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GPS Tracking: An Executive Summary-Who, What And Why

GPS vehicle tracking systems are a popular tool for business owners; Original equipment manufacturers from General Motors to Bobcat are including tracking systems in their vehicles. Here’s some background information to help you:

Who uses GPS tracking?

GPS tracking systems are used by businesses in the service, transportation and manufacturing industries. Businesses of all sizes, with fleets of 1 to thousands of vehicles, rely upon their tracking systems to add to their profitability.

Types of businesses using GPS tracking:

* Contractors who provide HVAC, plumbing or electrical services
* Limousine and taxi companies
* Uniform / Linen Services
* Food and Beverage Distributors
* Street Sweepers
* Pest Management Services
* Snow Plow Services
* Car Carriers
* Landscaping and Irrigation contractors
* Cable Company Contractors
* Bulk and Route Delivery
* Fuel / Oil Haulers
* Hazmat and/or Chemical Haulers
* Produce / Perishable Delivery
* Utility companies
* City, county and state motor pool fleets

What is it?

GPS tracking systems consist of a device installed in the vehicle, a central server and software for the owner to access the information.

All GPS tracking devices use data from the U.S. Government’s constellation of Global Positioning System satellites to determine a vehicle’s location, speed and direction of travel.

The tracking device transmits data from GPS satellites overhead to a central computer server via either a communications satellite or, more often, via the local cellular phone network. The vehicle data is updated every 2 – 15 minutes, depending upon the owner’s preferences and manufacturer’s settings.

The central server makes the tracking data available to the system owner through the Internet. The owner logs onto the tracking company’s secure web server and sees their vehicle data on a map and in text form. Some tracking companies make the data available for download, so the owner could archive it on their own computer.

Why do they use it?

Users of GPS tracking systems have many reasons why they’ve installed them:

1. Tracking systems reduce vehicle costs by targeting speeding employees, who waste fuel, cause excessive engine wear and ultimately, drive up insurance rates.

2. Using the system's automatic mileage reminder reduces downtime and enhances vehicle resale values by encouraging scheduled, preventative maintenance. Your tracking system will remind you when it's time to rotate tires, change oil or perform other scheduled maintenance.

3. Many insurance companies offer discounts of up to 30% for vehicles protected with tracking systems.

4. Productivity is improved by:

a. documenting long lunch hours,

b. exposing unauthorized breaks,

c. comparing driver overtime requests with system reports of driver activity,

d. logging personal vehicle use after hours or on weekends.

5. GPS tracking systems improve customer service by showing you which employee is closest to the client who just called. WOW your customers--give them precise arrival or delivery estimates, based upon the actual location of your vehicles at the moment they call.

6. Your system can tell you the exact time and date each employee reached each customer. If a customer questions when your employee arrived or left --prove it to them.

7. Is one employee more productive than another? --Check the data. Is it time to add a vehicle? --Use your system and there's no more guessing.

8. Use your system to correlate overtime performed with your employees' overtime requests. See who is putting in extra time.

9. Never make another phone call to find out where your employees say they are.

10. Simplify asset management by displaying everything on one computer screen. Make work easier for your dispatcher.

11. Tracking systems work without any input from the driver. No driver logs needed.

Purchasers of GPS vehicle tracking systems say they recover their investment in an average of six – 12 months, by both reducing expenses and improving productivity. While some users recoup their entire investment at one time by recovering a stolen vehicle, most users are repaid more gradually.

Submitted by:

Ken Sink

Ken Sink, owner of My Vehicle WatchDog, is a veteran with 20+ years of transportation experience, including fleet management of over 800 vehicles. Visit http://www.MyVehicleWatchDog.Info for more information about GPS vehicle tracking systems from Fleet Management Solutions, Networkfleet and Sprint/Nextel.





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