When it comes to a telematics solution, what is the most valuable feature or capability? The easy answer is, “it depends.”
Indeed, depending upon your industry, your vehicles and assets, your customers, your data needs, and your need to be compliant, a telematics solution can prove valuable in any number of ways – whether it’s routing and dispatch, driver behavior monitoring, digital inspections, or automating processes and reporting.
For construction, where equipment utilization across mixed fleets and the ability to accurately estimate and track costs means the difference between profit and loss, one telematics feature stands out as especially valuable – project geofencing. In fact, it’s not a reach to conclude that project geofencing can be your telematics secret weapon.
If you have experience with telematics, you are likely familiar with geofencing software. With vehicles or assets outfitted with telematics devices, their location can be tracked via GPS and alerts can be set up on the telematics platform to let you know when the equipment exits the set geofence perimeter, discouraging unauthorized use and even the hoarding of equipment at a job site where it might be needed in the future. For these reasons, geofencing has been a huge benefit for construction companies.
Project geofencing, available in some but not all telematics solutions, takes this technology to another level. It differs from traditional geofencing in that it allows the company to track any asset that enters the project’s geofence and then gather, view, and run reports on that specified location. The result is a trove of data and intelligence that can help you deploy and operate equipment more effectively while minimizing costs and boosting profits.
Project geofencing can help facilitate the creation of powerful reports that can provide insights in multiple areas, including:
Utilization. With geofencing, it’s possible to know where your equipment is at all times. But with project geofencing, and telematics hardware connected directly into the engine bus, you can run reports that provide a deep dive into how much and how effectively your equipment is being utilized. These include utilization reports on specific vehicles and assets that enter the project’s geofence, capturing categories such as engine hours per day, week, or any other specific timeframe.
This information can prove invaluable for accurately calculating costing and for estimating equipment needs for future jobs. For example, you may be able to determine that it’s not cost-effective to leave a specific asset at a job site for the duration of the project when, as you learn from a report made possible by project geofencing, that’s it’s only in use for a few days.
Labor. One important yet overlooked aspect of managing projects and the movement of pieces of equipment from one site to another is the need to also manage the availability of qualified people to operate them. When, through the reporting enabled by project geofencing, you can better understand when and where your operators are needed, you can more efficiently move them from job site to job site to ensure you don’t have expensive equipment sitting idle for want of an available operator.
Efficiency. With project geofencing and the ability to track the whereabouts of your vehicles and assets you can ferret out waste and identify opportunities for improved efficiency. For instance, if you notice that multiple vehicles go to the same warehouse or retailer for supplies on the same day, you can determine if these trips could be combined to save time and money. While this might not sound like a huge efficiency improvement, every little bit helps when it comes to containing costs – especially avoidable costs.
A More Intelligent Approach
For a construction company, more data means greater transparency, better decisions, and a more intelligent approach to managing a mixed fleet. A telematics system that provides for project geofencing – by project and to your own unique set of reporting needs – is the best way to get at that extra data.
Of course, a telematics solution that doesn’t include project geofencing can still deliver value. But you are likely to find that the insights and intelligence project geofencing can provide improves by leaps and bounds your ability to profitably manage your mixed construction fleet.