GPS tracking experience, we recommend two types of tracking devices: either an OBD GPS tracker or a hardwired GPS tracker. Both of these trackers are powered by your vehicle and do not require batteries or charging. There are many benefits that these devices have in common, including the ability to track:
- Real-time location
- Location and duration of every stop
- Ignition status
The main difference between an OBD tracker and hardwired tracker is that the OBD is easier to install and remove because it simply plugs into your vehicle’s OBD port. The hardwired tracker is a great option if you want a long-term tracker in place and don’t need the ability to switch it between vehicles. Unlike the OBD tracker, the hardwired tracker isn’t visible or easily accessible and typically must be installed by an automotive technician.
GPS Tracking Software for Fleet Vehicles
OBD GPS trackers and hardwired GPS trackers are outstanding options for your fleet management needs, but no tracking device can do all the work on its own. You must pair the device with robust, easy-to-use software to make your GPS tracking solution complete. With a desktop or mobile app designed for fleet tracking, you can have all the data and reporting options you need on the go or at your desk. Some interfaces are easier to use than others, and customized data reporting options depend on which provider you select.
Now that you have a better sense of how GPS tracking can help you manage your fleet of vehicles and drivers, you might have more questions about how your business can use GPS to make the most of your time on the road. We’d love to help you figure out which solutions make the most sense for you and your fleet. Get in touch with us here, and we’ll make sure your business is on the right track.