Geofencing is a technological advancement in GPS fleet management that can be applied in different ways, for varying purposes. As a basic definition, geofencing is simply the capability to use signals from a device to pinpoint that device’s location (known as geolocation or geotracking) and draw a digital boundary to encircle the area, the fencing part of the word.
With hundreds of vehicles on the roads at any given time, keeping an eye on everything is a challenge. This struggle is further magnified if you’re operating across multiple regional areas. Luckily, each of your assets produces masses of valuable data that can be used to drive down costs, improve efficiency and monitor behaviour.
Drawing a geofence or digital boundary will allow you to see everything that enters or leaves the area, along with relevant insights from your telematics system. Managers can also monitor the time spent within geofence boundaries to determine if drivers are giving attention to the right jobs.
Here are a few ways geofences will benefit your business.
With a geofence enabled, you can identify every vehicle that enters or leaves the area. This allows you to record the exact time they arrive and leave, how long they spent onsite, the speed they were travelling at and how they behaved (both on and between job sites). This information will help you to measure and compare productivity, so you can identify any company vehicles that have been misused or left idle. Tracking the availability of vehicles within your geofence also means you can assign jobs based on the nearest vehicle or piece of equipment, minimising the time and money spent on completing tasks.
Vehicle and equipment theft is an ongoing issue for the trasport industry. The total value of vehicles stolen from Australian businesses in 2014 was more than $51 million. With geofences, the risk of anything being stolen is considerably lower. You’ll receive an immediate email or SMS alert if something leaves or enters a site outside of scheduled operating hours. For example, if a truck is only supposed to be used between 6am and 4pm, you’ll receive a notification straight away if someone’s trying to move it offsite late at night. This gives you time to investigate and inform the authorities if it looks like theft. And with GPS tracking, you can pinpoint the exact location of a stolen asset so it can be easily recovered.
Many routes are restricted by local regulations that enforce a mass or height limit, or limit access to certain areas due to other regulatory requirements. Placing a geofence around these areas will help you identify any breaches of these rules so you can respond immediately. Timely, accurate data also helps you respond to compliance breaches under the Chain of Responsibility. If there is a compliance breach you can check your records and speak with the employees responsible – or implement any process improvements to prevent future breaches.