A few decades ago, fleet managers had to call drivers at intervals after dispatch. It was the only way to know how far they were with their journey. If the driver decided not to follow the route plan, you wouldn’t know.
Today, all that has changed. With GPS technology, it is much easier to manage a fleet. You only need to invest in commercial GPS trackers. And you can tell where the car is at any given time.
Companies no longer have to spend a lot of money on phone bills while following up on drivers. A fleet manager sits in front of a computer to see what is happening on the field. If it’s a delivery vehicle, the company can let clients know where their consignments are, at any time.
Buying commercial GPS trackers is not as straightforward as you’d expect. These gadgets are many in the market. You have to wade through a heap of brands before you find the perfect fit for your fleet.
In this buying guide, we will cover the factors that you need to consider when buying a commercial GPS. But before we delve into that, let us explore the benefits of business GPS.
Benefits Of Business GPS
When managing a mobile workforce, fuel economy is on top of your priority list. Fleet tracking can help you reduce your fuel cost significantly. Some of the habits that increase fuel consumption include;
- Aggressive driving
- Using pricy grades gasoline
Fleet tracking helps to address these issues by monitoring your drivers and vehicles in real-time. The feedback from a business GPS can help you streamline your operations and reduce wastage. GPS will let you know when the vehicle is idling, you can request the driver to turn it off.
Commercial GPS helps to reduce risk and liability. You can use it to monitor reckless reckless driving in real-time and stop it. A crash with several injuries can cost your company up to $70,000. Intercepting the problems before it leads to losses is a plus for your business.
Fleet tracking GPS is instrumental in increasing driver accountability. An employee driving one of your company vehicles will exercise maximum caution.
The drivers are aware that the company is monitoring their movement. And this gives them an incentive to drive responsibly.
GPS Fleet tracking solutions play an integral role in rewarding your employees. You can give the most disciplined drivers bonuses. The objective is to motivate your workforce to drive carefully on the road and help the company save money.
The use of commercial GPS helps you to increase efficiency at the office. You can integrate your GPS with other management systems. Employees no longer have to spend more time switching between platforms to get pertinent information.
Today, customers are more impatient. They expect accurate information and fast service delivery. GPS tracking allows you to give clients the information they need in real-time.
For example, an oil & transportation company needs to keep the client updated in case of delays. If the client asks how much more time the delivery we take, you need to provide accurate information. This helps to build solid customer relationships.
Types of GPS
There are numerous types of Vehicle GPS trackers that you can buy. In this section of the commercial business GPS buying guide, we will list several of them.
Passive GPS Tracking Gadgets
Passive GPS trackers are also referred to as loggers. These gadgets work like any other GPS tracking device. The only difference is that they will not send the real-time location of the vehicle.
Instead, passive GPS trackers store the information in their hard drives. If the need arises, you can the tracker and retrieve the information.
Passive GPS trackers are not difficult to install. You place the device on a vehicle. When you want to check where the car has been, you take it out and plug it into your computer.
Real-time GPS Tracking Devices
A real-time GPS tracking device is more hands-on. It lets you know the location of your vehicle at all times. Its installation process is straightforward.
The technicians plug it in one of the vehicle’s ports. You need to subscribe to a monthly, quarterly, or year-long service. The service provider sends frequent alerts of the whereabouts of your vehicle. You can receive this information on your phone or computer.
What to Consider When Purchasing Commercial GPS
With so many GPS manufacturers in the market, it is paramount that you shop carefully to avoid getting a raw deal. Here are some important factors that you should consider when purchasing a commercial GPS.
You want a fleet tracking system that’s within your company’s budget. For this reason, you have to consider the price of the equipment and the cost of a subscription.
For a seasonal business, you cannot afford to get in a year-long subscription. You need a flexible business GPS that you will only pay for for the months you will use it.
With the advancement of technology, cyber security threats have become an issue. If an authorized third party accessed your fleet GPS tracking operators, then your business could be at risk. Such people will monitor the movement of vehicles and sabotage your operations.
The first aspect of a great business GPS is security. Ask the seller whether the software supports SSL encryption. The goal is to keep all intruders at bay.
You do not want hackers accessing valuable company information. This may put your drivers and company equipment at risk.
When handling company logistics, a lot of things go hand in hand. Integrating a commercial GPS with other company systems is extremely important. Consider a fleet GPS tracker that is compatible with your payroll and billing systems.
Sharing data across various company systems reduces human errors in your records and the workload for your team.
A mobile app is another integration point that you should think about. Fleet tracking GPS can be linked-to android or IOS phones. This will allow you to receive alerts about the whereabouts of your vehicles from any location.
Your small business has growth prospects. And as you invest in commercial GPS, you want a platform that will grow with your enterprise. Ensure that the application you are interested in can also accommodate a larger fleet.
GPS Tracking Or Fleet Automation
GPS tracking is enough if you want to only locate your fleet. But if you are trying to automate your fleet management system. GPS tracking alone will not do it.
You may have to invest in a fully-fledged fleet automation system. Identify your need before purchasing buying a commercial GPS.
Features of The GPS Tracker
Before you invest in commercial GPS, you have an idea of what you want it to accomplish for you. The question to ask is, does it have all the features that you need?
If a commercial GPS misses a crucial feature, it automatically affects your ROI. And you might have to find other ways to make up for it.
The features you should look out for include;
- Fuel economy tracking
- Wireless dispatching
- Segmented alerts
If you are in the oil & gas transport or car rental business, you will want to watch how you use fuel. The fuel tracking feature captures data on the speed of the vehicle, the number of turns it takes per mile and the use of brakes.
You can check the amount of fuel every driver used on the GPS. And put in place measures to reduce fuel consumption.
Ensure that the GPS you buy sends alerts to the office when a driver over speeds. Such a feature helps you to set safety standards for your employees.
The bottom line is that you should consider a commercial GPS with multiple useful features. Each one of them should add value to your daily business operations.
The Geo-fence is another invaluable fleet tracking tool you want to consider. It alerts your management if anyone drives a company car unauthorized or during after-work hours.
Geo-fences are mapping features that draw lines in job sites. If a vehicle goes past these lines, the GPS sends a notification. With this feature, employees cannot use company assets for personal reasons or side jobs.
Before settling on a particular commercial GPS, take time to do some research. You can start by reading reviews online.
Make sure that the reviews you are looking at are unbiased. Reviews pack a lot of information about a product of interest. You will come across many opinions of fleet tracking GPS.
Based on the feedback, it will be much easier to make an informed business decision. Remember to put the needs of your company first, even scour the internet for information.
Ease Of Use
Simplicity is one of the most important aspects of a fleet GPS. As you go to the market, be prepared to come across multiple complex GPS trackers. These systems have many features and data collection points.
Think about the person who is going to operate the GPS. If you are having a hard time operating a particular type of GPS, the personnel manning it may experience the same. Consider purchasing a user-friendly business GPS.
Users should not spend hours learning how to use your commercial GPS. If it requires you to employ someone with special technical skills to operate it, then it probably isn’t the right choice.
Vehicle Position Update Sequences
The other factor you want to consider is the update the GPS sends in a certain period. Receiving an overwhelming number of updates within a few minutes can be chaotic. It will confuse both the operator and the drivers on the road.
Also, vehicle position updates should not be too much apart. If it takes hours to let you know where the vehicle is, it may not be solving your problems. You will continue to incur other costs by calling your drivers frequently.
Standard commercial GPS sends alerts every 120 seconds when a vehicle is moving. If the vehicle is not in motion, you receive an update every hour.
GPS devices will require servicing and repairs from time to time. You need to know if the seller provides maintenance services. If you can buy directly from the manufacture, you will have more advantages.
Different fleet tracking GPS operate slightly differently. Some will need your operators to stay logged in for alerts. However, others send automatic updates through text messages or Qualcomm.
Your managers may not have time to print all reports at the close of the day. Invest in a GPS tracker that generates reports automatically. You don’t have to be in the office to receive reports.
A good GPS tracker should provide useful information at reasonable intervals. Its report scheduling should be ideal for your business hours.
Reliable Customer Support
Most companies are financially overstretched. Hiring customer support for their fleet tracking service is an extra cost. Unfortunately, will experience some technical hitches with your GPS equipment
If the seller says the GPS equipment comes with self-troubleshooting features, you are at a disadvantage. System failure will mean that you are in trouble. Your business operations will suffer.
Make sure the seller provides reliable customer service. Should you have a reason to call them, they will be keen to get you out of the problem promptly.
GPS tracking companies will charge you a monthly fee. Their contracts may stifle your business in one way or another. If you sign a long-term contract, the level of service you receive may keep reducing.
The company no longer has a reason to keep providing top-notch services. After all, you are stuck with them for a long time. Always work with sellers who are not trying to tie you down in long contracts.
Buy A Business GPS Today
If you’ve read this commercial GPS buying guide carefully. You are now ready to buy one for your company. Do not hesitate to contact us for the best fleet tracking, vehicle tracking, personal tracking, or dash camera solutions.