The Importance of Asset Management For Your Fleet
While asset management is important for all industries, it can make or break businesses that rely on expensive pieces of equipment or vehicles to operate. Asset tracking can help simplify the management process and automate some processes that are prone to human error.
Asset management can save costs
When it comes to managing fleets, vehicles are considered one of the company’s most important assets. As such, these vehicles must be utilized properly and efficiently. With tracking technology, fleet managers can check a particular vehicle’s travel history, total travel time, and total idle time. It can help managers determine which vehicles are more in-demand, and which vehicles are not used often.
For example, if you’re running a fleet of moving vans, data from your fleet can help you determine customer demands and needs. If the data shows that your medium-sized trucks are in use almost all the time, while your small vans are underutilized, it means that most of your customer base requires a lot of space when moving items from one location to another. As such, you will make the informed decision to purchase more medium-sized vans in the future, instead of purchasing smaller vans. This input may also lead you to focus your marketing efforts so your smaller vans will see more utilization in the future.
Implement Asset Tracking flawlessly into your business
Implementing an asset tracking system into your company is more than just connecting devices to your assets. To successfully implement tracking technology as part of your asset management process, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Determine which assets require tracking – Although it’s tempting to track every single physical asset you have, purchasing trackers for every piece of equipment, machine, or vehicle owned by the company is quite expensive. When considering which assets to track, remember to prioritize those that are mobile. If you manage a fleet, vehicles are on top of your priority list. Vehicles ply routes and are usually outside company premises, which means you can’t keep an eye on them always. Equipment that is kept in the company warehouse need not be tracked unless it gets taken to various work sites regularly.
- Create standards for tracking – You can program the app to send you notifications or alerts for anything that’s out of the ordinary, but first, you have to determine what’s ordinary and what’s not. For example, what are your policies for vehicle speeding? Determine what the maximum speed for your vehicle is, and then set alarms for any vehicle going over that. The same principle applies to vehicle activity. Are you comfortable with your vehicles being idle for 10 minutes? Do 30-minute idle times worry you more? Set a standard for vehicle idle times and set alerts for that too.
- New technology means new roles – As a fleet manager, you may want to keep track of your fleet 24/7; however, even with alerts and notifications, you are allowed to take breaks and live your life. The introduction of new technology means new roles for people on the administrative side of your business. Make sure you have enough people on board who will track and manage your fleet via the app or program. You may also want to consider hiring someone who will read the data and create comprehensive reports from the tracking data you receive.
Equipment Tracking vs. GPS Vehicle Tracking: A Comparison
Because vehicles are a fleet’s most important asset, companies that manage fleets usually make use of GPS vehicle tracking technology. While both of these use GPS to track the location of important assets, GPS vehicle tracking technology, as its name suggests, includes features specific to vehicles. This tracking technology allows for more than just location tracking, it can also track certain actions and driver behavior.
Asset tracking makes use of a more simplistic technology that can apply not only to vehicles but also to pieces of equipment and machinery that are immobile or inanimate. While it may make sense to choose GPS vehicle technology over asset tracking, keep in mind that a fleet operates on more than just vehicles. Fleets usually have equipment that’s necessary for vehicle repair and maintenance. Maintenance equipment such as vehicle lifts, tow trucks, power tools, and diagnostic tools are equally important, and they also cost a lot of money.
Protecting Your Assets From Theft With Asset Tracking Technology
If your company relies heavily on physical assets like machines, equipment, and vehicles, the loss of these assets will often result in unexpected costs that can bring the entire business down. This is why companies must protect their assets at all costs. Because company assets cost a lot of money, they are often at risk of getting stolen.
Vehicles, in particular, get stolen more often, because they are easier to move compared to your equipment. With asset tracking technology, fleet managers can track the location of stolen vehicles so they can be retrieved by authorities and the culprits apprehended.
Aside from theft, another huge problem faced by fleets is vehicle tampering. Instead of taking the entire vehicle, some culprits choose to remove certain car parts or equipment found in vehicles so they can sell them later. By attaching tracking devices to important equipment and parts, they can be tracked down even if they change hands and sites frequently.
Crimes committed within company premises are also common with huge fleets. Usually, the employees tamper with vehicle equipment in an effort to doctor their work hours or deliberately disable GPS tracking technology. By comparing GPS data with employee work logs, finding the culprit becomes an easier task.
How Asset Tracking Can Help With Preventive Maintenance
Regular preventive maintenance is key when it comes to upholding the high standards of your fleet. Stellar fleet managers know that it is important to conduct regular preventive maintenance as opposed to simply repairing vehicles when they break down or get into an accident. Regular maintenance also greatly contributes to cost reduction as maintaining your vehicles costs less than having them repaired because they are damaged and their parts have been requiregiven out.
So where is the role of asset tracking in all of this? This technology not only helps you locate vehicles in real-time, but it also gives fleet managers trip history data for a set number of days, weeks, or months. With this data, managers can check which vehicles are overutilized and are constantly on the road and can recommend these vehicles for preventive maintenance.
Asset tracking technology comes in many forms, and it can come with advanced features that alert fleet managers when certain parts exhibit warning signs of damage or overuse. The device can be taught to watch out for things like extreme temperature changes, which is a sign of engine trouble. With these early warning signs, you can send a vehicle in for repair before they break down, and your company can avoid expensive repair costs and potential driver injuries due to vehicle breakdown.
The process of maintaining your vehicles is also made easier, thanks to this technology. Valuable assets related to vehicle maintenance can be fitted with trackers so it’s easy to take inventory of your maintenance equipment. There’s nothing worse than having a line of vehicles up for maintenance, but your maintenance tools are missing, or are in another work site. The ability to keep track of both vehicles and maintenance equipment gives fleet managers the power to conduct maintenance smoothly and on time.
Features of Asset Tracking Software You Should Look Out For
As stated previously, asset tracking technology can come in various forms. You can go with the most basic of devices with the sole purpose of pinging the location of your company assets. However, if your fleet is growing, your needs are growing too, and there are a lot of asset tracking features that you can take advantage of.
- Long battery lifespan – If your vehicle gets stolen, all the technology in the world can’t help you if your tracking device’s battery lifespan is short. Fleetr’s devices have a lifespan of up to 6 months, ensuring that fleet managers don’t have to worry about their tracking devices during important emergencies.
- Compact size – Asset tracking technology nowadays comes with tiny tracking devices that are not easily visible. Thieves usually look for tracking devices when stealing vehicles, so your tracking device should be inconspicuous and can fit snuggly into the corners and little nooks of your vehicle to avoid detection.
- Mobile capabilities – As a fleet manager, if you’re tracking a stolen or lost vehicle, you may not have your laptop with you always. Great asset tracking systems also have mobile capabilities so you can pinpoint the location of your devices through the use of your mobile phone.
- Real-time tracking – The purpose of asset tracking technology is to pinpoint the location of your physical assets at the exact moment. The technology is rendered useless if there’s a delay with the data relayed to the software or app.
- History tracking – Aside from the capacity to track your assets in real time, a good asset tracking app should also allow for the storage of tracking information up to a certain time. The program should save data regarding all the locations traveled to by the vehicle, and how long the vehicle stayed at that particular location.
- Regular maintenance reminders – Some asset tracking systems allow managers to set reminders, which can come in handy for vehicles that require regular, preventive maintenance. Managers can also set reminders for part replacements, certifications, and license renewals.
- Waterproof – Asset tracking devices should be durable enough to withstand the elements. With waterproofing, devices can be used outside the vehicle, resulting in stronger signal strength. It also allows for the use of tracking technology in fleets that make use of yachts and fishing boats.
While the main purpose of asset tracking is the ability to pinpoint the location of all your company’s important physical assets whenever the need arises, the technology has proven itself useful in so many ways. This technology allows you to recover stolen vehicles easily and pinpoint which vehicles are in need of preventive maintenance.
Asset tracking not only improves the quality of your company’s day-to-day operations but can also provide data that is imperative to the long-term growth of your business. With the data fleet managers can gain from location tracking, they can determine which vehicles see the most utilization, and can make important business decisions on the go.