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Originally developed in the 1970’s Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology was not widely adopted until the 1990’s for a variety of reasons. Since the increase in adoption, large segments of the commercial economy have taken advantage of the benefits of GPS. This technology allows individuals and/or vehicles to be tracked to a level of accuracy within 4 meters.
Businesses are responsible for the well-being of their employees and the utilization of GPS technology provides employers with specific data on the location of their employees. Safer drivers will result in fewer accidents, lower insurance rates, and decreased liability claims. GPS allows a business to see safety concerns such as speeding and aggression.
The use of GPS technology also provides benefits in the area of cost savings and reductions. While tracking their fleets, companies can set up reports to determine engine on and idle times for each of the vehicles within the fleet. Employees who are exceeding these thresholds can be coached on how to minimize idling time and thereby reduce cost. Potential unauthorized personal use of company vehicles can also drive up fuel and maintenance costs as well as create a potential non-business related liability. GPS tracking can help manage the efficient use of all company vehicle assets. Once again this level of monitoring can reduce fuel and maintenance costs and reduce potential liabilities. The use of GPS tracking technology can also save significant amounts of money on commercial vehicle insurance. Insurance companies see theft of vehicles as a significant risk, but the installation of GPS solutions within commercial vehicles improves the odds of recovering those vehicles. When drivers are monitored, it is proven that safer driving occurs, and insurance companies are attracted to safe drivers, as it reduces their risk.
Implementation of a GPS based software solution can assist in increasing driver productivity. Utilizing GPS for the development of the most efficient route to customer locations will minimize driver time in route as well as the amount of fuel consumed by the fleet. Drivers who spend less time traveling to assignments will have increased bandwidth to perform additional tasks and therefore generate more revenue per driver for the company. Increased driver productivity across the entire company will result in a cumulative increase towards the overall productivity of the company fleet. In addition, knowing where drivers are during the course of the day allows management to reallocate resources based on driver/worker location. This not only minimizes travel time from job to job but also gets the closest worker to the client location in the least amount of time providing for a superior customer experience.
The explosion of applications supporting GPS functionality has continued to expand. The implementation of these software packages is fairly simplistic, with the solutions providers offering technical support for training and implementation. As a result, companies implementing these solutions don’t need to have internal Information Technology organizations. These software solutions can be deployed in fleets as small as 2 users or across a large enterprise organization. The user experience within GPS solutions will continue to improve, as technology continues to advance. This will encourage many more companies to implement solutions of this nature to their respective businesses, bringing enriched business processes and efficiencies, while improving the bottom lines.
The cost of deployment of off the shelf GPS solutions has dramatically decreased over the past several years. Furthermore, the positive return-on-investment associated with these solutions (through increased employee productivity, reduced fleet costs, and overall customer satisfaction) alters the economic equation for the level of increased adoption. Deployment of an off the shelf GPS solution is a way for companies to increase worker productivity, fleet utilization, and customer satisfaction. At the same time, these solutions allow for the reduction of operating costs as well as diminished potential liabilities. The development of a cost-benefit analysis in this environment is far more simplistic than it was several years ago when there were limited options available on the solutions side of the GPS equation.