Do you know where your company’s vehicles are at all times? Delivery companies, logistics businesses, taxi firms – in fact, any company that uses vehicles as part of its business – can benefit from a vehicle tracking system. If your company relies on vehicles and drivers, a fleet tracking system is likely to prove an extremely worthwhile investment that will help to cut costs and improve productivity.
Using GPS technology, a vehicle tracking system can make sure that you know exactly where each and every one of the vehicles in your fleet is at any moment in time. This means that you will be able to give customers accurate information, stay on top of individual drivers’ performances and streamline the overall management of your fleet.
Our guide gives you all of the information you need, so that you can be fully informed when it comes to getting competitive quotes for vehicle tracking systems and choosing the supplier that will suit your company’s needs the best.
Cost saving, efficiency improving and a worthwhile investment, certainly – but precisely what is vehicle tracking?
A vehicle tracking system uses GPS technology, as with satellite navigation. Each vehicle is fitted with a discreet device that transmits its exact location to a satellite which then relays this information to a computer in your office. As well as the vehicle’s location, you will be able to monitor its speed, the route covered, and the time spent at each stop.
There are two main types of tracking systems, known as passive and active. Basically, an active system allows you to see what is happening in real time, while a passive system records the relevant information so that it can be downloaded and seen at the end of the journey. See below for more detailed information about the differences between passive and active vehicle tracking systems.
There doesn’t have to be a great deal of expensive equipment involved in installing a vehicle tracking system. Each vehicle will be fitted with a GPS tracking device, and there will be an online interface or software package that is used to receive the tracking information and display it, usually in the form of data and maps on a computer screen.
With a vehicle tracking system, your company will be able to:
A business that has a fleet of vehicles, even if it is only a few cars, needs to know exactly where each and every vehicle is at any one moment in time. Not only is each vehicle a significant investment in its own right, but customers, clients and suppliers are all relying on the smooth running of your company’s fleet.
Mileage records, data about the best routes and rest stops, vehicles’ service due dates and faster dispatch times are just a few of the streamlining bonuses a vehicle tracking system can provide. Having accurate and up to date information is essential, and will make sure that your company can respond more quickly and efficiently – keeping you ahead of the competition and fully in control.
As long as you can pinpoint the precise whereabouts of each and every vehicle, you are able to give your customers accurate information about delivery times and delays. The benefits of this kind of information are enormous, particularly from a customer services point of view. Most people understand that delays with deliveries can occur, it’s being kept in the dark that is infuriating. Informing a customer of precisely what the problem is in advance, and explaining what measures your company is taking to deal with it, will greatly enhance your company’s reputation for customer service.
Knowing where each vehicle is at all times means that you can know if a vehicle is being used off-hours or in unusual circumstances. It also means that you will be able to trace a stolen vehicle with ease. The knock-on effect of this is that you are likely to get lower insurance premiums – just one of the many ways a vehicle tracking system can save your business money.
With the data gathered from a vehicle tracking system, you will be able to analyse the best, and fastest, routes for your drivers. This will result in your company being better able to meet customers’ needs and improved efficiency, plus lower mileage and therefore lower fuel costs. It also means that your drivers will be able to complete more jobs in a day, making them more productive.
A good driver will always choose the quickest route, and a vehicle tracking system is able to help both the company and the drivers understand what those routes are. Knowing where each driver is, and what they are doing, at all times, helps you to know which drivers are the most productive and efficient. It also means that drivers know that you are aware of their situation if any problems arise, and you will be better able to help them navigate an alternative route, or deal with a change of plan.
By knowing and using the shortest routes, and being able to deal with delays and other problems as and when they arise, your company can save considerable amounts of time and money. As well as spending less on fuel, and possibly insurance premiums, it is likely that your company will be able to increase the productivity of drivers and improve on the overall efficiency of the fleet. Sales teams, warehouse staff and customer service departments are just a few parts of a business that benefit from a smooth-running fleet.
Any company that uses vehicles as an integral part of its business can benefit from having a vehicle tracking system installed. Small businesses with one or two vehicles can see significant improvements in their response times and general quickness resulting in improved productivity and more contracts. The same is true of larger organisations who also benefit from being able to manage and oversee a large number of vehicles at the same time. The route, mileage and performance data that a vehicle tracking system is able to provide is an invaluable resource for any company that wants to cut costs and improve efficiency.
The installation of a vehicle tracking system is a straightforward process, that doesn’t require any major alterations to vehicles. A small transmitter device is attached to the vehicle somewhere it will not get in the way. The installation of the transmitter will usually be done by the supplier, arranged at a time that is convenient for you.
The drivers don’t have to do anything, and nor will they need to turn the transmitter on and off when they start and finish journeys; it will always be automatic with an active tracking system.
In the case of an active system, the information the device transmits will then be sent via satellite to your company’s base. This information can be accessed either online via a dedicated web interface, or with software that has been downloaded onto your company’s computers. It is very likely that the supplier will be able to provide any necessary training for using the interface/software, so the storage and management of data will be easy to manage and compliant with the latest regulations in terms of data privacy when tracking vehicles. Increasingly, this information is also accessible via smart phones and tablet devices.
Service contracts and monitoring packages are usually offered by good vehicle tracking suppliers, so that you can be sure your package will continue to work effectively for as long as the contract.
Also known as Log Tracking, this is the cheapest of the two types of tracking system. These systems save and record data that can be downloaded at the end of the journey to be analysed. This system works well for businesses that don’t need real-time tracking, but can still benefit from having an accurate record of journeys taken.
Sometimes referred to as Live GPS Tracking, this is a real-time tracking system that sends live information directly from the vehicle to the base via a satellite, in most cases it is updated every few seconds. Any company that needs to be able to respond quickly to road conditions, and keep customers informed of any changes to delivery times can benefit enormously from an active tracking system. Due to the ongoing operating costs of this kind of system, it is more expensive than passive vehicle tracking.
Costs can vary considerably according to the type of system being installed, the number of vehicles to be tracked and the nature of the service contract. The equipment itself is not all that expensive, and the more vehicles that require a device, the cheaper each individual device will become. If your company has a large fleet and willing to take a long-term lease, it is possible that your company will be able to run a vehicle tracking system for as little as 50p per day, per vehicle.
Different suppliers will offer different types of contract, including pay as you go, short-term contracts and long-term leases. By getting more than one quote for vehicle tracking systems, you will be able to find the most competitive and suitable supplier for your company.