Pulling Off GPS: What You Need to Know
If you're like most, you are constantly looking for ways to better your situation through technology. One of the most common and useful ways to do this is through GPS solutions. For years, schools and businesses have been looking to GPS to provide cost savings, improve operational efficiencies, and increase driver and passenger safety.
Adopting a new technology can be frightening, though. How difficult will it be to implement? What will be required from you and your team during implementation? What about after the tracking systems are installed? How will it affect the daily lives of your transportation department, drivers, and students? Luckily, implementing a fleet management solution is easier than you’d expect. Let’s walk through what you should expect when selecting and implementing a GPS tracking solution.
The First Steps
First, you must determine which GPS solution is best for your situation. Typically, this is accomplished with
a thorough demonstration that highlights the solution’s capabilities. During this demo, it’s important to examine your needs in detail and decide on the right mix of tracking solutions for your exact situation.
Once you’ve determined what the right solution is for you, the next step is some sort of orientation. This is where you will be introduced to the full set of features and functionalities of your software. This in-depth look will further your understanding of the full potential of the GPS solution.
Next up is the installation process. At this point, the software should be fully configured to make sure you hit
the ground running. The length of this phase can differ, though. It can range from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on your fleet size and schedule. Be sure your installation is scheduled around the availability of your fleet, and at a time where it minimizes the disruption to your transportation department.
The Ins and Outs of GPS
After your hardware is in place and your software is ready to go, everything should be tested. And once you know everything is operating correctly, you’re ready for training. This is where you get familiar with the software and begin to understand just how to best manage your fleet. The solution should help you determine things like how to organize your fleet effectively, whether you should limit or restrict certain vehicles, and so on. This is also where you will decide what reports and alerts to set up in your software. Determine what information is most valuable to you, and set up accordingly.
Depending on what solution options you’ve selected, there may be some additional training and set up needed.
- Time and Attendance: If you’ve selected this feature, you’ll need to integrate with your payroll system and explain to your drivers how to clock in and out directly on the vehicle. No more paper time sheets and manual data entry!
- Comparative Analysis: If you’ve selected this feature to compare planned to actual routes, you’ll need to integrate with your route management system. You’ll be one step closer to better route management!
All things considered, you should expect to be fully implemented within six weeks.
Reaping the Benefits of GPS
Once you are up and running, you’ll have immediate access to all the insights and metrics you need. But it can be a little overwhelming. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Consider establishing some key performance indicators. These will deliver a high-level view of what you're tracking.
- Focus on one or two areas at a time, such as route compliance or fuel consumption. You can always drill down into more detail whenever you choose.
- Training isn't a one-time event. In order to best stay on top of your software and its functionality, consider attending regularly scheduled training webinars provided by your vendor.
The final piece of the puzzle is the introduction of your GPS solution to your employees. In reality, there is very
little that needs to be explained or demonstrated for drivers. It is often a matter of simply letting them know
the devices are on their vehicles. You may want to explain some of the benefits as well. Explain how monitoring activity will help achieve cost savings, and how it can also protect drivers in the event of unjust criticism.
For example, GPS can be used to come to the defense of drivers and prove they are driving safely and arriving on time when they’re accused of doing otherwise.
GPS is a very powerful tool that, at the end of the day, will help you achieve a higher level of safety, savings, and service. It makes the job of your transportation department easier and more enjoyable every day.
If you think GPS tracking is something your company could benefit from, sign up for a free demonstration.