Field Service Management

How GPS for FSM Helps Collect More Field Service Data and Why That Matters

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When it comes to field service management, data is a key component of any successful business. But how do managers gather data on a whole fleet of vehicles and service technicians when they’re rarely all in the same place? With fleet GPS systems and telematics reporting, of course!

If you thought the only reason to include onboard fleet GPS devices in all of your commercial motor vehicles was to comply with the ELD mandate or to provide your drivers with better directions to each destination, think again. Modern commercial fleet data systems offer a wealth of information that can help your fleet run more efficiently and effectively on a day-to-day basis. 

Here are just a few of the insights you can expect and what they could mean for your field service fleet:

Improved Safety

A key responsibility of fleet management is safety. Fleet drivers on the road must be reminded of safe driving practices to benefit themselves and those around them. This can be difficult for managers as they’re not always aware of their employees’ driving habits. Fortunately, fleet GPS technology can help promote a culture of safety across your fleet with actionable data about each driver, available in real-time.

Systems like Azuga Fleet offer reports on risky driving behaviors like speeding and hard braking. With GPS tracking, you’ll know which drivers are prone to these bad habits and in what circumstances. You can then help correct bad driving habits with coaching and extra training for your riskiest drivers without interrupting workflow for those who don’t need it.

For many drivers, this may sound like “Big Brother” is watching. But rather than giving your safety program a creepy, “gotcha” feel, you can turn it into a friendly competition. Programs like Driver Safety Rewards allow you to reward your fleet’s best drivers for their safe driving habits. Here’s how it works:

First, the fleet GPS system tracks drivers and assigns each a safety score based on driving habits over time. Drivers compete with one another as they can see their own scores and those of their coworkers. At the end of each rewards period, the top scores get rewards in the form of gift cards to their favorite stores, websites, or restaurants. With a program like this, you get a safer fleet, happy drivers, and better driver retention.

Recover Stolen Vehicles and Equipment

If you’ve never had to worry about replacing stolen vehicles or large equipment, you’ve been very fortunate. Theft can be a considerable expense, both in terms of actual dollars spent and in loss of productivity while dealing with the problem. Fortunately, GPS offers a way to recover stolen cars, trucks, vans, and other assets quickly, even before you might have otherwise realized they were gone!

Geofencing is a GPS-based technology that lets you set a physical boundary around your fleet yard, project locations, or any other site you like. You can then receive alerts whenever any of your vehicles or other tracked assets leave the geofenced area. This means, if you’re sitting at home enjoying your evening and someone drives off with a truck full of equipment, you’ll be alerted to the problem immediately. You can then use your GPS tracker to tell police exactly where the thieves have taken your assets, leading to a quick apprehension and return of your stolen property!

Reduction in Fuel Waste

Fuel costs are one of the most significant line items in most fleet budgets. And since the price of fuel fluctuates, they can be one of the most unpredictable, too. This means fuel waste can be a major problem for your bottom line. Not only that, most fleets want to help reduce fuel waste in order to fulfill green initiatives and help protect the environment. With GPS, you can reduce fuel waste for a greener, more financially secure fleet. 

One of the biggest wastes of fuel for any fleet is excessive idling. Some idling is expected, but drivers who leave the engine running as they eat their lunch or make a lengthy personal call are wasting fuel and causing excess wear and tear on your fleet vehicles. GPS reporting can let you know who is idling, when, where, and for how long. As patterns emerge, you can begin to see which drivers are being wasteful and take steps to correct their behavior. 

Another big fuel-waster is inefficient routing. When your drivers spend a lot of time sitting in traffic or take the long way to get to a job site, that’s precious fuel burned for no reason. Use a fleet GPS platform with advanced routing capabilities to steer drivers around road hazards and traffic jams, and get them to each job as efficiently as possible. Your fuel card and your bottom line will certainly thank you.

Better Maintenance

Maintaining a large fleet of vehicles can be a colossal job, but it doesn’t have to be. When you incorporate a GPS system that directly links to your vehicles’ on-board computers, you can be alerted to maintenance issues before they cause breakdowns or other hazards for your drivers. The next time a check engine light goes on somewhere in your fleet, you could be alerted with a diagnostic code before the vehicle even makes it back to the yard. You can then repair the problem and keep your vehicles running smoothly, prolonging their life and improving performance. 

Not only that, a good commercial fleet data system can help you implement a preventative maintenance program to stay on top of routine maintenance tasks. With this type of program, you’ll be able to schedule oil changes, air filter replacements, and other simple maintenance tasks for each vehicle based on actual miles driven and vehicle age. You’ll then get reports showing you which are due for upcoming maintenance, allowing you to schedule these tasks in off-peak times or work your service schedule around maintenance periods. 

Savings on Insurance Premiums

If you’re not negotiating insurance premium prices with your agent, it’s time to start. But don’t expect a huge price reduction just because you asked. Instead, you’ll need to provide verifiable data showing that your fleet offers less liability exposure. With a fleet GPS system, this is not only possible – it’s easy.

As we discussed above, GPS tracking with proper reporting can help you create a safer fleet, leading to fewer collisions and other accidents. It can also help you recover stolen fleet vehicles and large equipment faster with geofencing and tracking capabilities. All of this adds up to less liability for your fleet and your insurer.

But don’t expect them to take your word for it! Instead, you’ll want to present real, measurable data proving that your fleet is safer than ever before and that you’re less likely to need to file claims as a result. This is where telematics reporting comes in. By giving your insurer access to reports showing safety improvements across your fleet, you’ll likely be able to negotiate a better premium rate for your fleet going forward. And as your safety improves, you’ll be able to take advantage of no-claims discounts if your policy offers them.

As you can see, there are several ways that data from fleet GPS systems can improve your fleet’s safety, operations, and bottom line. Want to learn more about what Azuga Fleet can do for your company? Contact us for a demo today