- Photo: Getty/metamorworks

Photo: Getty/metamorworks

GPS tracking has come a long way from dots-on-a-map software. It is a vital business tool that provides visibility and detailed insights into every aspect of fleet operations.

This solution can help you accomplish your business objectives. It improves efficiency and provides savings that add revenue directly to your bottom line. The following top five real-time GPS tracking benefits will show you how much one of these solutions can positively impact your business. 

1. Reducing Fuel Costs

High fuel costs are always top of mind for those that manage a mobile workforce. It consistently ranks at the top of the list as to why many invest in a GPS tracking solution. 

There are a few top causes of high fuel costs that a fleet tracking solution can easily identify.

Idling is one of the most common causes of high fuel costs. An hour of idling can waste anywhere from 1/5 gallon to a full gallon of fuel, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. That's not much for one vehicle. However, those costs add up when you think in terms of your entire fleet. 

Aggressive driving is another factor in high fuel costs. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that aggressive driving can lower miles per gallon (MPG) between 15% and 30% at highway speeds and between 10% and 40% in stop-and-go traffic.

Wasting fuel at the pump can also contribute to high fuel costs. Employees can choose more expensive grades of gasoline, fill up at locations with higher prices, or fill up a personal vehicle.

How GPS Tracking Reduces Fuel Costs

There are several ways vehicle tracking can help minimize idle times. These methods include alerts that tell the driver to shut off the engine after a specified amount of idle time passes.

Many GPS tracking solutions offer alerts that can notify you about aggressive driving behaviors. This functionality enables you to proactively coach drivers with techniques that reduce fuel costs.

GPS tracking systems can also monitor how much fuel a driver uses through reports. Integrating fleet fuel cards enhances this functionality and can even add limitations, such as where employees fuel up and what they purchase at the gas station.

2. Reducing Risk and Liability

As outlined above, real-time GPS tracking helps monitor aggressive and unsafe driving behavior. 

The result is reducing risk and the likelihood of a collision, saving maintenance and downtime costs. The average cost of a crash involving injury is around $70,000. GPS tracking software also saves companies on liability payments that can reach into the millions of dollars. It can also help prevent the untold amounts of reputational costs that come due to the negative publicity. 

How GPS Tracking Reduces Risk and Liability

GPS fleet tracking can help support current or new policies that have real consequences for not abiding by them. Safety policies should include the data you will use from the GPS tracking device and a clear outline of behavioral expectations.

You can include scenarios like a three strike and your out rule regarding speeding violations. Some companies also implement regulations based on a driver scorecard feature that includes other data, such as rapid acceleration and harsh braking.

3. Increasing Driver Accountability

Driver accountability isn't about implicating drivers or monitoring their every move. However, football coaches use game film to review with their players. Sales managers review phone calls with sales representatives to improve their performance. You should also have the capability to evaluate and improve driver behavior to make sure they are running at max efficiency and productivity.

You need the visibility provided by a fleet management system to see that employees are arriving to their destinations on time, not taking the scenic route, and not padding their hours. 

How GPS Tracking Increases Driver Accountability

Fleet tracking doesn't only have to benefit the company. It's a tool that can reward good driver behavior and improve employee retention. Using gamification is an effective way to do this. It's as simple as running a monthly or quarterly contest, and whoever has the least amount of idle time will receive an X amount of a bonus, or receive a Visa gift card. These methods have proven to work for those who have invested in a vehicle tracking system. 

Vehicle and asset tracking can also help management identify unauthorized after-hours use utilizing the geo-fence feature. This functionality ensures that employees do not use vehicles and assets for personal reasons, side jobs, or in other ways that could reflect negatively on the company. Geo-fences are digital lines that you can draw around points of interest, such as a yard, jobsite, or your business headquarters. Alerts are available that can notify you in real-time when vehicles or assets leave these zones. 

Utilizing location tracking and real-time alerts that send notifications is also a way to curb poor driving behavior the moment it occurs. 

4. Increase Back-Office Efficiency

You can break down inefficient technological silos with real-time tracking solutions because of its ability to seamlessly integrate into other fleet management and back-office software. You can waste a significant amount of time either going through mounds of paperwork or switching back and forth between multiple software platforms.

Anyone who communicates with drivers daily can also face the challenge of wasting time trying to find out where a vehicle is. It can take many phone calls to provide location updates to customers or who is closest to an urgent job. 

How GPS Tracking Increases Back-Office Efficiency

Most vehicle tracking providers also have robust application program interfaces (APIs) that allow them to communicate with other business platforms. This functionality will enable you to manage and monitor all of your data in one convenient location effectively. These types of integrations include vehicle maintenance software, parts management, timecard management, and many more.

The results are:

  • Better visibility into business operations. 
  • Having a complete picture of vehicle total cost of ownership.
  • Increased revenue and control over personnel costs.

You will also be able to better manage vehicle spec'ing, pricing, and salaries to ensure that the company remains profitable.Location tracking also inherently solves the communication issue. You can quickly reference the location of all your vehicles and assets through the real-time map. All of those calls to drivers will become unnecessary and allow you and your staff to focus on your primary responsibilities.

5. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Today's customers have high expectations, and meeting them can be challenging. These challenges range from employees not finishing the job correctly, providing frustratingly long arrival window times, to not providing same-day billing. It's imperative in today's social media and instant word of mouth environment to ensure that you provide a world-class experience to every customer.

How GPS Tracking Improves Customer Satisfaction

GPS fleet tracking and real-time monitoring capabilities enable you to provide up-to-the-minute arrival information for your customers. Doing this increases customer satisfaction by proactively reaching out to them to give an ETA

Utilizing vehicle routing in a fleet management tool is also a critical factor in improving customer satisfaction. When vehicles are taking the most efficient routes to jobsites, you can provide shorter and more accurate time windows to customers. Employees can also complete more jobs per day. The GPS tracking device creates a breadcrumb trail within the software so that you can see the effectiveness of the drivers' routes.

Being able to manage expectations, including communication goes a long way in customer retention. Customer loyalty is a powerful path to profitability through word of mouth and social media referrals. 

It is nearly impossible to provide this level of customer service without real-time tracking.

Start Receiving Benefits from GPS Tracking

It usually doesn't take long for those who implement a real-time GPS tracking system to start reaping the benefits and solve their business challenges. It instantly provides greater visibility into your operations, supports a culture of accountability and improvement, and improves efficiency and productivity. Join them and gain the competitive edge that GPS tracking software provides if you haven't already. 

Start comparing solutions and receive pricing information from top providers. 

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