You might not own a giant telecommunications company, but your small business's fleet is subject to many of the same safety and tracking concerns as the big guys.
GPS fleet tracking is a relatively new technology that has revolutionized the way business owners and dispatchers keep track of their fleets. Whether you have trucks loaded with tools or company cars, tracking devices help keep you organized and reduce wasted time and wasted money.
Here's what you need to know about fleet tracking.
No Fleet Too Small
Even if your fleet is only several cars in number, it's still advantageous to install GPS fleet tracking devices. As soon as you install these devices, you instantly become more organized. Knowing the location of your fleet at all times can form the backbone of your company's informatics.
Have you ever had an employee that lallygags on assignments? Perhaps you've had a vehicle stolen. It's invaluable to know where your vehicles are at all times, even if you only have two or three company-owned cars.
You've Got Options
Your GPS devices aren't standalone — depending on your software capabilities and the connectivity of your small business, you can opt to connect them with other programs you run.
And, if you use them for tracking time out on jobs or time spent loading materials, you can create contests and incentives and recognize leaders in your fleet. Show your employees that you care about how they spend their time, and incentivize them to further develop efficient habits and best practices.
GPS tracking systems for your fleet canshave up to two hours per dayoff of your dispatching and travel needs. Without having to give verbal directions, your office workers can save time, too.
GPS tracking is like a navigation system with a log book, and that's exactly what you need. Especially if your fleet will make several stops per day, having a GPS system to send and track your drivers will tighten up your operation and decrease time spent lost and dispatching directions.
Protect Your Assets With GPS Fleet Trackers
Your fleet is probably one of the most valued — and valuable– parts of your business. It's necessary to protect your asset, and GPS fleet tracking can even have a positive impact on your insurance prices.
When you can prove that you can triangulate the location of any car or truck in your fleet, you decrease the chances of an asset getting stolen or damaged. You know what vehicle is supposed to be where and at what time, and when you observe issues they are easy to prove and recalibrate.
There's nothing better than saving money except making money, especially in today's small business climate. And you will be saving time, money, and potentially lowering your insurance premiums with GPS tracking devices in your fleet.
Outpace the Competition
Let's face it: GPS tracking and navigation systems afford you time and save you money. If you're the first business in your region and industry to have this technology, you'll have an extreme competitive advantage. This could be potentially game-changing.
But if you're one of the last people in your market to add a GPS tracker to the vehicles in your fleet, you will be way behind the curve. If efficiency, money-saving, and asset protection don't sway you, think about it from the customer's point of view.
Do they want to work with someone who charges more for services because transportation takes longer and involves more people? Or do they want to work with someone who arrives accurately and promptly — someone who can charge a more competitive rate because they're saving money by tracking their fleet with a GPS device?
Think about it. You will gain an edge over your competition and protect your bottom line.
Negotiating Your Contract
If you've decided to review some GPS fleet tracking devices and companies, make sure you have a clear idea of what the contract for use will look like.
For example, if you need to monitor your fleet in real time and show real results, you will likely be paying on the high end for your system and subscription. Watch for companies that promise crazy low rates. Read the fine print — sometimes those prices can skyrocket after a certain term of contract or use of available tracking data.
Much like a cell phone, your fleet tracking devices will be data-based. Make sure you're purchasing the type of plan that works best for your business and your tracking needs.
If you are buying on behalf of your small business, you will be able to negotiate your contract with a service provider. If the company you've chosen to work with won't budget to help align their services with your budget, use a pricing and review guide to find another firm.
GPS Fleet Tracking is Affordable
A common misconception about GPS fleet tracking devices and software is that they are prohibitively expensive. That's a myth — your business will see a return on investment quickly within weeks of purchasing and installing this type of system.
GPS trackers can be installed in cars with navigation systems and built-in computers, or you can buy them separately and have them installed. There are other options for tracking your employees, such as cell phones — but a fleet tracking system affords your workers a bit of privacy while still guaranteeing that your property is safe.
No matter which system you choose, make sure you take into account your needs. Handheld devices can be lost or stolen more easily than built-ins.
Most GPS fleet trackers have a monthly fee, as well as an initial sign-up or installation fee. To compare these devices side by side, use a reputable review site likeSideBySideReviews.
Hudson Cynar, a Harvard University alumna and the owner of three prosperous enterprises, is a distinguished business consultant, author, and writer. Her expertise spans multiple business sectors, with a particular emphasis on storage containers, commercial copiers, payroll services, and medical billing software. Dedicatedly investing thousands of hours into product and service research, Hudson crafts insightful reviews to guide entrepreneurs in making informed decisions for their businesses.