Geo-fencing is a handy tool to assist fleet managers in tracking their fleets. Geo-fences are electronically set ‘virtual boundaries’ around selected geographic locations that can be activated and deactivated at certain times. When a vehicle enters, or exits, one of these geo-fences the fleet manager will receive an alert via text or email to notify them. In this guide, we will explain how to set up geo-fences, as-well as how they can help improve your fleet’s productivity, and efficiency, in both a practical and financial sense. We will also look toward the other advantages our product has to offer in regards to geo-fences.
How to Set Up Geo-fences
Within the Fleetsmart system, you will find geo-fences labelled as POIs or points of interest. POI’s can be added to your account quickly and easily via the map view within the system , the map also allows searches via postcode/address to quickly find the exact location. To create a new point of interest: click the map view and select the option that appears to “Draw Circle POI.” You can then adjust the boundary’s size and name the POI as you wish with a name that is meaningful to your organisation.
If you require further help with setting up geo-fences, or experience any other issues with the Fleetsmart software, please don’t hesitate to contact our helpful customer support team on 01942 356333. If you require more in-depth training with the system, we offer full online training as part of the purchase of any vehicle tracking device. If you have multiple users for large fleets, we can also provide on-site training.
Improving Fleet Productivity and Efficiency with Geo-fences
With geo-fences, you can make significant changes to how your fleet operates, saving time and money through greater productivity and efficiency. Whilst you can see the locations and journey history of vehicles through regular GPS tracking, geo-fences can automatically notify you when your driver arrives at their destination. Hence, making it easier to keep an accurate record of when deliveries have been made or attempted instead of locating and keeping track of each vehicle manually on the system.
Another way to improve efficiency is by sending delivery recipients information on when your vehicles enter the geo-fence near to them, so they can be prepared to unload ahead of time, making the supply chain more efficient.
By setting geo-fences along driver routes and at destination points, managers can identify where drivers may be behind schedule — thus notifying customers. Driver training is also vital to ensure longer routes are avoided or unnecessary stops prevented — saving both time and money for the business.
Time Management and Payroll with Geo-fences
Geofencing can help you to keep a more accurate record of your drivers’ hours by recording when they leave the warehouse, arrive at a job, leave the job, any breaks and when they arrive back at the warehouse. Not only does this reduce the time spent doing admin, but it reduces the risk of falsification of timesheets. In turn, this makes calculating payroll for employees who are paid by the hour, easier and more accurate — ensuring employees are paid fairly.
Preventing Personal Vehicle Use with Geo-fences
Whilst some companies allow their drivers to use their vehicles for personal use, others may not. Suppose your company does not allow personal use of fleet vehicles, you can create geo-fences around your warehouse (or the driver’s last location at the end of their shift) to monitor your vehicles and ensure usage does not occur outside of working hours. Notifications trigger the instant at which a vehicle exits a geo-fence, thus reducing unauthorised usage. Using live updates or journey history, you can see the route the driver took and how long each individual journey took.
Whilst taking disciplinary measures regarding occasional personal use of company vehicles may seem like an overreaction, your company could be liable in the event of an accident during out-of-work hours, if your vehicles are only insured for work use. It’s also worth mentioning that the more an employee uses your vehicle for personal errands, the more they cost the company in fuel.
Using the Fleetsmart app, you can see roughly how much fuel your employees use during personal trips. Estimated fuel usages are also available throughout the Fleetsmart app. Fuel usage parameters are on a per-vehicle basis. The system uses these values alongside time spent idling, and the mileage travelled, to calculate expected fuel consumption for each vehicle.
If you notice staff making unauthorised use of company vehicles, take the opportunity to remind them of the rules and offer extra training where necessary, taking further action with repeat offenders.
Preventing Theft of Vehicles and Goods
Research by Farsight revealed that a vehicle is stolen every 9 minutes in the UK — with stolen cars and vans often shipped overseas. Refurbished or repainting occurs, with all identification removed to reduce the chances of being traced. A vehicle tracking system with geo-fences such as Fleetsmart will help to prevent this kind of theft.
Wherever you keep your vehicles during out of hours (whether in a warehouse, car park or a temporary location during long journeys), you should set a geo-fence around that area. By doing so, you will be notified if your vehicles leave the geo-fence during out of hours, allowing you to investigate any suspicious activity such as a thief attempting to steal your vehicle.
The sooner you are made aware of vehicle or tool theft, the quicker you can get the police involved and track down your vehicle and any goods that may be stored inside, potentially saving your company thousands of pounds.