These days, telematics devices see widespread use among fleets of all sizes and industries. But of those fleets, only a fraction leverage their GPS-enabled hardware to its fullest capacity.
Geofencing takes telematics vehicle tracking to a whole new level, enabling fleets to improve their productivity, compliance and so much more. Let’s explore what geofencing is and how the technology benefits fleets.
What is geofencing?
For starters, let’s define what “geofencing” is. Geofencing is the practice of using GPS or RFID technology to set up virtual permitters around real-world locations. These boundaries (referred to as “geofences”) are used by fleet tracking software to trigger user-defined responses when mobile devices enter or exit a particular area.
Fleets use geofencing to automatically log when their telematics-equipped vehicles arrive at or leave from their properties, job sites and other commonly visited locations. This automation is what distinguishes geofencing-based vehicle tracking from more basic forms of GPS monitoring fleets also use.
How geofencing benefits fleets
While geofencing provides fleets with a litany of advantages, here are the most significant benefits they deliver.
For many fleet managers, overseeing their operations involves a lot of checking in on their drivers either over the phone or by frequently refreshing their fleet management system to view their current location. In addition to being heavily reliant on manual processes, this approach is also time-consuming for all parties involved. But with geofencing, fleet managers can keep tabs on their personnel and determine ETAs without a single phone call. By drawing geofences around loading zones, rest areas, job sites and other locations, fleet managers can receive automatic reports of their drivers’ activities every step along the way. This allows fleet managers to focus on other activities while still being in the loop at all times.
From equipment being transported to unauthorized locations to vehicles operating after hours, misuse of assets can threaten the bottom line of any fleet. Fortunately, geofencing provides a way for organizations to keep a watchful eye over their assets 24/7 without having to overburden their fleet manager. Between real-time alerts for atypical movement and the ability to review a log of everywhere an asset has been, it couldn’t be easier for fleet managers to identify (and put a stop to) improper asset use. This results in less wasted wear and tear on organization-owned assets and reduced risk of liability.
More Accurate Timesheets and Project Hours
For organizations that compensate their personnel on an hourly basis, geofencing can make payroll processing much more streamlined. Paper timesheets can have mistakes and are prone to being lost or damaged. But by referencing the logs of when drivers cross through geofences, it’s easy to see the precise times when they were on the job. This clarity spares finance teams from the headaches of dealing with paper documents and allows them to calculate payroll with greater confidence and accuracy.
Improved Compliance and Safety
Through fleet telematics, organizations can glean a lot about how their drivers behave behind the wheel. But oftentimes, telematics data is expressed in silos that obscure the complete story. For example, if a fleet manager views the path one of their vehicles took on one screen and the average speed that it traveled at on another, they might not realize that the vehicle exceeded the speed limits of a job site it passed through. Geofencing corrects this problem. While a vehicle is in an area that demands special safety considerations, an alert can be sent if hazardous driving patterns are detected. Such notifications clearly communicate what is going on such that fleet managers can intervene with appropriate corrective actions.
Between automating administrative work, preventing unauthorized use of assets and improving safety, geofencing offers a wide range of benefits to fleets everywhere. Considering that, as of 2020, 72% of fleets already use GPS tracking in some form, a countless number of fleets can easily make the jump to geofencing without having to purchase any additional hardware right now. On top of that, there are countless resources available online designed to walk fleets through the more technical aspects of drawing perimeters and configuring alerts. All in all, by investing just a bit of their time upfront, fleets can streamline their operations in a myriad of ways with geofencing.
On the hunt for a fleet management system that can automatically alert you when a vehicle leaves a geofence? Look no further than Fleetio. Learn more by starting a free trial or requesting a demo today!