What is the Best GPS Tracking Solution?
What is the best GPS tracking solution? Sadly, there is no single, definitive answer to that. The best GPS tracking solution will be the one that gives the business exactly what it needs, and this is where the answer varies. Businesses will differ in priorities – some may care more about reducing fuel costs, while others care more about keeping an eye on their drivers while they are on the road.
Before you search for a GPS tracking solution, think about your priorities and choose the tool that satisfies your needs. While several GPS tracking solutions are available, the two most common ones are GPS vehicle tracking and asset tracking.
GPS Vehicle Tracking Vs. Asset Tracking
The differences between the two are simple and are obvious by their names. Although both use GPS to collect data and track objects in real-time, they serve two different purposes:
As the name suggests, GPS vehicle tracking is geared more towards vehicles. This GPS tracking solution is perfect for companies with fleets, such as delivery companies, fast food, mobile cleaning services, and more. These tracking systems are either hardwired to the vehicle or mounted on the vehicle’s OBD port. Since they have direct access to the vehicle, they can collect valuable engine data that the company can use to track a vehicle’s whereabouts and assess vehicle health.
GPS vehicle tracking’s biggest advantage over asset tracking is that it provides more data since it is connected directly to the vehicle. One disadvantage, though, is that the trackers can only be placed in specific areas, so if an experienced thief steals your car, they will know where to find these trackers.
On the other hand, asset tracking is a better choice for companies with a variety of valuable equipment and machinery. Examples of businesses that can benefit from asset tracking include construction, manufacturing companies, and hospitals. While asset trackers can be used for vehicles, they can also be mounted on other valuable assets, making them more flexible.
Because they are more flexible, asset trackers can be placed in inconspicuous areas to prevent thieves from removing them easily. However, since they’re not connected to anything, they don’t offer in-depth data and are mainly used for tracking the location of assets.
Do You Need A Business Tracking Solution?
If you’re reading this article right now, you’ve probably thought about the importance of GPS tracking for your business and are now looking for a solution that’s perfect for you. However, even interested business owners sometimes falter at this stage because they repeatedly wonder if they need it in the first place.
Understandably, small businesses have limited resources, so they need to think about what they invest in. For some, investing in a GPS tracking solution may be a luxury instead of a necessity. However, GPS tracking has a lot of economic benefits that will prove useful for small businesses. If you’re still hesitating, here are some of the reasons why other small business owners decided it was time for a GPS tracking system.
They were experiencing losses
For a small business, losing even a single vehicle or piece of equipment can be a huge loss. If that vehicle or equipment was integral to the business’s daily operations, it could even cause business operations to come to a halt. Business owners are forced to borrow money to replace it, which puts the business even further in debt.
They needed information on business weaknesses
Some small businesses hit a plateau early on or encounter problems that cause a decline in the business. While some problems can be fixed easily, there are also situations wherein business owners don’t know what they did wrong. Business owners end up scratching their heads as they search for the areas where they may have made a mistake. Businesses can’t succeed or grow if things are weighing them down. Most of the time, information collected by GPS tracking can give owners insight into areas of improvement.
They were encountering problems with personnel
Fleet owners usually encounter problems when it comes to managing vehicles while they’re on the road. With small businesses, drivers getting into accidents or arriving late to a job constantly can be disastrous for the business. These owners decided it was time to install a GPS tracking solution to keep an eye on their employees.
Tracking vehicles manually became too much of a hassle
At first, tracking everything manually is doable, especially when you’re starting out. However, as your business grows, your assets grow as well. If you’re starting to miss important dates such as equipment maintenance or making mistakes in driver work logs, a GPS tracking system may just be what you need.
If any of the aforementioned situations are relatable to you, your business is in dire need of a GPS tracking solution.
What You Should Look For in a GPS Tracking Solution
Not all GPS tracking solutions are alike – some are better than others, and you need to find one that’s perfect for your needs. Here are some points you need to consider when looking for a GPS tracking solution for your small business:
- Mobile capabilities
- Theft protection
- Advanced reporting capabilities
- Specialized features for your needs
Let’s discuss each of these considerations in greater detail and why you should prioritize these for your GPS tracking solution as a small business owner.
The Need For Mobility
Mobile capabilities are a must for a lot of things, especially commercial software. Almost all software available on PC has a mobile equivalent, and even websites are now designed to allow for flawless viewing no matter what smartphone you’re using. Companies acknowledge that modern business owners are always on the go, and therefore, everything they need to run a business should be accessible no matter where they are.
This is especially true for small business owners. Since small businesses only have a few employees, small business owners have to take care of several aspects of the business. As such, the business owner cannot stay stuck at the office – they need to oversee daily operations, but they also need to look for potential clients and partners and think of ways to grow the business.
If you’re looking for a GPS tracking solution, choose one with mobile capabilities. A flexible system allows you to oversee your business from your PC and then seamlessly continue your tasks using your mobile phone when you leave the office. Even if you’re at a lunch meeting somewhere else, you can still check in on your employees and your physical assets whenever you want.
Protection Against Theft and Loss
As stated earlier, losing even a single vehicle or machine can be disastrous for a business. Each physical asset bought by a small business is a huge investment and must be protected as such. When searching for a GPS tracking solution, it’s important to find one that includes real-time tracking. This feature will help protect your assets from theft or loss.
Imagine if an important piece of equipment gets stolen. You ask for police assistance but can’t give them the information they need because your GPS tracking solution isn’t built to protect you against theft. To properly retrieve stolen items, here are some features your GPS tracking solution should have:
- Real-time tracking – If the transmission of location information is delayed, it could prevent authorities from tracking down the item successfully.
- Long battery life – your tracking device should have a long battery life. Imagine losing sight of your equipment because your tracker ran out of juice while you were looking for it.
- Durable – Stolen equipment or machines won’t be handled properly. You need a tracking system that will not only adhere to the equipment properly but is made from durable material to withstand the elements.
- Stable network – GPS tracking devices make use of a network connection to deliver information to its companion app. Choose a GPS tracking solution that comes with its own network connection.
Advanced Reporting Capabilities
When small business owners invest in a GPS tracking system, they do so for the most obvious reason – to keep track of their vehicles or equipment. While this is indeed its greatest benefit, it is mostly a short-term benefit, something that’s useful for the present. Many small business owners fail to fully utilize another of GPS tracking’s greatest features -its data analytics. This is a long-term gain but something that takes a bit of learning to master.
If you’re a small business, especially if you’re running your own fleet, it’s recommended that you look for a GPS tracking solution with advanced reporting capabilities. Ideally, it should be a system that transmits tracking data to the app and should also store and correlate the data to allow for easy interpretation. There are GPS tracking solutions out there that even allow you to generate reports so your company can easily check various aspects of the business to look for potential weaknesses so you can make informed decisions that can help it grow.
A GPS Tracking Solution That Grows With Your Business
One of the most important characteristics that you should look for in a GPS tracking solution is its ability to grow with your business. Many GPS tracking solutions out there are too steep for small businesses, so choose a provider that can customize their services to fit your needs. Too many providers offer packaged solutions that may be cost-effective for larger corporations but are too expensive for small businesses. After all, if you’re a small fleet, what need do you have of packages that cater to fleets of 100 vehicles or more?
When searching for a small business-friendly GPS tracking solution, choose one that can grow with you as your business grows. Providers like Fleetr offer a small monthly subscription for their services, and you can purchase devices individually as the need arises.
Beginner-Friendly GPS Tracking Solution
Aside from being easy on the pockets, you should also look for GPS tracking solutions that are convenient and beginner-friendly. While advanced GPS tracking systems with fancy features exist, most of them are expensive, and you’ll find yourself not needing most of their features anyway. The best option for small businesses is a system that’s easy to install, implement, and master.
Take, for example, Fleetr’s GPS vehicle tracking system. While other GPS tracking devices need to be hardwired into the vehicle, it’s not something a business owner can do on their own. You need to hire professionals to install the devices and set up a compatible data collection program for them. Fleetr uses OBD GPS trackers, which are trackers that can be mounted on your vehicle’s OBD port. The system comes with an accompanying app that you only need to download and install. The entire system can be set up on your own without any professional help.
Features To Look For In Your GPS Tracking System
Aside from the considerations you need to take note of when purchasing a GPS tracking system, what specific features should a GPS tracking system have to be considered a good choice for small businesses? While different brands may name their features differently, here are some of the most common ones that are considered must-haves for any business owner.
- Vehicle/Asset Identification – one of the most basic features of any GPS tracking system. This allows you to identify each tracker, assigning it to a specific machine, equipment, or vehicle. The tracker can contain information such as the brand and make of the vehicle, the driver’s name, and other important data to the business.
- Maintenance scheduling – For GPS vehicle trackers, the ability to create a maintenance schedule for your vehicles is a must. This allows you to automate maintenance reminders, so you don’t forget to maintain your vehicles.
- Alerts and notifications – A busy small business owner doesn’t have the time to stare at a monitor all day. The best GPS tracking solution will have notifications enabled for important events. Some trackers will notify you if there’s movement in the asset assigned to the tracker. The system will alert you of unfavorable actions such as risky driving behavior or vehicle idling for vehicle GPS trackers. This allows you to go about your daily life while staying on top of your business as well.
- Real-time tracking – aside from protecting your assets from theft, real-time tracking also helps you gather accurate data about your physical assets, vehicles, and drivers. Delays in the transmission of information can prevent you from making quick and important decisions.
- Data storage – it’s impossible to process and analyze data as they come. This is why it’s important for GPS tracking system’s to have enough storage space to allow business owners to save months’ worth of GPS data. Information that might not seem so important now may become vital to the operation of your business a couple of weeks later.
Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Purchasing a GPS Tracking Solution
Although more and more small businesses are using GPS tracking nowadays, many of them are not using it as efficiently as they should. Although GPS tracking solutions are now more accessible and affordable, it is still a huge investment, and you need to explore all the ways you can benefit from it before investing in it.
Here are the most common mistakes small businesses make when they purchase a GPS tracking solution. A lot of these are a result of shortsightedness, although some can be rectified easily the more knowledge the business owner has.
Purchasing package deals
People often think that purchasing things in packages saves them a lot of money, and in some cases, it does. However, this only applies to people who are buying in bulk. Packages usually cater to large companies who want to buy a large bundle of tracking devices for their fleet. For small businesses, this may not be a good idea.
Let’s say the smallest package is 10 GPS Vehicles trackers bundled together. If you only have three cars in your fleet right now, this is not the best value for your money. You can tell yourself that sure, you will be getting more vehicles in the future, but remember that there are providers who will allow you to purchase trackers individually at reasonable prices.
Not creating policies related to GPS tracking
Some small business owners decide to implement GPS tracking, thinking that all it takes is to install the trackers and nothing else about the business will change. Implementing a GPS tracking solution can change the way your business works, especially if you have a fleet. Before installing your GPS tracking system, make sure your company is ready to adapt to it.
For example, Fleetr’s tracking system has notifications for overspeeding and idle time. If your company doesn’t have policies surrounding these, now is the time to do so. Creating acceptable speeding limits and duration, and educate your drivers on what’s allowed during idle time. Because the system also alerts the manager whenever vehicles are used outside work hours, implementing a strict rule that prohibits drivers from using company vehicles outside work hours can prepare your fleet for GPS tracking.
Neglecting the system’s data analytics
As stated before, most small businesses purchase a GPS tracking system for its immediate benefits. Most companies simply want to track their vehicles in real-time when they’re outside the company lot. It’s normal for small businesses to concentrate more on the “now” rather than the “later.”
However, it’s a bad idea to ignore the system’s data collection feature. While it requires more effort since you have to pore over the data to find existing problems, possible solutions, and obvious trends, the benefits it brings to small businesses are insurmountable. Sadly, many small business owners still see the “techy data” stuff as something only applicable to large corporations. Still, the data you get from the GPS tracking system can help elevate your business.
The Path to Finding the Best GPS Tracking Solution
To find the best GPS tracking solution for your business, remember to do your research first. Look at your company’s goals and needs and find a GPS tracking solution that fits that perfectly. Lastly, whether or not your GPS tracking solution will also depend on the people using it. So before investing in a GPS tracking solution, read up on the subject and choose the option that fits your company best. Once you purchase your GPS tracking solution, dig into it a little bit more, and you might discover a plethora of features you didn’t even know you needed.