What is Geofencing? Everything Fleet Managers Need to Know

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What is Geofencing? Everything Fleet Managers Need to Know

Fleets have a reputation for being a little behind the times when it comes to technology. Hours of Service (HOS) records, maintenance and inspections, and driver records were paper records, recorded and stored manually. Checking in on a driver, their location, and estimating their destination arrival time meant calling the driver. It was nearly impossible to accurately calculate fuel consumption. Advancements such as idle time monitoring and geofencing weren’t even a concept in the minds of many fleet managers. The implementation of the ELD mandate sparked a huge change in the technological direction of fleets across the United States.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate requires electronic monitoring of HOS in order to increase safety and potentially reduce the number of fleet vehicle accidents. This was a common concern, considering that truck drivers spend around 60 hours on the road each week. To electronically monitor and record hours of service, fleets must use an ELD, which connects to a vehicle’s OBD-II port under the dashboard. This technology rose out of the manufacturing lines of the 1970s as a means of creating vehicle reports. The evolution of this technology has led to applications in telematics insurance and used by a variety of industries such as construction, plumbing, utilities, and more.

Today, the solutions for fleets don’t stop at GPS tracking and HOS logging. There are now features such as route optimization, fuel card integration, and geofencing. Fleet managers are more familiar with route planning, optimization, and fuel cards, but geofencing is a lesser-known feature. Despite this, geofencing is rapidly spreading across the industry as more and more fleets are catching onto all the uses and benefits of this technology. Learn all you need to know about geofencing below.

What is Geofencing?

Geofencing is a virtual perimeter set around a physical location. It works in conjunction with software or an app to send alerts to a user. It could use GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, asset trackers, or cellular data to trigger these alerts. Though it depends on how you configure the geofence, entering or leaving the perimeter triggers an alert, push notification, or targeted ad. While advertisers are finding a lot of great use for this technology in location-based ads, geofences are used for dozens of other applications, including:

  • Ski resorts to ensure skiers aren’t entering off-limit areas
  • National parks to act faster in an emergency
  • Nursing homes to ensure their residents don’t wander off
  • Warehouses for deliveries
  • Pet tracking to ensure pets don’t leave a perimeter
  • Construction to reduce theft and manage stored equipment
  • City planning to monitor traffic in an area
  • Movers to charge more if a vehicle is taken outside of a given area
  • The White House for preventing drones from entering the air space
  • Vehicle fleets to monitor idling, productivity at job sites, and stored equipment

These aren’t the only applications for geofencing, but you can see that there is a wide range of uses.

How Geofencing Works

Geofencing is often a feature of software or an application. To create one usually only requires drawing a perimeter around a map and a configuration. This configuration is the response you wish the geofence to have. For instance, if you’re interested in protecting equipment from theft, configure the geofence to send alerts when someone enters your perimeter during unauthorized hours. Or, use the technology in coordination with asset trackers and ensure that assets remain inside the perimeter when not authorized for use.

The software needed to create a geofence often uses RFID’s (remote frequency identification devices) or GPS (global positioning system). Configuring to a location with a specific motivation is called setting up an “if this, then that” command.

How to Use Geofencing for Your Fleet

Geofences are an extraordinary development. They allow businesses to send texts and push notifications for sales when a customer enters their perimeter. It allows you to send commands to your home if you are using IoT (Internet of Things) connected devices. For example, coming within fifty feet of your home could trigger the lights to come on. It allows businesses of all sizes to protect their stored equipment at multiple locations. For fleets, the benefits of geofencing are innumerable. Let’s take a look at the most vital uses of geofencing for fleets below.

Vehicle Tracking

There are many reasons to track your fleet vehicles. For one, tracking them in real-time eliminates the need for ETA phone calls, which can often be a distraction for drivers. You can set a perimeter around their destination, rest areas, loading areas, etc. with auto-status alerts to ensure your fleet remains on track. This eliminates some of the burden on fleet managers and drivers as well. Fleet management teams no longer have to micromanage or spend all day making calls. Drivers feel more freedom without the constant check-ins. Some companies are even seeing geofencing as a way to allow employees the space to create their own schedules.

Improve Customer Service

Customers have higher expectations today, and it can be difficult for companies to keep up. Tools like geofencing make it easier by providing delivery notifications to customers. They’ll receive alerts when packages are inbound, and provide them accurate delivery times. It also allows fleet managers to ensure employees are staying on task and meeting delivery objectives.

Decreases Downtime

Downtime is one of the most difficult things to avoid when it comes to repairs on a vehicle or asset. Setting a geofence around a repair shop helps you to see when repairs are completed or when a vehicle moves from the parking lot to the shop. This helps you cut downtime by knowing exactly when you can put that vehicle back in rotation.

Prevent Theft

Theft is a huge concern for fleets, and geofencing is the main solution. You’ve invested a lot in your assets and vehicles, and a majority of that equipment can remain in storage for long periods of time. Geofencing helps ensure that your assets remain where they should be when they’re not in use. If a vehicle or asset is removed from a perimeter when it shouldn’t be, you’ll receive alerts that will help you respond faster. You’ll also be able to provide more detailed information to police for recovery. And, if that asset also has a tracker, you’re more likely to recover it.

Time Management

There are a lot of tasks involved in fleet management, each demanding a lot of time from managers. Geofencing helps to eliminate things like phone calls for check-ins, manual ETA notifications for customers, and manual HOS logging. With geofencing, you can use virtual time cards, knowing exactly when your team appears on a job site. You no longer have to record hours or check in on employees. This automatically reduces the amount of time fleet managers spend on mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on growth and optimization instead.

Proper Deployment and Utilization of Assets

Because companies have a wide range of assets, and there isn’t always a need for those assets on job sites—they often sit in storage for months at a time. Because of this, fleets may purchase excess equipment, not knowing what they have in storage or across job sites. Geofencing allows you to see what assets are where, along with utilization data to help you maximize your productivity.

How to Implement Geofencing In Your Fleet

Quality fleet management and geofencing software features give you the ability to reduce costs, increase visibility and productivity, and improve your fleet. Not only can you monitor assets and locations in real time, you’ll receive alerts for unauthorized usage, deliveries, and anything else you want to configure. You’ll also receive feedback on idling, utilization, safety, and more.

The way to achieve all of this is to integrate the right software into your fleet. Azuga Fleet offers companies GPS fleet tracking for vehicles, dashcams, asset tracking, and geofencing. Our full range of fleet management tools includes features such as route planning and optimization, fuel card integration, and real-time tracking. With our dashboard, you’ll receive easy-to-read reports on all of your assets, with data on idling, usage, location, driver behavior, engine diagnostics, and more. All of this data helps you to optimize your fleet in as many ways as possible. With better optimization, your fleet functions at its best, increasing the satisfaction of your customers and helping your business grow.


Learn more about what fleet and asset tracking with geofencing can do for you with Azuga.

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Multi-Drop Route Planning

A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption. 

Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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