By Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media & SmallBizDaily.com
Are you making the most of your company’s fleet? To maximize your company’s productivity — whether you’re in construction, manufacturing, restoration, or the like — it’s important to take advantage of all available technology that will help you manage your equipment, machinery, and vehicles more efficiently.
That’s where fleet telematics come in.
Telematics technology uses GPS tracking, onboard diagnostics, and telecommunications to give you a detailed picture of the status of your fleet.
Some of the equipment and vehicles you use may already have telematics built-in. If they don’t or if you use equipment from different manufacturers, installing third-party telematics can better integrate all the available data, so you get a unified view of your fleet. Still not ready to adopt new tools? Here are five ways fleet management technology can boost profits, efficiency, and more.
1. Track equipment use
When your crew is working on multiple job sites, it can be hard to keep track of the various machinery and equipment they’re using. Who has what, and where is it? Telematics simplifies this task by using GPS to locate vehicles, equipment, and machinery. Compared to signing out equipment by hand, recording locations on spreadsheets, or contacting multiple job sites to find a piece of machinery, telematics saves a huge chunk of time.
2. Increase job efficiency
Use fleet telematics to measure factors such as vehicle speed, how often drivers use the brakes, miles driven, routes taken, or the frequency of unusual detours or stops. This information can help you identify inefficiencies in vehicle use. For example, if a driver is making a lot of detours, could you plan faster routes? You can also see if equipment and machinery at a job site are being used or sitting idle, so you can transport it to where it’s needed.
3. Maintain your equipment
For fleet owners, one of the biggest benefits of telematics is the ability to monitor the status of all vehicles, equipment, and machinery automatically. For example, telematics can measure and record a vehicle’s odometer, tire pressure, fuel efficiency, and oil levels and alert you when a vehicle needs maintenance. Telematics can also spot problems early, so they can be repaired before they cause major damage.
4. Enhance safety
Telematics give you insights into how your employees are using equipment, such as if your workers are driving too aggressively or speeding in company vehicles. Onboard video cameras can record driver behavior and provide valuable evidence in case an employee gets into an accident while driving. Choosing vehicles equipped with driver-assistance technology is another smart way to encourage safe driving. For instance, vehicles with rear-view cameras, lane departure alerts, or automatic braking can help keep your team safe, reducing health risks and insurance costs.
5. Increase profits
Telematics can help you bill for projects and bid on jobs more accurately. Because you can track your vehicle and equipment use down to the minute and monitor related costs such as fuel and maintenance, you can better calculate the cost of each project and create more accurate estimates for future projects.
Bonus: The TSheets GPS time tracker monitors employee hours in detail. Crews or individuals can clock in and out on their smartphones at the job site. As long as they’re clocked in, you can see who’s working and where. Plus, with TSheets, you can categorize what employees are working on according to jobs, clients, tasks, locations, and more. And since TSheets integrates with your accounting software, you can feel confident payroll is always correct.
Put technology to use managing your fleet. You’ll be surprised by the many benefits it can bring.
Rieva Lesonsky is the CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for free TrendCast reports.