Friday, March 14, 2008

Fleet Management on the Web

Vehicle fleet owners are under increased cost pressures in this economy, especially when it comes to fuel prices. A combination of mature technologies can provide a low cost way to manage vehicle usage and performance in real time, giving fleet managers the opportunity to easily identify opportunities for improved efficiency.

The convergence of technologies involves GPS tracking and locating, onboard vehicle computers, and cellular broadband transmissions. Chances are that you are using all of these technologies separately. Mass production has made them so cheap to produce that navigation systems are now routinely found in cars and even cell phones. Cellular coverage is almost universal. Both cars and trucks have sported onboard computers since electronic engine controls became the norm.

Now, what happens when you build a device that brings in data from the GPS navigation satellites and the vehicle computer and sends it wireless to the Internet via cellular data connections? What you have is an affordable way to know where every vehicle you own is located, where it has been and for how long, how many miles have been traveled and how much fuel has been consumed. The computer can also alert you to maintenance issues in the vehicle, much the same as it tells the service technicians what is malfunctioning.

But this is no plug-in diagnostic tool. The data transmitted to the Internet is processed and available to monitor anywhere you have a broadband connection and a Web browser. The control unit itself mounts quickly under the vehicle dash and plugs into the car or truck computer port. Most cars from model year 1996 and heavy duty trucks from model year 1988 have these ports. A combination data/GPS antenna mounts on the winshield.

Ready, Set, GoGPS! is a service that offers these fleet tracking systems and the monitoring service you access from your computer. What can you find out once your fleet is equipped? First of all, the current location and route your vehicles have taken is no longer a mystery. You'll know the exact location of every stop and the speed between stops. Are your employees taking side trips for personal errands? They won't be able to keep that a secret anymore.

Ready, Set, GoGPS! uses the Networkfleet Wireless Vehicle Management System that offers a wealth of information about the health and performance of your vehicles as well as how they are driven throughout the work day. It's as if you are right there riding along with your drivers, keeping an eye on things. Actually you are riding along from a distance. Later, you can go over the reports with your drivers and discuss any discrepancies or alternative routes that would be more efficient.

Remember the old business expression, "Whatever gets measured, gets done." Knowing that every move of the vehicle is being monitored provides a transparency that keeps everyone on their toes and less likely to get sloppy about overtime reporting and use of company vehicles. That alone can lead to productivity improvements that will easily pay for the tracking unit and monthly monitoring fee. Learn more and get free shipping on GPS Fleet Tracking Systems from Ready, Set, GoGPS!

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