What Are Common Features of GPS Fleet Trackers On the Market Today?
If you’re looking into a getting a GPS tracking system for your fleet or you’re considering an upgrade, it’s important to know what features are available and whether they’ll suit your unique needs.
The technology is constantly changing and advancing, so missing out on an essential feature can put you behind the eight ball—not to mention your competition—for months, if not years.
It can also cause you come up short when it comes to delivering the best possible service and products to your customers, so let’s cover what you need to know, with an eye on getting up to speed and then ahead of the curve.
Get the Best Tracking
The tracking function is the heart of any good GPS fleet product, of course. It should give you instant updates, along with precise maps that are easy to read.
Be careful when you go to evaluate those “instant” updates, however. Some companies take shortcuts by expanding the update time by 2-3 minutes, and that kind of shortcut can be costly, especially over time.
You need to know where your vehicles are as quickly as possible, especially if there are issues like storms or possible theft involved, so make sure you find out how quickly those updates are being made, right down to the last second.
Make sure they’re comprehensive, too. You can get information about specific driving issues, changes in traffic and weather conditions, etc., so check your wish list against what the product provides and make sure you’re getting everything you need.
Every good GPS tracking system will also provide notifications and alerts and getting them in real time is important.
But just getting them in a timely fashion isn’t the only thing that matters. The best packages have alerts that can be customized in all kinds of ways, so once again it’s important to make sure you can get the kind of customized alerts you need to run your business effectively.
To get an idea of how this can work, let’s look at an example. Maybe you’re having an issue with erratic driving, and you want to focus on specific members of your fleet.
There’s a tracking feature for this, and it can give you alerts about things like speeding, diverting from planned routes, and so on.
Now let’s look at a more positive example. One of the biggest problems in the fleet management industry as a whole is extensive idling time, which wastes and enormous amount of costly fuel.
Your tracking software can give you notifications about excessive idling if you customize them for that possibility. Simply set a time window and you’ll get a notification, which will allow you to address the problem comprehensively across your fleet.
Other kinds of customizable alerts are possible, too. You can set them to notify you about vehicle movement during odd hours, e.g., if something happens to a vehicle while it’s parked overnight.
This is a great way to prevent theft, and you can also get customized alerts about various aspects of vehicle maintenance, e.g., when you need an oil change, tire rotation, etc.
Vehicle Maintenance Scheduling
When it comes to vehicle maintenance, though, you can also get more than notifications about when different procedures are necessary.
Tracking software with scheduling capabilities can help you figure out which vehicles should be in the shop for what procedure, and if you know that you’ll also be aware of where your replacement and substitute vehicles need to be when a specific vehicle is going to be out for a period of time.
They can also give you information about the warranties and repairs. That way you’ll know what’s being covered versus what your out-of-pocket expenses will be, and that will help your fleet operation as a whole become more efficient.
Route tracking is a basic function of all good GPS tracking software, but many fleet managers don’t realize how extensive the capabilities are.
So let’s get specific. The software behind route optimization has advanced to the point where it can give you information about both weather and road conditions, which will allow you to reroute your vehicles on the fly.
That same part of the feature set is also useful over time. Once you start to use it you’ll get a better idea of what traffic patterns are, not to mention which vehicles and drivers are the fastest and most efficient when it comes to getting to different jobs on time. That means you can do more optimization, which will increase both cost savings and overall efficiency.
Measuring Vehicle Utilization
Now, let’s talk about vehicle utilization. Fleet managers almost always have plenty of data to use when it comes to analyzing their vehicle performance, but it’s much more important to have the right data.
This is particularly important when it comes to a shared-service operation—i.e., multiple drivers on the road being directed to different jobs on the fly in real time—and today’s fleet tracking software simplifies that process immensely.
It also provides information about your vehicles as assets. You can examine which ones are performing the best, which in turn allows decisions about replacing the ones that aren’t performing as well and improving fleet efficiency as a whole.
Make Your Drivers Better
Driver performance is a critical element of fleet management, and fleet tracking software can take this to a new level.
It can give you insights about specific issues like excessive idling or erratic driving, and you can use that information to help drivers improve by giving them performance-related bonuses.
You can also use it to cover the basics like when your drivers are clocking in and out, and you can examine that information in more detail to see if it lines up with your labor costs and job efficiency. It’s an essential feature that will enhance your bottom line, so make sure you get it and use the full capabilities it provides.
How to Evaluate the Feature Set
If you’re a fleet manager and you need help evaluating the feature set you’re considering in your fleet management software, we can definitely give you some great information and answer any questions you might have.
Call us at 415-651-7575 to get the process started, and you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our site, www.fleetr.com to find the information you need.