HPAC Magazine

Fleet Tracking: A Boost To Mobile Intelligence

December 1, 2013   By RYAN DRISCOLL

Global Positioning System (GPS) fleet tracking is the technology that allows business owners and fleet managers to use location intelligence to improve fleet operations. It is designed to make businesses with mobile assets more effective and efficient, while cutting costs associated with fleet management.

A GPS fleet tracking device uses GPS satellites to determine the precise location of a vehicle, piece of equipment, or other asset to which it is attached, and to record its position at regular intervals. In most cases, the device transmits its location over a cellular network to a GPS tracking company’s servers, which is then displayed within the GPS tracking software platform.

Customers can see their vehicles and assets on a map in real-time and the location data is analyzed and interpreted by the GPS tracking company to provide actionable information for fleet managers to use.

Up until recently the vast majority of mechanical contracting businesses have had limited knowledge as to what really goes on once a company-owned service vehicle leaves the yard for the day. In some cases, this lack of knowledge has led to fuel waste, less productive technicians, higher than necessary accident rates, maintenance issues, weaker customer service, and theft vulnerability.

TECHNOLOGY AT WORK

The emergence of commercial GPS fleet tracking has changed the game as far as mobile business intelligence is concerned. Businesses use the technology to monitor fleets, cut costs, and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

A typical mechanical contracting company can use GPS fleet tracking in a number of ways:

Reduce fuel costs by eliminating wasteful idling, speeding, unauthorized vehicle usage, and fuel card fraud.

Improve fleet-wide productivity by monitoring time onsite and knowing where technicians are located at all times.

Decrease labour costs and overtime hours by comparing GPS reports to time cards and knowing of any padded hours or fraudulent hours reported.

Improve overall safety by actively monitoring driver behaviour with proactive alerts and deailed reports. This will ensure the safety ofyour employees and the public.

Extend vehicle life cycles by scheduling all maintenance within the GPS tracking software and setting up service reminders to let management know when a vehicle is due for maintenance. This way routine maintenance is not overlooked.

Enhance customer service by using efficient dispatching features for quicker response time, providing accurate ETAs and the ability to verify job completion.

Ensure quick theft recovery by being alerted when a vehicle is moving when or where it should not be and reporting its current location to officials.

REFINING CUSTOMER SERVICE

There is no question that there is a direct correlation between customer service quality and revenue. So, every HVAC business should be focused on finding ways to improve upon it.

GPS tracking gives businesses the opportunity to serve more customers on a daily basis, as well as monitor and coach employees about expectations and driver behaviour.

GPS fleet tracking software will give a company the chance to be proactive instead of reactive. When drivers are running late, dispatchers or customer service teams will know and can call the customer to notify them. When a driver or technician is within a mile of the customer location, an automated text message or email can be sent to them, letting them know the tech is close.

GPS fleet tracking is a powerful technology that has changed fleet management. It is no longer “a nice to have,” it is an essential tool.  <>

Ryan Driscoll is marketing director with GPS Insight

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