GPS is everywhere these days – in your car, in your cell phone and now in your fleet of equipment. We usually think of a portable device that sits on your dashboard and gives you turn by turn directions, but navigation is only one benefit of the emerging GPS technologies.
Telematics describes a new functionality that is really powerful for the rental industry. One of the services provides GPS tracking data and transmits it in real time back to your organization. This is a valuable benefit for tracking maintenance and managing where your equipment is being used. Rental companies use these tools to manage expensive equipment, especially the ones that need preventive maintenance. Telematics is also a valuable tool for tracking equipment for tax reasons as well.
How is an asset tracked using GPS?
First, the asset needs hardware installed, such as the GPS receiver and the GPS Antenna. These are specially designed to handle rough vibrations and the power of the elements, and these units are positioned strategically on the machine to avoid signal interference and to secure the hardware in a safe spot.
Second, the information that is provided from the GPS device needs to be processed by a software and be used to update equipment hour meters, geocode positioning of the equipment and create reports using this information.
Can GPS tracking save you money?
Yes! And it can do so in 3 key areas of your business:
1. Service maintenance reductions
The equipment hours recorded through the GPS are processed using your rental software to update the equipment hour meter on file and compare it to the last maintenance service recorded hour meter. Based on the configured preventive maintenance schedules, your rental software will determine if the equipment is due for service or not.
This will minimize the amount of emergency repairs and cut down on overall maintenance. Each piece of equipment will be tracked individually to ensure the correct maintenance is done at the correct time. This takes the guess work out of maintenance and ensures you do it on time, and not too late, which might result in equipment breakdowns, reduce customer satisfaction and utilization. Maintenance performed too early can waste money associated with too frequent maintenance and is environmentally wasteful.
2. Manage and charge taxes based on equipment location
Use the telematics data to track equipment movement between different tax zones and adjust the Sales Tax accordingly. For example, a piece of equipment was rented and delivered to a particular job site address which is located in a tax jurisdiction that requires your company to collect a 5% sales tax. After a while, the customer decides to move the equipment to a different job site address which has a tax jurisdiction that requires your company to collect 8% tax sales.
Thankfully, as soon as that equipment left the original geo-fenced job site, an alert was sent to the contract coordinator and he was able to ping the new location of the equipment and update the rental contract in your rental software. Then the correct tax jurisdiction could be applied to that contract. If this would not have been discovered, your company would have been at fault for not collecting the correct amount of tax.
3. Reduce fuel costs
When delivery trucks use GPS routing directions with traffic management technology, they can reduce fuel used per vehicle. Combining this with your rental software logistics module to minimize empty loads on your fleet trucks and improve fuel maintenance and the rental turnaround time of equipment.
These examples show how telematics can help your company be more efficient. GPS tracking provides historical data as well, enabling you to create trending reports to analyze delivery, pick up and idle times by driver, branch, etc. which will provide even more intelligence for managing your fleet and reducing expenses.
How are you using telematics today? Tell us more by filling out this simple survey and we will share the results in a future blog for you to compare your business to the industry.
Wynne Systems can integrate most telematics solutions directly with RentalMan enabling you to collect and store this critical data. We are GPS vendor-agnostic and ready to work with you to integrate this powerful new tool today. Please schedule a demo today to learn more.