If your business operates using a fleet of vehicles, you will undoubtedly want to get the most from that fleet. This can be difficult to do unless you have access to all the pertinent information.
Vehicle tracking gives you the access you need. This can provide you with data on fuel usage, routes taken, time taken and numerous other areas. If you have a large fleet of cars or vans, it could provide significant information to use for cost savings.
There are a number of companies around today that provide fleet management vehicle tracking services. Many companies, such as Fleetmatics for example, provide a number of different options you can choose from. This gives you the opportunity to consider what you want to get out of vehicle tracking before choosing the most appropriate company for your needs.
While you can opt for a passive system that enables you to access the data when the vehicles return to your business premises, larger fleets typically benefit more readily from an active tracking system. This enables you to access real-time data so you know where each of your vehicles is at any one time.
Some options also have automated reporting facilities. This might be worthwhile if you want to make vehicle tracking as easy to understand as possible. Road Angel Fleet offers this service in their Fleet Monitor option.
If you do some research and have a look round online, you’ll see pricing starts from around £7.49 per month. You will normally have to get in touch with each specific company to find out more about their particular offering and how much it will cost you. Very few companies will put their prices on their websites because they want you to get in touch.
In addition, the cost of fleet management vehicle tracking will depend on how many vehicles you want to cover and whether or not you sign a contract. Sometimes the deals are very much like mobile phones, where you opt for the length of contract and get cheaper deals for longer lengths of time.
To give you one example, one company (Fleetsmart) is offering a no-contract tracking deal for £19.95 per month with an additional £65 to cover installation and hardware. This is for one vehicle; the cost will increase with every additional vehicle you want to track. The monthly cost drops to £9.95 if you opt for the longest contract, which runs for 60 months. Choose any contract length and installation and hardware is provided free of charge.
Other companies, such as Road Angel Fleet and Fleetmatics, do not provide prices on their websites. You would have to get in touch with them directly or ask for a quote on their site if you wanted to learn more.
Obviously the costs will be higher if you have a larger fleet to cover. In some cases you may be better off choosing a bespoke option that will enable you to get an all-in price for however many vehicles you have.
You also have to consider what you are getting for your money. It is very easy to become so focused on pricing you neglect to think about anything else. However, by comparing different packages and pricing options you can see how far your cash is going in each case. It may well be worth investing in a more expensive package so you can have more reports, more information and more in-depth ways to monitor and track your vehicles.
One of the biggest costs involved in operating a fleet of vehicles is fuel. By installing vehicle tracking in every fleet vehicle, you can more accurately see where your vehicles are throughout each day. This can help you work out better routes and reduce the overall amount of mileage that is completed each day. This also leads to an opportunity to reduce any unnecessary overtime that might be piling up through inefficient use of your work vehicles.
Productivity then becomes easier to maximise as well. You can make sure your vehicles and drivers are used to the best effect on a daily basis. For example, you might realise by looking at some of the reports that you are not using the best routes. By assessing which vehicles are where and how to put more efficient routes into play, you can make every vehicle and driver far more productive in the long run.
You may also find your insurance costs go down. Many insurance companies approve of vehicle tracking being used in business vehicles. This is because it is easier to track vehicles and recover them if they are stolen. It also provides real-time data (assuming you go for active tracking) that reveals information about the speed and route each vehicle is going.
Other less obvious issues such as maintenance can also be made easier by having this system in place. The more vehicles you have, the more maintenance tasks will need to be done. If you have the ability to better plan your workload, you can assess which vehicles will need to be off the road at any one time.
As you can imagine, the amount of data you can glean from the tracking system makes it much easier to maximise the efficiency of your vehicles and your business as a whole. It becomes easier to reduce overtime, get the right number of employees working for you and to serve your customers better as well. This is why so many parcel delivery companies now use active tracking, so customers can see where their parcel is at any one time.
It can be challenging to work out how useful vehicle tracking can be for your fleet of vehicles. However once it is in place you may wonder how you ever managed without it. The benefits should always outweigh the amount of money you pay for the service – especially when you consider the savings.