Every business wants to increase its productivity. And we know something that definitely can help – the GPS technology. Global Positioning System (or GPS) is a satellite tracking system that is increasingly used in businesses for commercial and personal purposes. The benefits of using GPS are various and include many competitive advantages. To understand what GPS can do for your business, we offer you to learn more about GPS tracking and monitoring solutions and business-productivity tools required by your company and customer needs.
How Does GPS-Tracking Help A Business?
GPS monitoring allows you to get a large amount of different reliable data for reports and statistics. This innovative technology solves resources with a full return on investment in a few months. Today, with all the benefits and conveniences that GPS tracking offers, it has become an essential part of any logistics business. It solves several problems and increases general business efficiency by providing:
- Constant 2-way communication with your fleet;
- Enhancing optimization;
- Raise of security;
- Reducing administration resources;
- Check of driving safety and behavior;
- Better performance and efficiency;
- Analyzing costs and prevent thefts;
- Receiving statistics on mileage, driving speed, calculation of average fuel consumption;
- Quality customer support, etc.
GPS tracking solutions
The increasing choice of devices and GPS tracking technologies and the ability to choose the GPS tracking solution is greater than ever before. The essential is here to consider the options that will fit your business needs.
Use ready-made solutions
If you decide to choose the ready-made solutions among the top providers with the best options in 2020, we can name such GPS tracking and monitor services as:
- Azuga – This GPS fleet tracking includes driver visibility, gamification, rewards, and tools to improve the operations. The service provides a full picture of the road’s situation, including such details as idling, stops, speed, hard braking, and the possibility of risks and accidents. It also allows you to see the updates on vehicle health and possible diagnostics. The software is easy to install, and it suits all types of businesses and enterprises.
- GPS Trackit – This tracking software is perfect for businesses that would like to try their first GPS tracking system. The system provides flexible solutions with no required long-term contracts and a 30-day money-back guarantee. GPS Trackit stands out as a company with high service for a reasonable price. It offers a range of safety reports, temperature monitoring, video telematics, driver behavior reports, and other critical diagnostic metrics.
- Qaurtix – With Quartix, businesses can be up to date with real-time metrics and increase fleet productivity. They can analyze fuel consumption, receive live tracking maps and postcode lookups, driver analysis, vehicle history, engine hour monitoring, and many more. All these metrics are great for those who would like to boost their analytics. Quick web access and precise controls make the system very simple to use. The provider claims you will stick with them at the end of your first year.
Integration your services with third-party logistics companies (UPS, UPSP, FedEx)
Another possible option is to look for the development or purchase of ready-made modules for integration with ERP, WMS, and other software. The logistic industry only grows as well as the number of delivery companies. FedEx, Railway Express Agency, Trucking companies of the United States, United Parcel Service are the most popular in the USA with complicated workflow and overwhelming planning. That’s why nowadays, there are many ready-made specific solutions for popular delivery services. Но не все услуги покрывают необходимые потребности.
SenseAware from FedEx
SenseAware offers to rent GPS trackers for each package. This allows you to track not just transport, but the parcel itself. In addition to trekking, there are options of monitoring temperature and humidity, you can also check how many times the parcel was opened.
All information is available through the web interface. Unfortunately, there is no API for integration with other software.
What does USPS offer?
USPS also uses GPS to track packages, but it processes it in a slightly different way. During each scan of a barcode, the scanner transmits the coordinates.
UPS also uses GPS
UPS developed even further and already in 2010 equipped its fleet with GPS sensors. It provided the Follow my delivery service which allows you to track parcels in real time. This can be especially useful for eCommerce.
As we can see, not all delivery services provide the necessary GPS tracking functions. But if you decide to integrate them into your ERP, we advise you to pay attention to a few important points:
- Does this module support all the services you need, including FedEx, UPS, UPSP, etc.?
- Will you get all the necessary information through this module? Make a list of the information you need and make sure the solution meets your needs.
- How often is the module updated? The developer must make updates quickly, for example, while ERP updates or when the new features appear in delivery services.
In our practice, we experienced a case where we integrated Acumatica ERP with DHL delivery service. This case doesn’t show the GPS integration but is very good for an example. Our American client made the delivery of goods to Europe, but the ready-made solutions for Acumatica didn’t cover the required functionality. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to such things.
Does Amazon or Walmart provide GPS tracking for parcels?
Recently, it became popular to sell your products through marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and others. Some marketplaces deliver orders on their own, while others use third-party delivery services. This information can also be imported into your ERP or CRM, thereby improving the service quality. Most of the marketplaces have a deployed API and allow you to track order status.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a way to track delivery on the map in real time. Though Amazon offers different delivery tracking options, including GPS tracking (Amazon Map Tracking).
Developing custom GPS tracking system
Large companies with specific demands commonly ask for custom software development for critical functions. For example, in one of our cases, we developed GPS tracking for Telecom Company. In this section, we’ll show you how to get started developing your GPS tracking system.
How to choose a GPS-tracker
Checking specifications of a GPS-trackers
To understand how to choose the GPS-tracker and how it works, you need to understand the device’s primary functions. There are different kinds, but you have to check if it fits your purposes while choosing GPS trackers. Most tracking softwares offer various features, but some are considered to be the standard. They include:
- Integration with fuel checks
- Tracking of driver safety
- Dashboards with key metrics reports
- Delivery and navigation
- Data processing server
- Customer support
- Alert system
- Real-time tracking
Some providers also can offer additional options for an extra cost that may include mobile access, geo-fence zone features, alerts for driving behavior, excessive speeding, entering unwanted geographical areas, various mapping features, etc.
GPS trackers providers can offer their software. The benefits of integrating GPS tracking data for the business is that you can compile data from different sources and get a full picture of your fleet operations. The great advantage is that you may not need to log into several software platforms to receive the necessary data. While choosing the provider, look for the other features you may need to your needs beyond integration.
There are various types of integration:
- API’s: With APIs, the data about your fleet can be pushed between the servers and backend systems, like ERP, CRM, WMS, Dispatch, etc. For this kind of integration, you need a specialist on your end with a good knowledge of systems.
- Map overlays: These are GIS (geographic information system) maps that stores in a platform’s mapping. It allows you to observe the power lines and your fleet at the same time.
- Data connect: This kind of integration requires high technical expertise and includes custom development and programming to ensure your apps’ communication. Some businesses don’t use this integration, as it results in an abundance of received data.
- Data dump: It is used to transfer the information into two systems and connect them to the user’s final report. For example, If you need to get a telematics data report, all the telematics data will be sent to the GPS tracking provider and put together with the location data.
Development and implementation of GPS tracking
Determination of needs and creating a list of tasks
While considering different GPS tracking options, It is significant to compare all possible solutions to solve your business’s tasks and determine the needs. The cost and terms of your project will depend much on your choice.
While thinking of the ideal solution for your business, you may apply different approaches:
- Identify the level of automation in day-to-day operations and in data collection that you would like to see. Then, start thinking of how much tracking you want to do along each step of the order lifetime and how much automation you want to see.
- Think about different levels of automation that you want to see. How about having inventory scanned on the floor by the workers with a mobile device? This automation level separates one modern logistical software, manufacturing solution, or warehouse management system from another.
- Make a list of things you’d need your systems to support that you cannot live without. Make a separate list of automation options you’d like to see in your day to day operations.
- Bring it all together and shop for the off-the-shelf logistical software solutions that closely fit both “must-have” and “automation” lists, taking into account your “running” costs- yearly support fees, subscription fees, maintenance fees, as well as downtime for patches, upgrades, etc.
Development cost and implementation
The final cost of GPS tracking and monitor software greatly depends on the choice of features you would like to implement and the number of vehicles that the system will support. If this number doesn’t prevail ten, then you can spend for such software about 10,000$. If you plan to develop a multi-functional GPS tracking software, it will take from 40,000$ to 150,000$. The complex development solutions can take more than a year, but you can first start with MVP.
Apart from the development, get ready for the product maintenance cost. You need to find an in-house team experienced with logistics software development, GPS tracking system development, and a quality management service. As each case is individual, we advise you to define your needs clearly. In the end, you need to be sure that the development partner you’ve chosen shares your vision, budget, timeline, and specifications.
FiduciaSoft provides a wide variety of product development, customization, and integration services in such industries as e-commerce, warehouse management, manufacturing management, and automation, and many others. We will be glad to become your development partner.
We demonstrate our competence in delivering customized and high-quality ERP software, including Acumatica, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, MS Dynamics AX, and MS Dynamics 365. You can read more about our experience of customizations for Acumatica in the «cases» section on our website. And if you have similar projects, let’s discuss them and find the best solutions for the cooperation!