Wall Street Journal Discusses Productivity Tools

Juniper Innovations large asset tracking 1.2.jpgThe Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the use and misuse of heavy equipment fleet. All related to Asset Management and GPS tracking equipment, the article echoes many good points and examples of where and how this technology is employed, including the monitoring of over productive workers, engines that run too fast and lunches being eaten in air conditioned cabs.

Principle drivers

The benefits of using this type of equipment isn’t just about reducing mileage.  It is about cutting down on energy costs.  This also applies to a wider range of vehicles than HGVs, vans, cars, police and emergency services vehicles that largely use and are typically associated with GPS tracking.  The Wall Street Journal cites excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers and other construction and mining equipment. This extension of vehicle use is due to rising costs, however is also because company management want to understand and control more of their business. When tracking technology is deployed and new data is collected, it can be a sudden awakening for managers to understand exactly what is going on their organisation.

What examples of reducing fuel and energy have been found?

The article gives a number of cases that we also concur with, having found similar in the UK:

  • Fuel wastage through vehicle idling – one example being 48% of the time the vehicle is in use
  • Machinery operating outside assigned areas (and as we’ve found outside working hours)
  • Burning fuel by driving at excessive speeds
  • Running the heating and air conditioning when the vehicle is not in use e.g. during breaks or to heat up cabs first thing in the morning
  • Understanding when vehicles aren’t being used so they can be redeployed
  • Using large and expensive machines for minor tasks such as clearing small debris

What can you save?

One case quotes $50,000 to $100,000 a year saving on idle time alone.  Although individual cases will vary between companies depending on the type of work, number of vehicles, driver usage etc.

There are some hidden benefits too:

  • Accurate delivery data
  • On-site reporting times
  • Driver timesheet and working hours information
  • I/O information such as scoop and bucket, mower blade or hydraulic usage
  • Reminding and re-training drivers to operate safely
  • Theft protection using GPS
  • Locating nearest assets and vehicles to jobs
  • Reviewing data to understand working patterns and operational equipment usage i.e. to help become more productive

The use of tracking devices and GPS hardware and software is seen by some as little more than surveillance.  This however belittles the benefits that GPS tracking can bring.  Doesn’t this make sense for your organisation?