Ask a business person about his biggest capital expenditures. Facilities, raw materials and equipment will easily top the list. Keeping track of company vehicles can be a frustrating task, because the business owner is usually in the shop, while the company cars, trucks and vans are in the field. Much time and labor is dedicated to keep drivers moving efficiently.
A key solution to mobile asset management is to utilize GPS tracking technology. With these systems in place, countless businesses have cut costs, boosted workforce morale and pleased customers with their timely service.
In the early to mid-1990s, GPS tracking units first appeared in the market for business use. Large companies were the first to embrace mobile asset management technology. At that time, such systems were too pricey for small and medium-sized businesses. Upper management at even the largest of corporations thought long and hard about mobile asset management systems because one of the most important rules of business success is Return on Investment (ROI).
Fortunately, before the decade passed, vehicle tracking systems became much smaller, more sophisticated and with that, more cost-effective. Today businesses of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, the Mom and Pop flower shop and the independent salesman, use mobile asset management to be more aggressive, more competitive and make more money.
Two Types of Vehicle Tracking:
Managers no longer have to guess where their mobile assets are located, or wait and hope for their drivers to call in a progress report. The GPS satellite system in space sends signals to a receiver in the vehicle. Not only do GPS tracking systems report where that vehicle is from moment to moment, they also note direction, mileage and speed. The addresses of stops are also available.
Vehicle tracking systems incorporate either passive or active, also known as real-time technologies. In the case of passive units, GPS tracking data is recorded on the device itself and the viewer downloads it to PC once the vehicle reports back to home base. Active vehicle tracking devices combine satellite GPS tracking with a cellular communications system. The GPS tracking location data is captured by the receiver in the vehicle, then it is transmitted through a wireless network to be viewed on a remote computer, and increasingly, on a cell phone with Internet capability. The user can watch the vehicle as it progresses on its route.
Both active and passive vehicle tracking systems are used by businesses for mobile asset management. They help a company run â€œleaner.â€ Each system has unique benefits and manufacturers are regularly introducing new GPS tracking applications.
How Passive Vehicle Tracking Aids Mobile Asset Management
Passive GPS tracking systems help managers route drivers and schedule stops. They can reduce the overlap or repetition of trips and control downtime. Drivers can be monitored for doing personal errands on work time, or exceeding their daily driving limits. Human errors and mechanical failures can be avoided. Passive vehicle tracking systems are an accurate and dependable method of mobile asset management. At one time, a long-haul trucker would have to keep a hand-written record of his mileage and deliveries. A passive GPS tracking system gives a much more accurate accounting of the same information. The reports can be used for financial audits, tax preparation, payroll and billing. A GPS tracking report can save much time and labor when calculating profit margins and preparing budgets.
Vehicle tracking reports are valuable in the garage as well as the front office. Trucking companies, car rental agencies, taxi firms and other businesses with large fleets use passive GPS tracking to calculate when vehicles require preventative maintenance. Rotating tires, changing oil, checking belts and doing other tasks on a regular basis extend a vehicle's life.
Because passive GPS tracking devices report speeding and other poor driving habits, business owners could try to get drivers to correct those habits and therefore lower insurance rates.
How Active Vehicle Tracking Aids Mobile Asset Management
Active or real-time GPS tracking systems have an undeniable benefit to the business owner: recovering stolen vehicles. Mobile asset management with active vehicle tracking greatly reduces the chances of vehicle theft. Many insurance companies offer lower rates when such systems are installed.
Multiple vehicles can be viewed at the same time on the map on computer, so dispatchers are able to assign service calls to the nearest driver and be more accurate with delivery times. With active GPS tracking, any vehicle that strays from its route can be reassigned, with a minimum reduction in service. When the delivery of products and services is streamlined, both customer satisfaction and worker productivity can be increased.
Any distributor of active and passive GPS tracking systems should have success stories to tell, when the technology is being used for mobile asset management. LandAirSea Systems, a leader in the industry since 1994, has several clients in this category.
Natural gas utility company SEMCO Energy uses active GPS tracking technology for its mobile asset management. The company has about 250,000 gas customers in the state of Michigan. Its vehicle tracking system is used to route logistics drivers to suppliers and customers; and the company monitors employees in real time as they go about their repairs and deliveries.
Wholesale distributor of beer and ale American Eagle Distributing Company chose a passive GPS tracking system. The Loveland, CO company uses vehicle tracking to document when deliveries were made and to make sure their drivers are working at optimum efficiency.
The proper GPS tracking system can help businesses of any size save money. Company vehicles are a big-ticket item. Mobile Asset Management allows a business owner to monitor his field vehicles at any time, even when they are separated by a distance.