GPS Fleet Tracking for Small Businesses – Affordable Fleet Tracking Solutions for Small Business Owners
GPS technology has evolved – from its beginnings as a simple location-tracking system to ubiquitous with numerous applications.
Today, it is not uncommon for GPS tracking systems to incorporate automated solutions, such as cloud computing, that allow businesses and industry professionals greater opportunities for growth. This being said, many small business owners seem unaware of the potential benefits of leveraging these highly advanced technologies – though they can aid in managing daily operations so that those efforts may be put towards other needs.
Those who take advantage are seeing excellent results through access to valuable data pertaining to the vehicles or assets being tracked. And while many fleets include both vehicles and employees who use them during work hours, fleet typically refers specifically to commercial vehicles used when conducting business-related tasks. With that in mind, let’s look at affordable fleet-tracking solutions for small business owners.
Affordable GPS Tracking Solutions to Keep Your Business Running Smoothly
GPS tracking systems can add up quickly. Depending on your needs, it’s not hard to spend $10-$20 per vehicle. But you don’t have to break the bank—especially if you’re running a small fleet with just a few vehicles.
What may be more surprising is how affordable GPS fleet tracking solutions can be even if you have up to 50+ vehicles in your fleet. Let’s look at how affordable, high-quality GPS tracking solutions can help improve your bottom line, increase efficiency and provide peace of mind while still keeping costs low.
Why Invest in GPS Tracking Systems as Small Business Owners?
Small businesses indeed face unique challenges. While they have fewer resources and a smaller budget than larger businesses, they still need good management practices. But because there are fewer vehicles owned by most small enterprises, coupled with the costs of fleet tracking software solutions, these firms may not always reach profitability quickly. This means that many organizations—even those currently struggling to generate enough revenue to keep operating—must adhere to new regulations such as compliance with HOS rules, enforcement of ELDs, and more.
The fleet management market had grown exponentially from its humble beginnings when it was founded decades ago. According to Global Market Insights, the industry will cross $56 billion by 2026. This is due solely to the multi-fold benefits that fleet tracking provides for businesses across all industries, large or small.
Why you should invest in GPS Fleet Tracking Software?
Let’s consider why you should invest in GPS fleet tracking software.
With GPS-enabled fleet tracking solutions, you can see where your vehicles/assets are, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re safe. When one gets into an accident or breaks down, assistance will be just a phone call away. In case it is stolen, recovering it will be much easier than without a solution.
For small businesses, every investment they make must pay them back tenfold at the very least. For those with fleet vehicles, fleet tracking does that and even more! It saves time and money by managing what many say are the most basic needs for a successful company so owners can invest their energy elsewhere – making sure their business grows steadily. Fuel is saved through this system; there’s no need to worry about receiving fines from traffic violations; customers are happier because they know where the cars are at all times; lastly, it helps cut down on insurance rates too!
One of the main reasons that Fleet Management Solutions are so popular is because they make work so much more efficient. They give businesses tools for managing routes, violation reports, workforce and workflow management, and security measures. This software can optimize all aspects of a company – no matter how big or small it may be. A system like this helps achieve the best ROI for any company that takes advantage of its services, allowing them to handle everything efficiently without having too many resources at its disposal.
How Much Do GPS Trackers Cost?
Fleet and truck GPS tracking prices can range anywhere from $14 to $250 per vehicle per month. But most GPS fleet tracking systems average around $25-$45 per car per month. We know – these numbers don’t seem clear-cut at first glance! It’s hard to believe that a company could charge upwards of $200 per device when others only charge less than half as much—but there are tons of factors that determine just how expensive this service will be:
- How advanced the system is
- Whether you purchase your hardware upfront or lease it
- Any additional equipment and features you add to your plan
- Any additional charges your supplier requests
- The length of your contract
While these factors can manipulate GPS tracking prices, it’s important to mention that the type of system you’re investing in also plays a major role in pricing. But what does this mean? Fleet tracking is normally issued in three ways the basic, advanced, and premium packages. However, in this blog, we shall be shifting our focus to the basic and advanced packages when it comes to pricing.
Comparison of the Basic and Advanced GPS Tracking Packages
With the global positioning system (GPS) pricing, people often get what they pay for – the more sophisticated an app or device is, the pricier it’ll be. In this case, then, settling with the cheapest option one finds isn’t a great idea. One thing to note is that when it comes to GPS vehicle tracking and fleet management apps – especially advanced ones – there will be a worthwhile return on your investment (ROI).
Advanced systems, in particular, can help you cut fuel costs, reduce unsafe driving habits, dispatch jobs quickly; stay up-to-date on your vehicles’ maintenance; prepare efficient routes; and much more.
It all just boils down to two things:
2. The rate at which data refreshes
Basic fleet tracking systems are merely there to track vehicle routes. Some also provide other simple features—such as trip logging, starts and stops recording, and basic reporting. And maybe even one or two alerts—but they never offer much in the way of sophisticated fleet management. That’s why they’re inexpensive. Meanwhile, the best fleet management systems provide all these tools plus many more helpful features that are not limited to emergency notifications, advanced route mapping, planning, and many more. These systems will help you to gain insights into your company’s efficiency, allowing you to cut expenses and increase profits. However, they are more costly than other methods, so you must be prepared for such a commitment.
The Rate at Which Data Refreshes
You would hope that the fleet management system you choose is proactive. It sends data to you automatically, preferably at a set interval throughout the day (rather than one which requires manual input after each trip has been made -not very convenient).
More up-to-date systems are more expensive because they give you an accurate representation of where your vehicles currently are. There’s a difference between relying on information gathered 30 seconds ago vs. five minutes ago -or even worse, 10 hours ago!
Secondly, these same systems offer additional features and customization options for different business needs. As such, it makes them pricier compared to their basic counterparts.
The Importance of Fleet Management in Small Businesses
Fleets are quite difficult to manage, so a fleet management process is important to ensure all vehicles and drivers are accounted for, costs are reduced, and driver productivity is boosted. The types of fleets that require management include:
- Public transport
- Emergency services
Fleet management can either be done within the business – typically assigned by the fleet manager or, in some cases, done by an external provider. A robust fleet management system helps solve issues related to transportation – like long delays, missing or misplaced shipments, inaccurate arrival times, etc.
It’s especially helpful for businesses that want to improve driving performance and increase profits while delivering unparalleled customer experiences.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Fleet Management Solution Tracking?
Fleet management tracking might not be difficult if you only manage one or two cars. But if dozens of cars need to be monitored closely, staying up-to-date on every move can become exhausting. Unfortunately, many small and medium-sized enterprises still rely on old-fashioned ways of monitoring fleets—like using spreadsheets and whiteboard markers.
These last-century tools are hard to use, inefficient, and don’t offer real-time data updates. Modern fleet management relies on fleet management software (such as Fleetr). It is user-friendly and offers extensive analytics while providing telematics from the car, which helps us gather more accurate information. Another modern way to manage fleets is through fuel cards which provide an additional layer of insight into where vehicles are at all times.
Managers have control over what drivers purchase for gas along the way; it also allows them access to detailed reports, which helps improve efficiency and boosts profits substantially.
A successful fleet management program strives to be compliant—everything a company can do to keep its vehicles safe, legal, and functional while on the road. This includes:
- Tracking and logging hours
Compliance laws vary depending on where you live; make sure you know what is required for your location before applying these measures. Safety is another important aspect of compliance, which can involve training drivers or installing dash cams in all company vehicles.
Fleet management manages big and small journeys for vehicles—from long to short. This includes keeping them in good condition to maximize uptime and take on whatever load is necessary to get the job done. A universal fleet card can help drivers pay for and keep track of vehicle maintenance and repairs so that everyone involved is confident that the assets will work properly before they’re needed.
Maintaining a fleet takes up quite a bit of money and resources. Fuel, maintenance, repairs; all these items can add up and affect your company’s budget substantially. Fuel cards are the perfect solution to this problem. With a fuel card system, drivers will know exactly how much they’re paying for gas or diesel at every stop, giving managers an accurate account of what is spent when people are away from the office. Once managers receive all their driver reports back after field trips – it’ll be easier to analyze what went well or poorly during each leg of travel and then adjust accordingly so that costly mistakes won’t reoccur.
Route Mapping and Trip Management
The fleet management department is also responsible for preparing the vehicle and the operator for whatever journey they will take- from a short to an extended one.
As we discussed, this means ensuring the vehicle is in good repair and prepared to withstand whatever loads are necessary to get things done. But it also means making sure drivers have what they need for their journey – whether that be gas money, repairs if something goes wrong, or accommodations for when fatigue sets in.
Moreover, having a universal fleet card offers an easy solution to those who need one. Since most of these cards can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, your drivers will never have a problem finding one that suits them when they need it. And the best options come with added perks such as giving you, the fleet manager, complete access to what your drivers are purchasing through their cards- making life simpler for everyone involved. This card lets you stay on top of expenses while running your fleet smoothly!
Generally, fleet managers are responsible for hiring drivers and staff members. Whether it’s the fleet manager or someone they appoint, the individuals in the fleet management department know exactly what knowledge. And skill set is required to handle vehicles safely and successfully, so they can ask questions others might not even consider when interviewing prospective employees. They are also an ideal resource to help your business find and hire quality candidates to create a team of well-matched drivers who can work together efficiently.
Fleet management is also responsible for training all drivers to abide by the standards and protocols that the business deems most important. This includes enforcing a strict safety protocol.
But it will also include teaching drivers how they are expected to conduct themselves when interacting with customers. New drivers will need instruction about what is expected of them from their superiors and how they should behave when conversing with company personnel or clients. There’s no such thing as too much knowledge regarding proper driver etiquette!
Moreover, if you have Long-time drivers in your company, you must provide refresher training on the following:
- Record keeping while on the road
- Local, state, and federal compliance
- Proper driving technique
- Risk management
- Loading and unloading
- Vehicle monitoring and maintenance while away from the base.
To ensure continued success for your business, invest in a training program that provides new hires with up-to-date information, so they are always up to date.
The fleet management department is responsible for acquiring and replacing vehicles that best serve drivers and customers. Analyzing the company’s needs, a fleet manager will determine what kind and size of commercial or fleet vehicle would best suit both parties. For example, if everyday tasks require access to specific tools and supplies that can only fit in a cargo van or pickup truck, choosing one of those options over sending technicians out in a car would be better for the business.
In some instances, a four-door sedan or minivan may suffice. If this is the case for you, know that these smaller vehicles will cost less and get better gas mileage upfront.
Conducting a thorough analysis ensures you’ll choose the best vehicle for your business and affects your bottom line in terms of initial costs, fuel expenses, registration fees, maintenance costs—and everything else down to insurance premiums. But vehicle acquisition is not just about choosing between a Sprinter and a Transit. Fleet management also needs to get the best prices for its chosen vehicles.
What Is a Universal Fleet Card in a Fleet Tracking System?
A fleet card is a method of payment that allows fleet managers to:
- Enable their drivers to pay for fuel without cash, checks, or a personal credit card.
- Control purchasing by driver and limit transactions by frequency, amount, or day.
- See purchase details for transactions with line-item details, like the grade of fuel and number of gallons.
- Monitor, manage, and control costs associated with the vehicles in the fleet.
But before signing up for just any new card they come across – it’s important to learn how these cards operate.
How Do Fleet Cards Work?
Fleet cards work differently for different people, yet they all come back to two key variables – who can use the card and where it is accepted.
In the first way of authorizing users, once you sign up for a fuel card account, your company orders a set amount based on the number of cars in the fleet (often with the car’s name or ID engraved onto it).
Drivers are then added to the fleet card provider’s portal and assigned a PIN. Most companies keep one car-specific card in each driver’s car so they can only use it when filling up their car at the pump. There are two common methods of authorizing users: one where you assign a specific card to a specific driver and another where any driver can use any card with any vehicle.
Drivers usually send an authorization request before leaving your place of business or while waiting at the pump – all it takes is a quick text message they’ll receive on their phone. This way, you don’t have to worry about having to remember personal identification numbers (PIN) for each type of fuel purchase every single time.
Where is The Card Accepted
When looking at fleet cards, you’ll notice two types—universal and restricted. Universal fleet cards allow drivers to use their vehicles at any gas station without worrying about having the right kind of card for that particular establishment. In contrast, restricted-acceptance fleet cards require drivers to be mindful about where they’re going before filling up so they don’t end up stranded.
With flexible fleet cards that allow acceptance from virtually anywhere, drivers can stop whenever and wherever they need to on their routes without having to travel out of the way to get fuel. This is a cost-saving for your company since you can fill up with gas at cheaper and more convenient locations. Choose a fleet card program that makes it easy for your employees to find convenient gas along their routes.
What Businesses Require Fleet Cards
A common misunderstanding among business owners and first-time fleet managers is that Fleet Cards are only for large businesses with 20 vehicles on the road. They would have been right in previous decades – many legacy Fleet Cards were designed specifically for larger fleets. These cards had higher interest rates, hefty late fees, minimum spending limits, and frustrating redemption goals. But in recent years?
Modern Fleet Cards now offer features that can benefit even smaller enterprises. For instance, a company might use several motorized scooters to transport meals throughout a city. They’ll reap plenty of benefits by using one of these Fleet Cards to buy gas regularly!
What Are the Benefits of a Fleet Card in a Fleet Tracking System?
Minimal Administrative Time And Expenses
Most companies operating fleets offer reimbursements to drivers and others who use company cars. This means that there’s lots of administrative work involved in getting receipts, checking odometers, and making sure people are only spending money responsibly on approved items. If someone forgets to return the receipt for a purchase or ends up with an unexpected charge on their credit card, it gets even more complicated. With a fleet card, it all shows up on one bill, making recording the expenses easier – no more mountains of paperwork!
One of the many benefits of a fleet card- especially for businesses with more than just one vehicle- is being able to itemize your expenses. For instance, you may assign a fleet card to one car, which will help you know exactly how much it costs to operate that car, regardless of who drives it. A review of this magnitude will show you key insights about the car, what kind of maintenance is needed, and if it’s time to think about replacing the vehicle.
Insight into driver activity and vehicle expenses can help you identify cost-related trends within your fleet. Itemized expense reports and advanced reporting features will give you the tools needed to see what each car needs to stay in good working order and spot patterns of how people use it. Whether they’re using it too much or not, it could affect your finances. Once you’ve identified these trends, it’ll be easier for you to take steps to encourage or discourage certain types of spending based on what you notice.
Less Stress For Drivers
Piloting a fleet vehicle is an often stressful job. You don’t want to add even more stress to the situation by restricting your options and a fleet card that does not offer universal acceptance. With the right fuel card in their pockets, your drivers will have the freedom to decide where and when it’s best to fill up instead of worrying about whether or not their vehicle will make it through to the next approved gas station. When your drivers are less stressed, they’ll be better able to focus on piloting their vehicles, maneuvering past other cars without getting lost (or worse), and reaching their destinations safely, so you can feel confident while they’re out there doing what they do best.
Advanced fleet cards come with an online management platform that makes it easy to assign rules for each card, so drivers only spend what they need on the road. Some cards allow you to assign restrictions by days of the week, time of day, or even transaction amount. Other available benefits include limiting vehicle locations and extra items such as parking and maintenance expenses, allowing your business to save money while keeping track of expenses higher than ever.
How to Choose the Best Fleet Card for Your Small Business?
Ensure its accepted everywhere
As we’ve said before, one of the best ways you can help your drivers and your business is by choosing a fleet card that accepts everywhere. This gives your drivers access to the cheapest, most convenient gas stations and truck stops on their route.
Inquire About Any Hidden Fees From the Provider
Many more common fleet cards include a long list of extraneous service fees—transaction fees, per-gallon fees, credit risk fees, and out-of-network fees. But do these hidden fees have to make up part of your vehicle payment plan? Not! Choose a fleet card without those extra charges, which will make it easier for you to track your payments and stay on top of them without worrying about late penalties.
No matter how many vehicles your fleet has, taking charge of them is important. When you sign up for a fuel card from one of the modern ones, you’ll have access to advanced online features that give you control over each driver or vehicle. Suppose you can set policies, so certain transactions don’t happen, authorize real-time payments, and mark charges as reviewable. In that case, you’re exercising just enough power to keep your company running smoothly.
When drivers remember to turn them in – collating piles of receipts can take up a large part of your day. With a fleet card, however, you’ll spend less time sorting through these pesky pieces of paper and tracking everything online instead. Thanks to some fuel card companies. You’ll automatically receive digital records of each transaction made by your drivers. This means you’ll know how much money has been spent on gas or other products sold at the pump; cut down on wasted or lost products; save yourself precious hours every week; and make managing your company’s transportation needs easier.
Ensure They Provide Excellent Customer Service
Some fleet managers overlook the customer service aspects when shopping for a fuel card and focus instead on the rewards and rebates they can earn. Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to get something back for everything you spend at the pump – some things are more important than just how much you save.
To ensure you find the right customer service just for you, consider it an investment into your business. Does it make sense to invest in this company? Or do they reap most of the benefits from this relationship? If this company offers unreliable customer service, it doesn’t matter who enters this partnership–you’re at a disadvantage either way. To tilt things more in your favor, take some time and identify which customer service team you want to work with
How Does Vehicle Tracking Affect Your Driver’s Performance?
Vehicle tracking systems improve driver performance by providing real-time information. The technology is especially useful in fleets, which can monitor and track vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, reduce crashes, and increase road safety.
Because customers expect their shipments to arrive quickly, businesses must have accurate tracking data at all times so they can dispatch drivers without delay. GPS vehicle tracking helps achieve that goal by providing crucial information about driving habits that no business owner can afford to miss.
For example, GPS monitoring shows whether your driver is speeding or obeying traffic laws. That’s why fleet owners increasingly turn to GPS fleet tracking as a reliable solution when seeking affordable fleet tracking solutions for small business owners!
What Do You Need to Know About GPS Fleet Tracking for Your Small Business?
It’s important to note that there are three key things you need to know about GPS tracking for your small business.
- First, GPS tracking is not as expensive or time-consuming as you think—several affordable solutions are available for small and large businesses.
- Second, GPS tracking can help boost your profits, providing real-time information about your fleet and helping you better predict customer demand.
- And third, there are many ways you can use your data to improve productivity and prevent accidents in your fleet. Simply put, getting started with GPS fleet tracking doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing!
What Are the Benefits of Implementing an On-Demand System for Your Business Services?
An On-Demand GPS tracking system is a great way to maximize your investments and ensure that you always keep tabs on your business vehicles. While many small business owners may be hesitant to invest in such technology, there are several reasons why an On-Demand solution could be beneficial.
For one, GPS fleet tracking systems can help reduce costs by allowing businesses to determine whether or not their vehicles are being used efficiently. Knowing where your fleet is located at any given time makes it easier to see which routes are most effective and aren’t worth taking. This allows businesses to focus their resources on areas that need them most.
Additionally, GPS tracking systems allow companies to save money by eliminating unnecessary expenses like fuel costs, vehicle maintenance fees, and more. With these savings factored into your budget each month, it becomes easier for small businesses to reach profitability goals!
What Is the Best Choice for a Low-Cost Option When Deciding on Your GPS Tracking System?
As stated above, in terms of price, it’s not always easy to find an affordable option. However, some of your choices may be geared towards choosing more costly options that are easier to use and manage. This might be a viable option if you intend to oversee and maintain your fleet of vehicles rather than hiring an outside company. GPS systems can track multiple vehicles at once and have extensive reporting functionality.
Many even allow you to monitor vehicles from anywhere, by smartphone or their website. This means it can provide 24/7 surveillance over your entire fleet, which is perfect for small business owners who need help tracking down their employees if something goes wrong with deliveries or pickups!
What Kind of ROI Can I Expect From Fleet Management Solutions?
GPS fleet management solutions
are designed to increase your fleet’s fuel efficiency, maximize vehicle uptime and streamline operational processes. But it can be difficult to determine whether they’re worth their upfront cost. Read on to learn what kind of return on investment (ROI) you can expect from your small business fleet GPS tracking systems.
What Is Geofencing And Does my Company Need It?
Geofencing is one of the best ways to secure your GPS tracking system. Geofencing lets you draw an invisible boundary around a specific area, whether that’s your place of business. You can then monitor when vehicles enter and leave those locations. This functionality makes it easier to know when an employee arrives at work or if someone has driven into an off-limit area like an empty parking lot or deserted street.
How to Choose the Right Tracking Solutions for Your Small Business?
There are many affordable solutions available if you know where to look. Before choosing your tracking software, ensure that it has at least these features so you can start tracking your fleet immediately.
GPS fleet tracking is an investment in your small business’s success. Don’t get left behind! Track when and where they travel and if they break down while they’re out, have real-time alerts sent straight to your phone so you can help them out without ever leaving work.
Contact Fleetr today at 1 (415) 651-7575 for your tracking needs!