The biggest advantage of GPS systems for tracking your vehicles and deliveries is eliminating time wastage. Revealing inefficiencies in fleet movements including off-route deviations and non-company approved stops makes a tangible difference in operational and running costs.
Case in point: when our team was showing a client how to use GPS live, the client noticed his driver had turned around and come back to their warehouse – a total 30km plus 40 minutes extra time on the route. This manager’s staff had instructed the driver to return due to their picking error but the manager was unaware this had happened, resulting in later deliveries for the day. The information enabled him to put contingency plans in place.
There are other, lesser-known benefits of GPS, which can benefit any company that is running vehicles.
Better customer service
GPS can assist in managing customers, with a company able to immediately answer any customer queries regarding a driver’s location. But it is important that the right people in the organisation can access and interpret the GPS information quickly – seeing is believing, and a real-time visual map displaying vehicle progress is best.
GPS may also offer proof of delivery for attendance and time taken on site – which is important if there is ever a dispute with a client. People with service vehicles are often queried as to the time billed or whether they even attended, which can be verified by GPS via location, date and time stamp.
If customers make sweeping statements about a driver “always running late” etc, GPS will reveal the true picture. For example, GPS may show that a driver is being dispatched late and trying to make up time, or typically held up at one location every day (due to parking issues, delays in proof of delivery sign-off etc.). This allows the driver’s manager to resolve the onsite issue with the customer.
Company vehicle/equipment management and security
It is not unheard of for company equipment to be used by enterprising staff ‘under the table’ on weekends and so on; the staff member may be under the impression that using a truck or item of machinery is relatively harmless but, as business owners know, there are risks involved in unofficial equipment use.
Inappropriate use may put strain on the equipment and result in unnecessary wear and tear or damage. There may also be unseen cost burdens such as fuel use, and the equipment may not be insured for use outside of official company business out of hours.
If company branded equipment is being used for work that is below standard or risky it will reflect poorly on the company. And if there is an accident or injury resulting from a company vehicle being used privately then the legal and workplace safety ramifications can potentially become a nightmare. If your equipment is being used during private times, then a GPS may be the only way you will find out.
Driver security and chain of responsibility
A GPS device can also assist with driver security if the person is working in lonely destinations or at night, such as those times when drivers are alone out in the country. GPS can be invaluable for complying with chain of responsibility legislation and ensuring that your company or employees are not liable for fines. GPS also allows monitoring for drivers’ speed and fatigue management issues
Walter Scremin is General Manager of national transport & logistics company OnTime Group www.ontimegroup.com.au
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