Geofencing (also sometimes known as border control) is a common feature found in most commercial fleet tracking systems which allows a fleet manager to define areas in which their vehicles normally operate. If or when a vehicle strays outside this defined area, the fleet manager is typically notified by a text or email alert and the event is recorded.
It can be useful for ensuring that your fleet vehicles are being used for their intended purpose, and at their predefined zone of work. It can also be a good way to accurately measure “time-on-site” which can help with billing and invoicing of clients.
Another important function is that it can indicate if a vehicle has been stolen; an alert can be activated if a tagged vehicle crosses a border area of the zone it is supposed to be operating in. This element of the geofencing system can also be applied on an even more local area and can ensure that vehicles can remain accounted for on a large building site or work area, and once again raising an electronic alert if a vehicle proceeds off site.
While some fleet companies are truly national, covering every area of the UK, many work with clients within a more localised area. Whether it is within a section of the country, such as the North West, a specific county, or within the confines of a town or city, the majority of smaller companies have a service that extends within some notional boundary. A similar system might be used by companies with greater reach to allocate certain areas to particular teams.
Geofencing can be achieved by describing a zone area within fleet management software, and setting a trigger based on either GPS or RFID location. The system then monitors the vehicle position and watches for infringement of well-defined borders. If the vehicle crosses the border control line – which may be a particular road, in reality – the management software highlights it and alerts staff as appropriate.
But geofencing can be used in a much smarter way too. The fleet manager could set up geofenced areas at some appropriate distance around customer’s sites, triggering a call to the customer and informing them that their delivery is due thereby allowing them to be ready to receive it. This introduces a level of customer care that will gain a company valuable satisfaction rewards as busy customers are not waiting on a delivery, only to have it arrive at site in an inappropriate time when they will find it difficult to deal with. By knowing when their delivery is going to show up, customers can be ready and delivery drivers can spend less time waiting and therefore more time actually delivering.
Geofences are easy to set up and alter as needed. The help ensure that fleet vehicles are being used appropriately and are safe, but and perhaps more importantly, they can help you reach a higher level of customer satisfaction.