As a professional, you’re constantly being told about the newest and best ways to improve your operations and save money. With all these ideas and solutions being thrown at you, it can be difficult to decipher which ones can provide meaningful change and which ones will just waste your time and money. Recently, there has been a push to implement fleet tracking solutions. You wonder if these companies are just trying to make money or if they genuinely want to help you, so you ask yourself the question, “Is fleet tracking a worthwhile investment?” In this case, the answer is yes, and this blog will explain why.
Increase Your ROI by Investing in AirFinder Everywhere
- Loss Prevention. Reduce the amount of loss that occurs during the supply chain process
- Location Coverage. AirFinder Everywhere uses a combination of GPS, Cellular, and WiFi to determine location everywhere
- Security Alerts. Know when a delay in shipment has occurred so the problem
can be addressed immediately.
Challenges with Fleet Management
- High Fuel Costs
One of the biggest expenses for logistics operations is the fuel used to get the product from point A to point B. High fuel consumption occurs for a variety of reasons, but one recurring reason is frequently overlooked: idle time. After investing in fleet tracking technology, companies discovered that their high fuel costs came from trucks sitting idle for long periods of time. In some cases, trucks were wasting fuel for up to 4-6 hours each day. Once discovered, companies were able to hold their employees accountable for this extended idle time. Whether employees turned on the truck later than they used to or they got on the road quicker, they were able to cut fuel costs significantly. Another reason fuel costs might run high is because of improper route planning, which brings us to the next point.
- Efficient Route Planning
Efficient route planning saves companies large sums of money while also improving delivery times. When routes aren’t optimized, drivers may unknowingly take the longest route to get to their destinations. Taking longer routes consumes more fuel, which increases spending. Also, when routes are optimized, products are delivered to their destination more quickly, allowing for more trips to be taken sooner. This also helps improve customer satisfaction, since they are receiving their product as quickly as possible.
Fleet trackers can be used to optimize route planning. Based on the data fleet tracking software provides, managers can evaluate the efficiency of their trucks and make changes to optimize operations. It is, after all, easier to observe and make decisions based on patterns in visualized trends; it’s even easier to gather those patterns when technology is doing it for you.
- Meeting Compliance Regulations
Logistics companies have to abide by government regulations; or they risk large fines or, in extreme cases, being shut down. Either way, lack of compliance hurts a company’s image. While every company has regulations they must meet, reefer trailers have some of the most crucial condition regulations. These trailers must remain at specified temperatures depending on what they are carrying. Deviating from these temperatures while perishables are in transit leads to not only noncompliance, but also to spoilage and potential health hazards.
Fleet monitoring systems are often designed to monitor not just location data, but also environmental conditions. These trackers use embedded sensors to monitor the temperature of the environment they’re in. This means that a tag attached to a specific pallet can monitor the temperature of the pallet itself instead of the ambient temperature of the trailer as a whole. After all, there are times when the trailer itself is at the proper temperature, but the pallet is not, which is arguably more important. When the pallet’s temperature starts to fall out of range, alerts are sent to management, who can then inform the driver of the problem. With fleet monitoring, dangerous noncompliance challenges can be addressed before it’s too late.
- Making Strategic Decisions
By providing real-time visibility and accurate data on the location and status of assets, fleet management tracking enables companies to make informed decisions that help optimize their logistics operations. By tracking trailers, companies can monitor their movement patterns and identify inefficiencies. This data-driven approach allows for better planning and resource allocation, leading to improved operational efficiency and cost savings. Fleet tracking also facilitates data analysis and reporting, which enables companies to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. By leveraging this information, companies can make strategic decisions regarding route planning, fleet utilization, inventory management, customer service, and more. Implementing effective trailer tracking empowers logistics companies to make data-backed decisions that provide a competitive edge in the industry.
- Preventing Theft
Theft is an expensive problem to deal with. When trailers are stolen, you spend time and resources searching for the trailer, lose out on money from deliveries you would’ve made using that trailer, and if you can’t recover it, spend even more money to replace the trailer. And this is before considering the additional costs associated with replacing any equipment or cargo that was already packed into the trailer.
A fleet tracking system can be used to reduce and even prevent trailer theft. GPS fleet tracking is used to locate and monitor trailers in real time. With location information on your trailers, you don’t have to waste time and resources searching for where the trailer might be; instead, you’ll have direct access to its current location, leading to a quick recovery. For even greater security, when using GPS technology, you can set up geofences with alerts, so you can be notified when trailers leave a designated zone. If you receive an alert for a trailer leaving the zone when it shouldn’t, you can find out why it’s leaving and prevent theft from happening.
- Safety Concerns
Fleet tracking systems allow you to track driver behavior and promote safer driving practices. By monitoring parameters such as speeding, harsh braking, and rapid acceleration, you can identify areas for improvement and implement driver training programs. This not only reduces the risk of accidents but also lowers insurance premiums, enhances driver safety, and protects your company's reputation.
These systems also facilitate proactive maintenance by providing insights into vehicle diagnostics, engine performance, and mileage tracking. This allows you to schedule regular maintenance, identify potential issues early, and prevent costly breakdowns based on actual wear and usage.
The Missing Piece in Telematics
You might be wondering if your existing telematics system can solve these problems. Since you’ve already invested so much money into a required system, it would be nice if you could use what you have to solve your fleet management problems. Unfortunately, telematics systems fall short of the capabilities of fleet tracking, but that doesn’t mean you need to replace your telematics system with asset tracking. The best option would be to combine telematics with fleet tracking so you get the best of both.
Fleet tracking is designed in a way that it fills in the gaps telematics leaves open. For instance, the biggest gap is that telematics only tracks the truck and only when it’s powered on. If the truck is off or the trailer is disconnected, there is no visibility of the trailer. Asset tracking doesn’t rely on external power, so it can track the trailer regardless of whether it’s connected. Additionally, fleet tracking devices utilize sensors to monitor environmental conditions down to a pallet level. This helps ensure that individual perishable items are in the required temperature range in a way that telematics systems are simply not designed to account for.
Choosing the Right Fleet Tracking Solution
Step One: Determine Your Objectives and Requirements. Define your fleet management goals and identify the specific features and functionalities you require from a fleet tracking system. Consider all the features you need from the solution. Do you need sensors embedded in the solution? How often do you need the tags to update the trailer location? Does this solution have telematics integration? Clearly outlining your objectives will help you choose the most suitable solution.
Step Two: Research and Compare Available Options. Conduct thorough research and compare different fleet tracking solutions available in the market. Consider whether or not these solutions meet the criteria you put together in step one.
Step Three: Seek Feedback from Industry Peers. Reach out to industry peers and read reviews and case studies on the solutions you’re considering. Hearing from others’ experiences is the best way to find out how well a solution works without hands-on experience.
Step Four: Request a Pilot. Before making a final decision, request a pilot trial period from the provider you’re considering. This will allow you to test the system's features, evaluate its usability, and assess its compatibility with your specific fleet requirements. Hands-on experience with the solution will give you a better understanding of its capabilities and help you make an informed decision.
Should You Invest in Fleet Tracking?
Investing in fleet tracking offers substantial benefits for companies managing a fleet of vehicles. The enhanced vehicle visibility, route optimization, theft prevention, and asset management capabilities positively impacts logistics operational efficiency and overall business success. Combining this solution with your existing telematics system guarantees the visibility that you need to operate successfully.
Our AirFinder Everywhere solution tracks fleets in real time. It’s a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that provides users with complete visibility of their logistics operations. This solution is scalable, allowing you to track all the trailers in your fleet and anything else that your company might want to monitor. If you need sensors to monitor environmental conditions, AirFinder can do that, too. Our system is also designed to integrate with telematics systems, providing you with full visibility from a central location.
To learn more about fleet tracking and our solution, book a demo with our team.