Greater numbers of businesses are looking to a GPS fleet management tracking to improve the safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness of their fleet. However, there are a number of choices of different systems, which can make purchasing a little overwhelming for some business owners. In order to ensure that you choose the right system for your business, it is important that you understand the options.
Network of GPS satellites
Active and Passive Systems:
Most forms of these systems are known as active systems. They use a network of GPS satellites to relay information between the vehicle and the home base or server. Some business owners may have considered cheaper options but these are generally passive systems, which have some significant differences.
Active systems relay the vehicle data between the unit installed in the vehicle and the monitor at the home base. This allows for real time vehicle tracking and other information to be available to the fleet management team at all times. Passive systems do not transmit the data automatically. The information is gathered by the management device but it is stored on the memory of the device. This can be retrieved when the vehicle returns to the home base, by removing a memory card, plugging a computer into the device through USB or accessing the data using a wireless connection. This means that although you will have a comprehensive report or log, you cannot track the vehicle in real time. When most people refer to a GPS system, they are referring to an active system.
Online or Local Systems:
The providers of fleet management software and systems tend to offer two categories of system. Online systems are usually cloud based and allow access using a web browser or interface. Local systems are installed on a local or home base computer. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages but the choice between them is likely to be affected by the IT infrastructure which is already in place in the business. If the current fleet management uses a database already in place, then a local system may be more beneficial than a cloud based system.
Key Features to Consider:
Each type of fleet management system is likely to have slightly different features and advantages. There are a number of key features which will be integral for successful integration for most businesses. These include:
Centralized storage of data: In order for your new system to perform effectively, all of the data collected must be collated and stored centrally. This will enable additional information such as service schedules, driver qualifications and endorsements, and fleet staff medical requirements to be entered into the system. Reminded Facility: Many systems offer a reminder facility to ensure that any vehicle servicing, tax or testing dates flag an alert on the system. This can allow for effective planning to ensure that all these commitments are met by their due date without additional inconvenience.