We regularly get potential customers contacting us wanting to know the differences between a vehicle tracking system and a mobile phone app that they can download on their phone. Often, it seems, it is mistakenly assumed an installed vehicle tracker can work in a similar way to a mobile phone GPS tracking app, however the technology is actually very different.
Well the answer depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are trying to track your mobile workforce than the app might be sufficient. However, if you want to track driver behaviour, fuel consumption and have accurate route replays you’ll need an installed vehicle tracker. When weighing up your options make sure that cost alone is not the drive to your decision or you might end up feeling disappointed.
You might decide to use a mobile phone app for ease of use with no installation needed in your vehicles. However, if you are trying to keep track of a fleet it really isn’t a reliable option. Loss of signal could mean that you can’t always access the location of your fleet or that parts of the journey aren’t recorded at all. As the tracking device is the driver’s phone then the GPS can just be turned off if they wish to stop their employer tracking them. A GPS app can also drain your employee’s phone battery so unless they turn up to work with a fully charged battery every morning you run the risk of their phone going dead.
You also run the risk of your business getting left behind. If your competitors are using more sophisticated fleet management systems, and they likely are, they’ll be eliminating paper work, increasing route efficiency and have an insight into unwanted driver behaviours.
It might feel like the more expensive option but the efficiency it will drive across your business will offer you a significant return on your investment.
A fleet management system allows businesses to be much more intelligent in how they schedule trips. Fleet managers can optimise planning too by assigning jobs to idle vehicles or that are within closest proximity or travel time to the location. Overall the number of jobs and trips can be minimised by planning the workload in a strategic way. By maximising the workday, your fleet will be able to complete more jobs and increase revenue.
With a fleet management system it is easy to gain an understanding into unwanted driving habits such as excessive speeding and harsh acceleration and braking. By identifying any trends within your fleet, it will help you to educate drivers on safer and greener driving habits. This will reduce fuel consumption, maintenance costs and the chances of an accident.
Your business can keep on top of all vehicle maintenance checks with a range of alerts set up inside a fleet management system. Healthy vehicles waste less fuel and are more efficient, reducing the risk of any unwanted repairs that may come. Specialist fleet management suppliers might also supply an immobilisation feature for extra security if it is stolen, allowing you to safely immobilise your vehicle until it is tracked and found.
A fleet management system will help your drivers, dispatchers and managers reduce paperwork as the system can automatically track and record the details of the time spent at a job. This makes invoicing much easier as job lengths will all be recorded in the system accurately.
Mileage records can also be recorded by a turn-by-turn updated system, eliminating the use of paper records and ensuring a correct submission to the tax office every time.
Excess fuel consumption is bad news for a business and the environment. A fleet management system can provide fleets with the most efficient routes, saving time and eliminating unnecessary fuel expenses. A fleet manager can also set reports to inform them if engines are left running or vehicles are being used out of hours.
Overall an app can be a convenient tool for a mobile workforce but if they are going to be driving a vehicle on a regular basis an investment in vehicle tracking will be well worth the investment.
To learn more about how the Simplytrak system can improve efficiency across your fleet, please contact Ian Wood our Business Development Manager at E: firstname.lastname@example.org or on T: 01430879197.