Fleet Tracking

Fleet Tracking

Fleet tracking can be defined as tracking a fleet of vehicles in real-time using GPS technology, which helps assign the right job to the right vehicle in the right location at the right time.

Knowing where your fleet of vehicles are, where they have been, and where they should be allows a business to reap the maximum benefits of the resources available at a given time, ultimately improving the response to growing customer demands, saving energy and time; the correct mix for a greener business.

Fleet Management

Management of a company's vehicle fleet is undoubtedly a major part of mobile resource management. In March of 2008, the Aberdeen Group published a study on how fleet management impacts both small and large businesses. In this report, entitled "Improving Productivity and Profitability through Service Fleet Management" [http://www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/sector_insights/5006-SI-service-fleets-gps.asp http://www.aberdeen.com/summary/report/sector_insights/5006-SI-service-fleets-gps.asp] ] businesses were grouped together based on the size of their fleet:

* 1 to 10 were characterized as small

* 11 to 50 as medium small

* 51 to 250 as medium

* 251 to 1000 as medium large

* More than 1000 as large

The report also measured the pressures that businesses cited as reasons they desired to increase their efficiency with fleet tracking technology. Of the reasons mentioned by small fleets, a desire to improve the customer experience through improved response times was listed by 73% of the participants and was by far the leading response.

Other reasons businesses cited for wishing to implement some form of GPS vehicle tracking technology were:

* Reduce service response times (57%)

* Reduce fleet related operating costs (46%)

* Increase service related productivity (41%)

* Extend life of service vehicles (16%)

Applications of commercial vehicle tracking solutions in the fields of transport, logistics, haulage and multi-drop delivery environments can include optimised fleet utilisation, real-time operational enhancements and dynamically remote-managed fleets. Fleet tracking is scalable by design and interfaces with the logistics industry’s leading back-office systems [http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ABOUT_main_page http://www.nasonline.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ABOUT_main_page] ] .

With rising fuel costs, retailers are smart-routing to avoid traffic jams, either by combining deliveries, improving fleets or reconfiguring routes. This is to maximise the number of deliveries while minimising time and distance. It has been found that even restricting the number of left hand turns can improve on time, efficiency and energy savings [Phil Smith, vice-president, Cisco Systems Phil Smith, vice-president, Cisco Systems] ] .

Fuel Economy

Fleet managers and drivers in companies, both large and small, have realized an average savings of nearly 25 percent in reduced ‘downtime costs’ due to maintenance management programmes using a GPS fleet management solution [http://gpsfleetmanagement.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/reducing-fleet-soft-costs-with-gps-tracking-can-save-you-big-money/ http://gpsfleetmanagement.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/reducing-fleet-soft-costs-with-gps-tracking-can-save-you-big-money/] ] .

A company with a fleet of 20 vehicles (medium small business) can typically have one vehicle out of service for unscheduled repairs at least twice every month at an average cost of £ 419 a day (the cost may vary according to industry). A simple 25% reduction in this unscheduled soft cost can result in an annual savings of nearly £ 2, 514 based on the following formula:

Cost:: £419 x 2 days = £ 838 per month: £838 x 12 months = £ 10,056 per year Savings:: 25% savings x £10, 056 (year) = £ 2,514 per year

Dearer oil is increasing costs for many businesses, particularly those with large fleets of vehicles and is adding a powerful financial impetus to the search for fuel efficiencies. Implementing real-time vehicle tracking as part of a commercial company’s mobile resource management policy is essential for comprehensive operational control, remote driver security and fuel savings [The Financial Times Limited 2008 The Financial Times Limited 2008] ] .

Reduction in Carbon Emissions

An example of how the technology of fleet tracking has a significant role to play in both a measurable reduction in fuel consumption and clear environmental benefits by the reduction in carbon emissions is Interserve, a engineering and support services company, who have both saved 15 per cent of its fuel costs and seen a drop in CO² by tracking its vehicles with satellites [http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto062320081336386388&page=2 http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto062320081336386388&page=2] ] .

Interserve is using an advanced vehicle tracking system. It works over a web browser and reports vehicle locations every 20 seconds. It also displays mileage information, live traffic information and exception reporting. According to Mark Stimpson, the commercial director for Interserve, fuel bills were estimated to be cut between 10 and 20 per cent.

Using GPS vehicle tracking technology and viewing interactive maps online enabled the company to see where it was losing money, time and wasting fuel (such as on duplicated journeys).

Case study

In the Autumn of 2008, a winter maintenance tracking solution will be supplied on the Highways Agency's new winter service fleet which is responsible for keeping all England's motorway and major A roads free from snow and ice in winter.

The Highways Agency will be able to monitor route treatment progress in real-time and provide customers with more reliable information on road conditions. The telematics system gives the contractors the ability to monitor location-based information, monitor planned versus actual activity, to react to problems and to be confident that roads have been adequately treated. The system also records whether the vehicles are spreading, the rate of and pattern of spreading, width and lane position, and ploughing [http://www.cybit.co.uk/default.asp?contentID=683 http://www.cybit.co.uk/default.asp?contentID=683] ] .

Tracking and the Law

In some countries, there are legal concerns over using tracking technology. In the UK, for example, the law stipulates that companies must tell drivers if they use telematics to monitor vehicles for anything other than asset tracking [http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032426.htm http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032426.htm] ] .

Future Growth

The current worldwide market for fleet tracking powered by Global Positioning Systems (GPS) receiver technology is estimated at more than £1 billion and is expected to grow to more than £15 billion during the next 10 years.


External sites

[http://www.cybit.co.uk/real-time-vehicle-tracking.html Vehicle tracking solutions]

[http://www.amatics.com/default.asp?contentID=668 Fleet tracking solutions]

[http://www.highways.gov.uk Highways Agency]

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