Anyone who owns a business knows that one of the trickiest things to manage can be logistics. Whether you have drivers making local deliveries, a fleet of cars transporting passengers or products driven from one end of the country to another, you have to try to track where inventory and personnel are located, how soon they’ll arrive and if delays have occurred.
How can you manage your fleet well?
What are some top tips for ensuring that your deliveries and schedules keep working as they should?
For many entrepreneurs, the answer today is GPS.
With a GPS tracking device, it’s possible to monitor your vehicles and inventory, know when drivers are being careless, improve your ability to predict when deliveries will arrive and more. “Many of the GPS trackers use software or a Web-based user interface featuring a map that will report updated, real-time location information,” says Heath McKnight at Top Ten Reviews. So with that in mind, to help you make the most of GPS tracking in your business fleet, here are some of the most important tips to know:
- Put Safety First. One of the biggest benefits of GPS is that it allows you to enforce safety for your fleet — and this is important because “putting safety first means maintaining a high caliber workforce of credible drivers,” says The GPS Tracker blog. Through your GPS tracking system, you can enforce safety regulations like vehicle speed, even while monitoring your drivers’ breaking and acceleration as they transport goods or passengers. When drivers know you’re monitoring their activity, they’re more likely to operate your fleet appropriately, reducing the risks of accidents (and their related costs) in the process.
- Place GPS Trackers Strategically. The place where you install your GPS tracking devices is directly related to how accurate and usable they can be. Bob Brown at Security Tek recommends installing them under the dash because “you typically get lots of GPS satellite signal streaming in through the front windshield, and signal passes through most of the materials used to construct the dash with relative ease.” You could alternatively place them under the car, but only if you route the device to an external antenna that can pick up a good signal, or under the passenger seat, as long as no one is sitting in the seat and potentially blocking signals.
- Track Activity to Reduce Costs. If you’re like most business owners, you are always looking for ways to improve profits, including cost reduction. That’s another reason GPS tracking can be so useful: Install devices on all your vehicles, keep track of driver behavior and find out where unnecessary fuel consumption is occurring. Maybe a driver is taking a longer route than necessary, burning extra gas in the process. Or perhaps someone is always idling for long periods of time, without any good explanation. If you find ways to make your vehicle use more efficient, you find ways to lower costs and improve your bottom line.
- Use Scheduled Maintenance Reminders. GPS tracking can even help ensure your vehicles stay in good shape, through scheduled maintenance reminders that tell you when to repair or take in vehicles for things like oil changes or tire rotations. Set up these reminders on your fleet to ensure that drivers take care of your trucks.
When it comes to your company’s fleet of cars and/or trucks, GPS tracking is an invaluable tool for gaining intelligence on operations and knowing how to use that information to promote safety, gain accurate intel on driver activity, lower costs and protect your vehicles. Use the tips above to make the most of these devices and reap the benefits for your business!
Robert J. Hall is the president of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS tracking for entrepreneurs, small fleets, and midsized companies.