GPS tracking is the collection of data using telecommunications, or the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and a variety of tracking devices, most commonly found in vehicles or smartphones.
The four pillars that comprise of a GPS tracking system are:
- GPS satellite (connected to the GNSS).
- Tracking device installed in a vehicle.
- Wireless network (like Verizon or AT&T)
- Servers that store the collected vehicle and asset data.
The data points that broadcast from the vehicle are location, speed, and direction.
It’s almost impossible to manage a mobile workforce nowadays without a GPS tracking system in place. Once you understand what GPS tracking is, it’s vital to know how it works and what its benefits are so you can take advantage of the technology to grow your business and become more efficient.
How GPS Tracking Works
GPS tracking starts with a tracking device installed inside a vehicle. There are a variety of device types depending on the vehicle make and model and your business needs. These devices collect all sorts of vehicle information, such as location, idle times, and diagnostics. The GPS tracking device uses the GNSS to follow the vehicle’s location. The collected data stores inside the device.
This stored information is then sent to servers over cellular networks like Verizon or AT&T. Servers act as the “cloud” where the data lives. You can access the information from anywhere, including your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
The visualization of GPS tracking data takes place within a software platform, mainly in the form of a real-time map. GPS tracking providers then offer a myriad of ways to access the other data points through customizable dashboards, alerts, and reports.
The process of collecting, transmitting, and visualizing the data all happens in the background so that the only facet you need to worry about is managing and improving your mobile workforce.
The Benefits of GPS Tracking
Now that you understand what GPS tracking is and how it works, you can begin to think about what benefits to expect from it. It is a robust solution that can solve the challenges you face managing your mobile workforce.
The benefits it provides range from gaining visibility into driver behavior, improving employee and public safety, to improving efficiencies.
Gaining fleet visibility is the main benefit and advantage of having a GPS tracking solution.
The phrase “dots-on-a-map” came from the earliest GPS tracking solutions since it was initially created to solve one challenge – not having visibility into driver behavior.
Visualizing the locations of all vehicles and assets 24/7 solves this problem. However, fleet visibility quickly came to mean so much more than simply knowing where your drivers are at all times.
Now it means reducing the amount of wasted time tracking them down for estimated time of arrivals (ETAs), leading to more accurate ETAs and improved customer service.
Fleet visibility is a gateway to so many more benefits like increasing efficiencies.
Once you have insight into the daily routes, you can spot areas of opportunity to improve the efficiency of those routes, dramatically reducing fuel costs. It also has the potential of lowering high labor hours if GPS tracking identifies where drivers aren’t clocking out when they should. Begin and end of day reports can compare side by side with timesheets to make this determination.
Increasing efficiencies also extends to maintenance.
If you currently have a difficult time keeping track of service, GPS tracking provides a preventative maintenance feature. Once you set up the required service for each vehicle (oil changes, tire rotations, or tag registrations), you will receive notifications when service is due. This process allows you to plan for vehicle downtime to prevent you from having multiple vehicles off the road at once, potentially losing business.
Some GPS tracking solutions integrate vehicle diagnostics, which add another layer of preventive maintenance, allowing you to be proactive instead of reactive.
Another significant benefit of a GPS tracking solution is improving driver and public safety. If you currently face challenges where drivers accrue too many tickets or involved in collisions, then GPS tracking has the potential to decrease and prevent these incidents dramatically. Setting alerts and receiving reports that display speeding offenses enables you to coach and correct this behavior. GPS tracking software improves both driver and public safety.
Start Receiving GPS Tracking Benefits Today!
If you face mobile workforce challenges such as high labor costs, high fuel costs, safety issues, or need visibility into driver behavior and operations, then look no further than GPS tracking. Receive free quotes from top-rated providers by filling out the short form below. Learn more about which GPS tracking devices are right for your vehicles and assets.