UPS is devoted to big data, and with good reason. By tracking and analyzing every detail of their delivery truck fleet, they are able to maximize routes and minimize time spent idling in traffic. That, in turn, saves six to seven miles per day, per driver. That adds up to $350 million in savings per year. Their best tip: Never turn left.
If you have business-owned vehicles, (which can include HVAC or Plumbing businesses, charter school operators providing private bus services, event promoters with limo bus services, etc.), keeping the costs down involves knowing every detail. Here are nine ways UPS saves money using GPS tracking, and you can, too:
1. More Efficient Routing
For people on regular routes, you can use the data to map the most efficient routes and minimize left turns. Chuckle if you will (I grew up in Jersey-home of the jug-handle), but left turns consume a lot of idle time, that adds up to fuel cost, lost productivity, and maintenance.
2. Monitor Employees
When you know where your vehicles are and for how long, how fast they travel, and how much time they spend idling, you have all the data you need to tweak routes and routines to take advantage of traffic patterns, times of day, and directions.
An added advantage is a rise in employee productivity. When drivers know their vehicles are monitored, they act accordingly -- following the speed limits, not rolling through stop signs, taking the most efficient routes without detours, and not lingering too long at a handy coffee shop. It's human nature to follow rules when you know you're being observed.
3. Gamify the System
Healthy competition is another potential benefit some companies use to motivate employees. For example, your employees might respond to a reward based on peak performance. The most efficient employee for the week or the month may earn a long weekend off, a bonus, or a gift card for dinner or a movie. And how about a larger incentive for an employee of the year?
Keep gamification friendly and non-threatening, and your workers will respond with a better performance. They'll want to get to appointments faster and take care of more business.
4. Prevent Unauthorized Vehicle Use
Unauthorized use of company vehicles is a fairly common problem. With a GPS tracking system such as LiveViewGPS, the owner knows when vehicles are used after hours, when they are driven off-route, and when they are in an unauthorized location. GPS stops employees from using your vehicle to perform side jobs and keeps your liability down.
5. Automate Payroll
Keeping track of hours with a mobile force is no easy task. A good GPS tracking program keeps track of everything you need to know, from when a vehicle starts in the morning to how long it sits for lunch and breaks. There is no opportunity for inaccuracy or falsification of time. A full-featured program will create a report you can use as a timesheet for each driver.
6. Lower Insurance Cost
Since GPS makes vehicles easier to track if stolen, most insurance companies will give you a lower rate. Some insurance also gives breaks for driving habits -- which you're monitoring.
7. Monitor Maintenance Needs
Most fleet managers rely on a time-based schedule to perform routine maintenance, but road conditions, weather, and other factors can affect the wear and tear of vehicles. GPS tracking devices offer alerts for many maintenance issues, giving the company a more accurate overview of the vehicle's condition. For example, time spent idling causes wear and tear on the engine without adding to the mileage.
8. Improve Driver Safety
In addition to monitoring the vehicle, a GPS system can keep track of safety issues that directly impact the driver's safety. Businesses can monitor whether drivers lock their doors, use their seatbelts, turn off the vehicle when exiting, or engage the alarm.
9. Manage Logistics
GPS tracking offers a complete overview of every vehicle, allowing managers to better allocate resources. It's like a set of eyes and ears on the road, with the capability of spotting slowdowns, missed deliveries, or appointment, or travel delays. If an employee is delayed long enough to put him behind, you'll be able to send help or rearrange schedules.
Your employees might initially resist the idea of GPS monitoring, but it's easy to frame in terms of benefits. Remind them that saving money is good for the company and good for the workers themselves and that a rise in profits means raises and job security. Careful monitoring may even make their jobs easier by making routes more compact or so efficient they can go home earlier. Who could be mad at that?