In the last few years, GPS fleet tracking technology has made vast improvements and transformations in terms of features and functionality. Simple track-and-trace functionality still exists, but features now allow for multi-dimensional fleet management. This type of technology can help contractors more efficiently coordinate and manage construction projects while increasing service revenue and decreasing operational costs.

Several moving parts are involved in delivering successful projects, and time management is crucial when deadlines are strict. With a fleet tracking solution, contractors can use automated reports for a detailed view of employee activity throughout the day, week or month. Alerts can be set up to send instant notification via email or text when employees arrive or leave designated areas. This allows management to improve payroll accuracy by pinpointing employees that arrive to jobs late, leave early or take excessive breaks. Alerts also can be set up to notify management when employees approach a certain amount of hours on the job each week, helping reduce overtime hours.   

Communication
When employees work remotely, it is crucial to maintain strong communicationbetween the office and the field. Certain apps allow field employees to view detailed job information from their mobile devices, which helps reduce errors on the job, and others can provide updates on job statuses and keep management informed on progress in the field. Effective communication helps move projects along smoothly and increase productivity.

Navigation
Efficient routing ensures employees use the most direct routes to jobsites. Voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions also help reduce the risk of distracted driving.

Maintenance
Employees need a safe and reliable mode of transportation when driving to and from jobsites. Proper routine maintenance not only improves driver safety, but also prevents breakdowns in the field. Often, issues that go unnoticed turn into bigger problems down the road, which ultimately results in vehicle downtime and expensive repair costs. Construction businesses, specifically those with company vehicles, can use automated maintenance schedules, logs and reports to keep track of maintenance and prolong vehicle life.

Fuel
Fuel serves as a major operating cost for construction businesses and fluctuating gas prices can make managing expenses difficult. Fleet tracking technology helps contractors keep a close eye on excessive vehicle idling and fuel consumption, which increases fuel savings and eliminates wasteful practices. Fuel card integration allows contractors to set limits on fuel-related purchases and provides information regarding gas card data, fuel card transactions and maintenance. Contractors also can identify vehicles burning more fuel than they should and mitigate fuel slippage and theft.

Asset Tracking
Asset tracking technology allows contractors to monitor equipment in any environment and can help determine use based on engine hours. It also can track lost or stolen equipment. Equipment left on jobsites overnight without supervision can become a huge target for theft. If assets move from a designated location, built-in motion sensors within the hardware will trigger an immediate alert—helping pinpoint and stop unauthorized equipment use.     

Fleet management solutions continue to advance and transform to help contractors improve operational efficiency while increasing revenue and reducing costs. Companies that implement fleet tracking typically see a 10 percent to 20 percent reduction in both labor costs and fuel costs, and a combined savings of at least $35 per vehicle, per driver. With all of the cost-saving benefits, contractors can achieve ROI in as little as one month. 


Wyn Partington is vice president of marketing for NexTraq. For more information, call (800) 358-6178 or visit www.nextraq.com.