In today’s fast-paced world, fleet management has become a crucial aspect of many businesses, from logistics companies to service providers. Keeping track of vehicles, ensuring their safety, and optimizing routes can be a daunting task. However, with the advent of technology, managing fleets has become more efficient and streamlined than ever before. One such ground breaking solution is the Fleetlog PAT Phone-As-Tracker app.
Fleetlog PAT, short for Phone-As-Tracker, is a cutting-edge mobile application designed to transform any smartphone into a powerful GPS tracking device. Unlike traditional tracking systems that require dedicated hardware installations, Fleetlog PAT leverages the GPS capabilities of smartphones, making it a cost-effective and convenient solution for fleet management.
The beauty of Fleetlog PAT lies in its simplicity and versatility. Once installed on a smartphone, the app utilizes the device’s GPS technology to track its location in real-time. Fleet managers can then monitor the whereabouts of their vehicles directly from their web browser or mobile device. This real-time tracking feature provides invaluable insights into vehicle movement, allowing for better decision-making and enhanced operational efficiency.
In conclusion, Fleetlog PAT represents a paradigm shift in the field of fleet management, offering a cost-effective, user-friendly, and feature-rich solution for businesses of all sizes. By leveraging the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, Fleetlog PAT transforms any mobile device into a sophisticated tracking tool, empowering businesses to optimize their fleet operations and drive greater efficiency and profitability.
Ready to revolutionize your fleet management? Discover the power of Fleetlog PAT today!
Visit the product page today and enquire for more information.
Your service tech is stealing from you. Oh stop. Don’t look so surprised. Of course, he doesn’t see it that way. It’s just a little side job to make some extra money. After all, it’s not like he is stealing cash from your office, right?
Just a little fuel. Maybe some tread off the tires. Just some miles on the odometer. But it’s not stealing.
His customer is close by of course. Just 15 miles from his house.
Just 30 some miles altogether…today. Well, today and two days ago. Just 60 miles a week in your truck with your fuel. No big deal.
When you think about it, that’s just 3,100 miles of personal use a year right? You can live with that.
If you are reading this, getting agitated, and thinking that these “justs” are starting to add up, you have come to the right place.
But effective fleet management isn’t just about knowing where your vehicles are and how they are being used. It goes way beyond the tracker and GPS.
Effective fleet management is properly maintaining your vehicle investments, getting the most productivity out of your units, and most importantly, ensuring that those rolling hunks of steel are being safe out there. Protecting your employees, customers, and the general public. Play your cards right and you just might save some money on insurance while you’re at it.
If any of this is resonating with you, stick around. In fact, make sure you come back. You might even think about subscribing to our little newsletter here. It promises to be full of useful information that you can go out and use the very same day.
Here, we will be featuring and highlighting some true to life stories of businesses and fleets just like yours. Businesses that have found ways of making every fleet dollar count and every mile produce maximum results.
You will also get time tested, field-proven methods, policies, and procedures which will reduce overhead and stress for business owners and make rock stars of fleet managers.
Perhaps most importantly, we want to invest in your success…really. We don’t want to write yet another piece of internet crap that clutters your inbox and ends up just being white noise to be ignored. There is plenty of that out there. We hate it, and refuse to be part of it.
What you will get is solid, useful info on managing and maximising your fleet. And not just about our GPS Fleetlog service either. That’s not to say that there won’t be some shameless plugs for our services. There will be. Count on it. We happen to think it is some powerful stuff that can really make a difference for your business. We promise to keep it in check though.
You ready for all of that? You mastermind of fleet management.
Welcome to Fleet Management Academy!
To be truthful, I am sick and tired of information. It is everywhere, it is relentless, and honestly, it’s getting overwhelming. Even as I am typing this, my laptop and phone are beeping, notifying, and ringing, letting me know something I don’t want to know. Ok, that’s somewhat of a lie. I do want to know some of it. Heck, I am probably the idiot who signed up for these updates in the first place. Except that one I just got on “Top 10 Halloween Costume Ideas for Your Kitty”
That wasn’t me…I swear. I already have a costume for Mr. Fluffy Pants.
Many business managers and owners feel the same way about their fleet data. Even the term “fleet data” makes me want to nod off and take a nap.
When you look at all of the things that you need to keep track of, and all of the different sources that information comes from, it is no wonder things fall through the cracks at times.
Have I lost you yet? No? Good. Because…
Despite all of this, information and data are critical players in your success or failure as a fleet manager. Failure to efficiently collect, organize, and act on all this information can cost you time and money at best and spell operational catastrophe worst.
In the upcoming article post, we will begin to look at the different methods for collecting and organizing all of this information. As is the case with most anything, there are solutions that range from the highly developed, complex, and pricey, to the simple, inexpensive, and easily implemented.
All of them have their positives and negatives. Choosing one is simpler than it sounds. Trust me.
Until then, here is your “homework” for today. If you haven’t already, spend an hour gathering up all of your fleet information and make a note of where you currently keep it. For some hints, refer to the bullet point list I provided earlier in this article.
Second, write down what you can’t find or don’t have. For example, if you can’t tell me where all your trucks are, what they are doing (speed, braking, parked, etc.) and where they are going, write that down. In fact, if that is the case, consider visiting us at www.fleetlog.com.au and learn some more about our fleet tracking solutions (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT).
Last, be sure to come back for our next posting when we will start to talk about how all of this stuff can be organised and used efficiently.
Translation: Easier, simpler, less stressful, and more money for your bottom line.
Now pull your head out of the sand and get it done.
I have kitten costumes to sew.
As business owners and managers, we often find ourselves focused on pumping up our sales to add to our bottom line. More jobs, more customers, more hours, more…more…more. It makes sense after all. It’s what we know.
It is because of this mindset that we are resistant to entertain outside solutions. We are just too busy “getting things done” to have time for anything else.
Stephen Covey, author of the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, told a story of a lumberjack, sawing away at a tree, hour after hour, sweat rolling off of his face. When a co-worker saw his immense effort and minimal progress he suggested that the lumberjack sharpen his saw. The lumberjack laughed dismissively and informed his friend that he was too busy cutting down the tree to waste time sharpening his saw.
My question to you is…”How dull is your saw?”
Perhaps a more relevant question is this one. If you were fueling your vehicle and happen to notice that the gas tank was leaking fuel onto the ground as you were pumping it, would you continue to pump fuel? Maybe decide to pump it faster or more often to make up for the leak? Or, maybe you would stop and get the hole fixed first?
When we interview our clients about their experiences prior to implementing a GPS fleet management solution like Fleetlog, they all pretty much share the same story. What they tell us is that they knew about GPS tracking and were fairly convinced of its usefulness. They even admitted knowing that some of their people were probably misusing their vehicles and wasting company finances. The problem at the time was, they were too busy to deal with it and it seemed like another expense that they just couldn’t afford. What they felt they really needed to focus on was increasing sales and putting more money in the bucket (read: fuel in the tank).
The problem is though…they had a huge hole in their bucket.
What these clients eventually realized is, “expenses” or investments like GPS tracking weren’t actually costing them money. They were saving it. Fleetlog vehicle tracking and monitoring plugged the hole in the bucket. “I saved over $2000.00 in fuel expenses in the first month alone after implementing our GPS tracking system. These things pay for themselves in weeks, not years” reported a GPS tracking client.
Fleetlog GPS based fleet management systems are designed to give you complete control over your company fleet. Know where they are, what they are doing, and how they are getting there.
And for heaven’s sake, plug that hole.
You can find more information on how we can start saving you and your company money TODAY by looking us up at www.fleetlog.com.au
Vehicle tracking has proven itself to be a very effective tool for business owners to reduce costs, maximize efficiencies, increase productivity and streamline their operations.
It can, however, it becomes a double-edged sword, as employees usually hate the idea of vehicle tracking because they then become accountable for the work efforts, arguing there is a lack of trust and it’s “big brother”. So, how do you get your staff to get on-board with vehicle tracking? People, in general, only accept an idea when they see there is something in it for them, or that the idea is in alignment with their core values. So, present to your staff the benefits to them for having GPS vehicle tracking in place: Security
Management has a duty of care to ensure field staff working alone are safe. Vehicle tracking can automatically send alerts to management if the vehicle is still at a job site after working hours, so that someone knows to check with the field worker that they are okay.
With GPS vehicle tracking, field staff no longer have to maintain logbooks, as everything is automated by the tracking system.
GPS vehicle tracking can monitor speed, hard braking, hard acceleration and harsh cornering. Employees aware that their driving skills are being tracked usually drive in a safer manner to avoid reprimand on their driving habits, resulting in adherence to speed and road rules, thus avoiding traffic infringement fines and increasing the safety of drivers and other road users.
Knowing where all field staff are located allows better allocation of resources to emergency call outs from customers. This is best explained through an example:
Without the knowledge of proximities and travel distances, technician 1 gets assigned the emergency call out, since he will be the first available person, but:
With GPS tracking, management has the ability to evaluate the distance of each technician to the emergency call out, and assign the technician who will be able to respond in a timely manner not only without causing the customer delay, but also avoiding a technician facing an exhaustive drive and stress.
Nothing frustrates employees more than when they feel they are expected to provide results when having to work with faulty equipment – including the vehicles they drive. Properly maintained vehicles mean field staff experience less vehicle break-downs, less frustration and less days being office bound (or possibly off work not earning income) while the vehicle is being fixed.
When a customer’s challenges the amount of time it has taken for services performed, having documented evidence of a field staff member’s time on site can in most cases correct the customer’s position, thus avoiding the staff member having to account for their time (which can result in the staff member feeling untrustworthy and undervalued).
GPS Vehicle Tracking provides clear, distinctive advantages for both business owners and their field staff. Once employees understand how vehicle tracking is going to make their job easier, less frustrating and supported, they become champions for the technology.
We all feel it at some point in our lives. Perhaps some of us more than others. Pressure, over time, can take its toll, wear us down and run us thin. You know that I am talking about tire pressure…right? I mean, this is a fleet management blog after all.
Like so many other things in our business, our tires are often taken for granted. As long as they don’t blow up, they are pretty much ignored. However, here’s a little tidbit you might not have known before…
That’s a big chunk of change for most of us and enough to warrant some pretty serious attention from most fleet owners and managers.
So what are the things that we need to be considering and managing in regards to our fleet’s tires? Glad you asked. Here are the main points to keep tabs on.
1) Tire Pressure: This is the simplest thing to do and yet most fleet managers are getting it wrong. Incorrect tire pressure, specifically underinflating, causes a wide range of problems which include;
2) Tire Rotation: Tires wear unevenly. Three point turns and steering, in general, contribute greatly. Tires wear more and faster when they are not properly balanced and aligned. So, to get the most out of those rubbery investments, rotate your fleet’s tires. Recommended frequency? Around 7,500 miles. Doing this during oil changes is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. End result? Up to 20 percent increase in tire service life.
3) Balance and Alignment: Proper balance and alignment are critical to the safety of your vehicle. On top of that, improperly aligned and balanced tires lead to MAJOR uneven wear issues and can even cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
4) The Correct Tires: I know, I know. This is a no brainer right? Wrong. Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are designing their trucks to take a VERY specific tire. Deviating from this specification in any way can result in potentially unsafe handling and accidents. Before changing or purchasing tires for your fleet vehicle, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommended specs and stick to them. Chances are that your truck was designed with those exact tires in mind. Get creative with your choices and you may find yourself having to get creative with your resume.
I understand that all of these things may seem like small pieces in the big picture. But all those small pieces and percentages tend to add up fast on a vehicle. Then multiply that by the number of vehicles in your fleet and the dollar signs become significant.
More importantly, your tires are the only connection that your trucks have to the road. Make them a good one.
And don’t forget to relax. Pressure is a killer.
Service vehicles are a huge investment, right? The average price of a new vehicle is not exactly going down over time either. In today’s market, it is easy to spend $30,000 and up on your next fleet addition. And let’s not forget the thousands and thousands of dollars in equipment, tools, and supplies they carry around. Big cash signs is what they start to look like. Big…rolling…cash signs.
So given all of this, let me ask you a question…
Right now, if I asked you to tell me where all your vehicles and their drivers were, could you? What about where your service truck was last Sunday? How fast they are driving?
Could you tell me? If not, consider this…
Would you let an office employee load up $50,000 worth of company property into their car and take off without knowing exactly where they were? I didn’t think so. Yet so many of us have done this very thing, day and day, year after year with our fleet vehicles.
GPS based fleet tracking systems can solve this information vacuum by providing real-time information on location and driving habits for your entire fleet. It allows you to know where they are and what they are doing on a moment by moment basis.
The other bonus…the drivers know that you can see all of this too. Think of it like a small dose of “healthy paranoia”. It’s hard to use the company van to do a side job on Saturday when you know your boss might be watching you on his tablet.
Here is why keeping a tight control over those assets is crucial to your business success. It mostly all comes down to location, location, location. When you know your trucks and service techs location (definitively), you can do the following…
However you accomplish it, it is imperative that you, as a Fleet Manager, know the activity and whereabouts of your fleet at all time. They are your most valuable and costly assets. Care for them well and they will reward you well.
If you are ready to consider GPS tracking for your business, come check us out at www.fleetlog.com.au to see how we can deliver all of this for you.
In our last article post, we talked about information overload and the importance of organizing ourselves when it comes to our fleet management data. We suggested that if you hadn’t already done so, to gather up all of your vehicle info, service records, registrations, maintenance schedules etc. and we would discuss different methods of organizing this information into some sort of usable system. That my dear readers brings us to today.
When it comes to fleet management, information is critical. What you do with that information is even more so. But to effectively leverage all of this data, it has to be organized into some sort of system that makes sense for you and your business. The simplest and most cost effective way of accomplishing this is through the diligent use of a database. Databases are simply electronic filing systems where you can keep all of your documentation in one, easily accessible location. You have many options in this regard, however, today we will be focusing on one example which you probably own and have installed on your computer already.
If your business has computers and email (you do have those, right?), there is a good chance that you are using Outlook to manage your email and calendar. Unfortunately, that is where most people stop and they do so unwisely. Outlook is a fairly customizable database which, if slightly modified, can serve as a storehouse for all of your vehicle’s maintenance records, registration information, insurance details, and more. What’s even more useful is how you can attach your Calendar functions and create reminders for things like license plate renewals, tire rotations, and oil changes. You can even attach documents and an image of the vehicle to its file. Here are the basic steps to get you started with using Outlook for your vehicle files.
1) Create contact files for each of your vehicles. This will take some creativity on your part in that you will have to work around some of the defined entry fields that are provided to you. Just decide what makes sense for you and go from there. For example, instead of entering a Company Name, enter Fleet in that field instead. Doing so will allow you to search for those records in the database that only pertain to your company vehicles. In the Full Name field, you might use the vehicle’s identification number, make, and model, etc. Spend some time with it, play around, and make it your own. The best solution is the one that works for you.
2) Create custom user fields. Under the Contact tab you will likely find an option to view “All Fields”. This will take you to a screen where you can create your own custom data fields to be named and used for any purpose you can think of. Some ideas may be…
You get the idea. Again, look around and play with it.
3) Setup Tasks, Reminders, and Calendar items. This is where the real functionality of this software comes into play. Now that you have all of your vehicles logged into the system, you can keep track of things like scheduled maintenance activities, mechanics notes, insurance renewal information, fuel usage, repairs, and the like. Use the Calendar function with Reminders and you will never forget another service interval again.
Now just because we only highlighted Outlook in this article does NOT mean that this is the only way to get this done. There is a myriad of options and many of them may already exist in your business. Access is a database creation application which allows you to design your own solution, from the ground up. Most of the Client Relationship Management (CRM) software packages can be repurposed for the fleet management function as well and are worth looking into and playing around with if you already happen to own and use them in your business.
The most critical thing to remember is that you do not have to spend a fortune to run and manage your fleet successfully and efficiently.
Combining a solid system like the ones we have discussed today with a GPS tracking solution such as our Fleetlog system, will have you running a world class fleet program, whether you have 1000 vehicles, or just two.
They are marvelous marketing tools, those gleaming vans and shiny trucks rolling around town. We proudly splash them with our company colors, logos, and taglines. Each and every one of them shouting out to the public who we are and what we do. If our service routes happen to take us to crowded highways or through busy downtowns, past countless other drivers and onlookers, all the better. It’s all about exposure in the business world.
If you happen to be the owner of said company, the pride one can feel the first time you see one of your trucks out on the road is truly memorable. I can still remember the first time it happened to me. I even took a picture of the van as it rolled by and can remember the experience vividly.
But all of this visibility and marketing can be a two edged sword if you are not careful.
Much like public nudity, exposure is not always a positive. Oh please! Don’t even judge me. It was college and for the sake of art. Now let’s get back on track, shall we?
The fact is, each one of those vehicles, and the driver operating them, are ambassadors to your company. They are living, breathing, rolling billboards for your organization and their behavior and actions all speak loudly; good or bad, for better or worse.
If your tech is operating his vehicle in a professional, safe, and courteous manner, the billboard is a positive one. On the other hand…
If he or she is speeding, cutting people off, or simply driving in a dangerous manner, you can bet that your logo and company colors will be remembered by the surrounding public as well. And I haven’t even mentioned what may happen if an accident occurs. Yep, those high dollar vehicle graphics you invested in are going to look amazing from the T.V. news crew’s cameras and on your customer’s flat screen televisions.
Much of this can be avoided by instituting a few simple things into your fleet program.
1) Incorporate a solid GPS tracking product into each and every one of your vehicles. I really can’t say enough about how important this is and how easy and wildly affordable the stuff can be. In fact, I can guarantee you that they won’t cost you a dime. ROI is realized within the first month for some companies. Those little black boxes are cash machines, not expenses. Trust me. Given as they will tell you things like location, speed, braking activity, and the like, you know what everyone is doing and WHERE. Right from your tablet, smartphone, or computer. The first time you turn on that screen and see all those little icons (your trucks) moving around, you will be hooked. Everyone is. Knowledge is power and you might just be surprised what you find out.
2) Establish and enforce a safety program. This doesn’t have to be complex, but get it in writing, present it consistently and often, and get their compliance agreement in writing. Lastly, make sure there are consequences to violations.
3) Encourage snitches. Whether it is a toll free number on the truck or telling all your friends and customers, let everyone know that you want to hear about unsafe or unprofessional conduct on the road.
Marketing is great and I love few things more than a fresh graphics package on my trucks. But be sure your drivers are sending the right kind of message when they leave the office doors behind.
And don’t forget….control bad exposure, keep your clothes on.
Human beings, as a general rule, behave much differently when being supervised by an authority figure than when they know they are not being watched. This is true from childhood and on through to our adult years. If you do not believe me, try this little experiment next time you have a moment.
Tell your kids (or borrow some, with permission) that you have something in the closet that they are not supposed to look at, under any circumstances. Explain that they can pretty much do anything, but whatever they do, DO NOT OPEN THE CLOSET. Then walk out of the room, hide, and watch what happens.
Heck, try it with your employees. The result will be the same. If you have staff that are driving company assets without GPS tracking, you already are.
I am not saying that all people are bad and have evil intentions. Not at all. Even though there are some employees out there who are looking to rob you blind, it is my belief that most are well intentioned and have your company’s best interests at heart. Mostly.
However, keep in mind what we said at the beginning of this article. We act differently when supervised. Moreover, when I say differently, I usually mean better. It may help to think of this in this way.
Ask yourself this question, “How would my employees drive, if I was sitting in the truck with them? Better or worse than when driving alone?”
How about this one… “How much more work/service calls would get accomplished if I was able to ride along on every call?” “Maybe better yet…” Would time card accuracy change if I was on every call with them?”
For most managers and business owners, the answer to these questions is clear. The problem lies in the fact that you cannot be in every truck with every employee. However, we have the next best thing.
GPS tracking from Fleetlog allows fleet managers to see live data from their entire fleet, from anywhere in the world, 24/7. Know where they are, where they are going, and how they are driving, minute by minute.
Whether you are at a nearby job site, your office, or on vacation on the other side of the world, with Fleetlog GPS tracking, you are always in the passenger seat!