Needless to say, tracking technicians is not possible without being able to track the vehicles they are driving to reach the customer location and back.
Outdated technology not only creates a disconnect between the teams and the customers, but also impacts the bottom line through compromised field productivity, causes compliance issues and reduces process transparency. This is why you need fleet tracking software.
What is Fleet Tracking?
Fleet tracking is an important part of fleet management. It is used to collect telematics data from the field regarding the vehicle as well as other related assets while they are on the move.
If you are wondering ‘how does fleet tracking work’, here is a brief explanation. The data is collected through GPS tracking devices attached to the asset. The software linked to the fleet tracker then sends this data to fleet managers or business owners in real-time, for them to make strategic decisions in terms of operational efficiency, cost savings, fleet maintenance and driver’s safety.
When done right, GPS fleet tracking software not only results in more streamlined operations, but also helps meet compliance requirements and increase customer satisfaction.
Who Uses Fleet Tracking Services?
Are you wondering if fleet tracking is meant for your small business? Here is a list of some of the industries that are widely using fleet tracking services.
- Cleaning and Laundry
- Construction and Earthmoving
- Electrical and Utilities
- Emergency Medical Services
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance
- Plumbing and Gas
- Data Cabling
- Rubbish Removal
- Pest Control
- Security Services
- Retail and Distribution
- Appliance Repair and Maintenance
- Elevator Services
Common Features of a Fleet Maintenance Tracking Software
GPS tracking and fleet telematics have come a long way from what it initially was. From basic to advanced features, today, fleet tracking software offers a number of features to improve Field Optimisation and take your Field Service Management to the next level.
If you are weighing your options in terms of fleet tracking software available in the market, make sure you opt for one that covers all of the basics.
Real-time Location Tracking via GPS
GPS vehicle tracking is at the heart of any fleet tracking system. This allows you to know where your assets are located or moving to at a certain point in time. Having this vital information in real-time allows Field Service Managers to send the right person at the right place in the most efficient manner.
Route Optimisation and Scheduling
Already established in the previous point, allocating the best resource to the best job is made simpler if managers have the knowledge of where a technician is on the map. This allows effective route optimisation by avoiding busy streets and sending the technician closest to the next job.
Mobile Alerts and Notifications
When it comes to increasing efficiency in the Field, a great deal depends on being posted on what’s going on while your assets are out and about. This gives managers a clear picture when the vehicle is idle, taken out during odd hours, over-speeding or simply when maintenance is due.
These real-time notifications provide room to take corrective action on the spot so managers can reduce business risks due to negligence or downtime.
Vehicle Utilisation and Driver Behaviour Monitoring
Fleet tracking systems are great at providing reports on vehicle utilisation, thereby helping with improved efficiency by maintaining the right size of the fleet. Another feature you should be considering is the ability to monitor driver’s behaviour such as average time spent on each property, over speeding, vehicle use after business hours etc. This not only improves business efficiency, but also increases accountability.
Some fleet tracking systems go a step further to allow adding proof of service using time stamped photos, e-signatures from recipients and additional notes in case the job was put on hold.
How to Keep Track of Fleet Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance involves keeping all of your vehicles in working order so service delivery does not suffer in case of downtime caused by a faulty vehicle. This also includes fuel management.
While spreadsheets and paper based forms used to be the industry norm back in the days, that is not the case anymore. Fleet maintenance tracking software today is much more advanced than when they were first introduced.
There are many ways in which you can ensure that your fleet is in the best possible shape. These include scheduled maintenance and unscheduled maintenance.
Scheduled fleet maintenance: Scheduled fleet maintenance is carried out to reduce expected vehicle breakdowns and malfunctions, reduce fuel consumption and to keep the asset running smoothly for as long as possible.
Unscheduled fleet maintenance: This type of fleet maintenance is carried out when unforeseen events take place, such as a road crash, excessive use or a fault in the machinery.
Tracking Fleet Maintenance
It’s important for fleet managers to be able to track fleet maintenance to avoid downtime. A few ways of doing this includes:
- Keeping a checklist to tick off items on priority basis and once that are on-going. This ensures that you have a record of completed as well as pending maintenance tasks.
- Another way to track fleet maintenance is to oversee the performance of drivers of your vehicles and ensure they are following the rules.
- Finally you need to get a fleet maintenance software to make the managerial process much more efficient and accurate.
GPS Fleet Tracking Benefits for Field Service Suppliers
For Field Service suppliers, their work vehicle or UTE is their ultimate source of livelihood. It takes them from one site to the next, and carries the technicians along with all the tools needed to perform a given work order.
A problem with the van means no service delivery through that particular asset until the issue is resolved. This means the profits take a direct hit along with customer satisfaction.
Hence, GPS fleet tracking, offering so many features, as mentioned above, can offer a multitude of benefits for Field Service Suppliers.
1. Protecting the Most Vital Asset
Work vehicles belonging to Field Service Suppliers are loaded with tools and a target of thieves for a very good reason. They are able to sell the stolen tools in the second-hand market and make good money out of it. Not only that, but parts from the vehicle itself can be taken out to be sold to garages or overseas.
With a GPS fleet tracker, you can be immediately notified of unusual driver behaviour such as if your vehicle is out during an odd hour, thus helping you take action instantly to protect it.
2. Higher Productivity and Efficiency with More Visibility
Being able to trace your vehicle on the map gives Field Service Suppliers more visibility into their overall daily workflow. This allows them to efficiently schedule jobs based on technicians proximity to a certain job site, avoid busy routes and provide faster customer service delivery with smarter job dispatching.
3. Technician Performance Monitoring
GPS fleet tracking and reporting is also useful for evaluating how your teams are performing in the field. Knowing if your technicians have reached the site on the time communicated to the client, how long it took them to perform a certain job, idle time, and where they are headed when they are done, can all help with technician performance monitoring.
4. Avoid Fleet Downtime with Proactive Maintenance
Fleet tracking offers a number of analytics providing insights into asset’s condition and prompting business owners to take proactive measures to reduce the downtime. Recording and reporting on asset parts help Field Service Suppliers with maintenance scheduling, optimising its performance, saving costs in downtime and repairs, and increasing productivity through preventive maintenance.
How Much Does Fleet Tracking Cost?
GPS fleet tracking services can cost up to $700 upfront and between $20-$70 per vehicle depending upon the features. Having said that, it’s not only the price tag that you should be looking for, rather the value it’s adding to your business.
Fleet tracking costs depends on numerous factors including:
- Set up and installation: This would be a one-off expense but could quickly add up based on the size of your fleet, costing your $100 or more per vehicle.
- Hardware and software: This includes the fleet tracking device such as GPS trackers, ranging between $100 – $200. Your hardware alone means nothing without being linked to a compatible fleet management software able to convert data into meaningful information, such as timely alerts. Generally, fleet tracking solutions are subscription based, costing you around $20 – 70 per month on an on-going basis.
- Features: It’s possible that you might be charged extra for advanced features such as driver behaviour or vehicle health monitoring.
- Support: Always look for fleet tracking companies that offer good after sales support and do not charge extra for this.
- Type of contract: A yearly contract might cost you less than paying monthly fee, but offer less flexibility. Always look for what best fits your needs.
work efficiently, enhance customer satisfaction and are vigilant about safety of their assets, including vehicles and drivers.
Do you think fleet tracking can help your small business?
Hot off the press!
With our cutting-edge technology and in-depth knowledge of how the Field Service Management sector operates, the i4TGlobal Team loves to share industry insights to help streamline your business processes and generate new leads. We are driven by innovation and are passionate about delivering solutions that are transparent, compliant, efficient and safe for all stakeholders and across all touch points.