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Why geofencing is a crucial part of fleet management

A second life is here – welcome to the virtual world. There are thousands of virtual experiences and possibilities available to us, but to use them responsibly, virtual protection is necessary – before we are whisked into the unknown.   

 In modern security terms, we are talking about geofencing and its wonderful capabilities to inform and protect us.

 Geofencing is a crucial part of modern fleet management which offers features to give you better control of your fleet. 

It allows you to create boundaries for where your vehicles are allowed to travel, ensuring that you always know what is happening with your drivers.

But it’s not exclusive to fleet management, it has diverse capabilities widely used by various industries and for different reasons. 

Take a tour with us into the virtual world of geofencing.

Geofencing defined 

Geofencing is a location-based service that creates virtual boundaries around specific areas to monitor the movements of people, assets, and fleets. We’re excited to unpack all the reasons why this fleet management tool is a real game-changer. 

For a start, you are probably wondering how geofencing works? 

Good question. It works with an app or other software using either GPS, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), Wi-Fi, or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.  

A geofence can either be created as a predefined set of boundaries or generated as a radius around a point location. When someone enters a specific area or geofence, an alert is triggered to notify fleet managers.

It’s important to understand your use for geofencing, and exactly how you are going to create your geofences. Sometimes it can be as standard as drawing a circle 100 feet around a location on Google Maps, thus customising your geofence. Or perhaps you need something a bit more robust – such as being put in the hands of a tech software provider.  

The choice is yours, but we aim to shed more “geo-light” as you read on.

What exactly is geofencing used for? 

  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • Advanced security measures
  • Marketing strategies
  • Business and employee productivity

Why geofencing is a crucial part of fleet management? 

Geofencing in cars is an excellent tool for fleet managers. This technology offers a number of advantages that can help you improve safety, reduce costs, and increase efficiency throughout your fleet. 

Let’s look at some practical examples:

  • Limit recurring threats. Certain areas might be prone to more incidents such as constant road works on route or crime events. A virtual protective barrier can be created around the area with a geofence to prevent future incidents.  
  • Monitor private use of vehicles. Perhaps your large vehicle fleet has reps who take the vehicles home when they are off shift. It’s important to monitor if they are entering high-risk areas, and the areas of suppliers and customers. 
  • Custom geofence alerts. This can be used for specific actions like being able to know when a battery has moved from one region to another. 
  • Get ahead of competitors. It assists businesses to be more operationally productive. They can focus on other important business needs such as making sales, impressing customers, and creating a positive space for more staff retention and development. 
  • Cost-saving capabilities. According to experts, knowing a trailer’s arrival and departure times in real-time is crucial when delivering high-value, high-risk cargo like refrigerated items or medical supplies. This geofencing tracking data will allow you to enhance timetables, prevent any mistakes, and identify assets that are being exploited. As a result, there will be less customer or supplier stock losses, or damage to expensive equipment, which will reduce additional monthly costs to the business.

Improved customer service and business structure. Geofence delivery alerts and automated reporting will inform managers if a package will arrive late. Clients will then be contacted ahead of time with estimated times.

3 types of geofencing for fleets

  1. Polygon geofences

A business might need a very specific custom boundary. For example, construction equipment may need a geofence around the zone the equipment will be used in. Or each department could have custom zones for various tasks to avoid potential confusion and disputes later.

  1. Circular geofences

This is the fastest and easiest geofence to set up — set a size, pick a point on the map, and you’re ready to go. It is used to make sure an asset doesn’t stray too far from one area. 

  1. Corridor geofences 

A popular option for transport companies that send fully loaded big loads long distances. These geofences create a border along a stretch of highway and give you the option to adjust how wide the border is. 

4 additional reasons your fleet needs geofencing

  1. Eliminate personal use of vehicles

Many companies allow drivers to take home their vehicles. Your drivers won’t think twice about taking the company vehicle on a last-minute holiday. Set up geofences around where they live and will be able to identify if they have crossed boundaries and entered an area without your permission.

It will be easier to monitor if they are using the vehicle for the wrong reasons. This can prevent additional costs such as insurance and vehicle fees in the event of an accident, which could occur.

  1. Verify timesheets and project hours

Who needs a logbook when you have geofences set up? You can create them so you know exactly when drivers are entering and leaving the building. As well as when they have arrived and left a job site. 

  1. Vehicles will stay in their territory

Some vehicles are licensed to be within certain areas, otherwise a fine can be issued by authorities. A manager can create certain geofences to ensure fleet drivers do not overlap in areas, especially where they are prohibited.

  1. More intelligence for your business

Informative data will be gathered from the geofences and driver performance. This will ensure that fleet managers and drivers are paying attention to the right key performance indicators, which will help the business grow and execute its best.

What is geofencing in the world of security?

When it comes to security, geofencing is used as a measure to secure many parts of the business. The location-based service is used to create protective virtual perimeters for extra precaution.

As technologies evolve, so do we. Criminals are no exception, in fact, they are getting more inventive in the ways they attack and breach security policies. Even employees can misuse the technologies available and cause more harm than good.

Where are we going with this?

A geofence car tracking device for your fleet alone might not be enough. You may have to apply this to the security procedures of the whole company. From fleet management to employee and vehicle safety to premises security – here’s the impact of geofencing on the security industry.

  •  Intercept invisible security threats 

Take a chemical manufacturing company as an example. They might have multiple factories producing hundreds of hazardous products, in addition to several fleets transporting these goods country-wide.

Even more so, they need to ensure their drivers are exercising caution when transporting high-risk products, such as setting up geofences to ensure they are not going into restricted areas. Something could go wrong causing danger to people and the environment. But in this instance, geofencing security in their production line should be non-negotiable.

According to Gov.il, failure in production or conveyance systems at a factory that stores hazardous materials can cause harmful material events, resulting in damage to public health and the environment. 

What is an example of geofencing here?

There are various threats posed by wireless devices in deemed sensitive areas. Workers distracted by their phones can injure themselves or others, or cause damage to equipment and processes in hazardous environments. Geofencing will help enhance the visibility of these devices where it’s needed most. Managers will then be notified if devices are being used within a geofenced area. 

When talking about invisible threats, malicious actors can use cameras, microphones, storage, and networking features, to capture and steal state secrets and industrial IP. 

Since many manufacturing systems that contain hazardous materials are operated and controlled by computer systems, a cyber breach can cause failure or disruption of the computerised system – leading to a dangerous event, such as a tragic explosion. 

  • Prevent vehicle theft

Vehicle fleets are hellishly expensive, and your fleet could be a target for theft. In 2020, there were 1,202 truck hijackings in South Africa. This is an increase from 821 truck hijackings since 2012.

Should your vehicle be stolen and leave the geofenced area created, you will be alerted and can take appropriate action to retrieve the stolen vehicle. You can create high-risk zones and geofences to restrict drivers from going through those areas. Geofencing will then alert you if a vehicle is going out of its set territory. 

  • Better safety for drivers

Driver safety is also one of the number one goals for fleet managers. If your driver isn't safe, then how safe is your stock? Not to mention, drivers spend hundreds of hours on the road each month increasing the chance of incidents. And let’s be honest, South African roads can be dangerous. 

Geofencing can help you monitor any suspicious movement of a vehicle, whether that's wandering outside of a designated territory or being idle for a long period. 

These alerts can give you the information you need to get in touch with your driver to determine if they need assistance, and if they are, give the responding authorities their exact location.

Types of geofencing used on site

Don’t get off your seat just yet, we have more. Here are three other top geofencing mentions that would be useful on a hazardous worksite.

  1. Blast zones

The company might want to conduct a loud blast to break down raw materials, where employees will need to be informed. The geofence created will ensure that employees do not enter into a particular unsafe zone. This can also be called a “no-go zone.” 

  1. Speed zone

There are certain industrial sites where speed limits musn’t be exceeded. A speed limit geofence can alert you if there are incidents of speeding where there shouldn’t be. You can pull up speeding reports of these drivers and help improve their road behaviour.   

  1. Yard and site 

Workers may need to transport supplies or equipment from a home base (known as a yard) to a temporary worksite. These movements can be monitored with a geofence, allowing you to easily log the times users come and go between each area. For example, a concrete truck returning to the yard to fill up, before heading back to the site to drop off its load.

How do I set up geofencing?

Good news, we have arrived at the ‘how’ part of our tour. You are ready to set it up, so your options are to either use geofencing software or build your own. 

If you want to create your geofences in your mobile app, specific content is needed to carry it out successfully. 

This includes the following: 

  • Latitude and longitude which are used to define the point of interest (the geofenced area such as a shop, restaurant, etc) 
  • Radius (used to determine how wide the geofence will be) 
  • ID so that your geofence can be uniquely identified such as ‘home’
  • A list of event triggers for example enter, exit, and/or dwell

This venue and geographic information can be accessed from an internal database consisting of store or site locations. 

If you are doing a small-scale campaign with up to 100 geofences in a contained area, you can get by with this method. However, if you have a larger chain with multiple locations across the country – you will need a professional provider.

We are referring to a SAAS or ‘software as a service’ provider, which offers geofencing software and technology for a monthly fee. 

Often, these systems bypass the bugs you may experience on your own, seamlessly track virtual boundaries and offer technical support to give you the most accurate geofencing. 

Multiple data points and information flood the management system, but it is the software that makes sense of it. 

Still need help deciding? 

A starting point is to consider the number of geofences needed. Certain devices and apps provide limitations on the amount of geofences you are allowed at a time. 

Here are some other key factors to consider.

Geofencing marketing

We have been referring to fleet management for a while now, but what is a business without marketing, right?

Perhaps the chemical products you sell need to reach the market aggressively. Here’s some extra info if you want to bring geofencing into your smartphone marketing efforts.

Location-based geofencing marketing has grown in popularity with the increase in smartphone users. It’s no wonder marketing professionals are leveraging this and targeting these users. 

The vast majority of the world’s internet users – 92.4 percent – use a mobile phone to go online at least some of the time, and mobile phones now account for more than half of our online time, and more than half of the world’s web traffic.

Why are marketers getting excited? 

They can use it to increase sales. Since it is a location-based system, you can target local customers in a defined geographic area. One way to do this is by sending promotions via push notifications to customers in your area. You can easily change promotions each day or have limited-time offers that will lead to increased sales from local customers.

Click here to discover more:

Operations and employee productivity

We know that geofencing can help you keep your business and fleet on track. But we can expand it to the point where task and employee management can directly be aligned with geo-fenced tasks. The notifications fleet managers receive when employees leave can be linked to certain required tasks. If a task is completed, the manager will know simply by when staff enter and leave a geofenced area. 

Processes can be streamlined to the point where other team members are informed when tasks are completed. Fleet managers can then make quick decisions happening in real-time and re-allocate tasks if team members are behind. As a result, they will be able to meet deadlines, improve the quality of work, manage workloads, and motivate employees.

Want to set up geofencing for your fleet?

Cartrack enables you to implement world-class geofencing. The appropriate software is already in place for you to get the most out of it. 

Geo-fencing is one of the standard features of fleet management packages, where clients can choose the perfect package for their needs. Set up predefined areas and receive notification on entry and exits via SMS and email. 

You could try our basic fleet package called Fleet Management Lite. 

This package is perfect for the fleet manager who does not require stolen vehicle recovery services. With all the benefits of the Fleet Management Plus (With the exclusion of stolen vehicle recovery), this product ensures that fleet managers achieve greater productivity from their fleets. 

Contact us today to find out about our other comprehensive fleet packages, and how our expert fleet management solutions can boost your business!

Business or pleasure? Our SARS-compliant logbook does it all from one app.

Geofencing is a crucial part of modern fleet management which offers features to give you better control of your fleet.

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