How to choose the best type of GPS solution for your business

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allGeo | Time and attendance

Businesses are under a lot of pressure from changes in how the economy functions. The recent Coronavirus outbreak accelerated trends in decentralization of company organizations, moving away from the Central Office structure and towards more employees functioning on a Work from Home or Remote Worker basis.

This brings some benefits – reduced costs for commercial real-estate, less time lost by employees commuting, and more flexibility in hiring talent. But there are some new challenges, one of which is accountability and proof of service. To put it bluntly – how do you know your employees are actually working?

That’s where the wise use of GPS devices or apps can provide not just proof of work or simple time clocking, but the right solution can also support your business’ field service workflow needs, compliance needs, provide cost control information, and meet your team communication and safety needs.

Do I need a GPS device or a GPS mobile app?

There’s a wide range of GPS devices and apps to choose from – from installed GPS telematics devices, wearables and dongles. In general, GPS devices are purpose built to deliver accurate GPS and little more. And each device is typically tied to a dedicated location service, requires ongoing mobile data plans and the capabilities are a function of the device complexity. They are typically one-way location devices that do not enable employee communications or any other field data.

GPS-enabled mobile apps  run on any Android/iOS phone or tablet, and if designed well, can support multiple needs like GPS tracking mobile time clocking, field data collection, and team collaboration tools.

Each path requires an investment in time, money and employee education to put in place.  And each path has positives and negatives.

So which one is the right approach for your company?

Well, to determine that you need to ask not just how GPS-tagged information will solve your primary issue, and also go a step further – what other field service workflow needs do you have?   Here’s a simple check list.

Costs & Business Impact Telematics GPS GPS Wearable or Dongle allGeo Mobile App
BYOD (use employee phone) No No Yes, as allowed by HR policy
Purchase new device Yes Yes Only as needed by HR policy
Purchase mobile service plan Yes Yes Only as needed by HR policy
Privacy impact Yes Yes Yes
Custom privacy safeguards No No Yes
Device battery charging needs No Yes Yes
Service tampering concern Yes Yes Yes
Service tampering alerts & remedies No No No
Information Needs Telematics GPS GPS Wearable or Dongle allGeo Mobile App
GPS Tracking Yes Yes Yes
Maintenance  alerts Yes No No
Geofencing Yes Some Yes
Event alerts Some Some Yes
Payroll & Operations Needs Telematics GPS GPS Wearable or Dongle allGeo Mobile App
Mobile Time clocking No No Yes
Basic dispatch support No No Yes
Work ticket dispatching No No Yes
Optimized routing Some No Yes
Employee communications No No Yes
Mileage reporting Some No Yes
Team collaboration No No Yes
Lone Worker Safety No Some Yes
Field Data Collection Needs Telematics GPS GPS Wearable or Dongle allGeo Mobile App
Task notes No No Yes
Mobile forms No No Yes
GPS-tagged photos for Proof of Service or status No No Yes
Signature capture No No Yes
QR/Barcode scans No No Yes

 

Here are two examples to think about.

  1. A Delivery company is concerned about saving money and being more efficient with its fleet of vehicles.  They decided that their priorities are:
    1. Making sure the employees are driving responsibly and not speeding (but still making their deliveries on time)
    2. That the vehicles are being maintained appropriately.

They examine their workflow and see that they do manual dispatch every day at a central warehouse – each driver is handed their list of deliveries and they use that to load up. Then each driver will hit the road to make their set deliveries.

Since their needs are tied more to the vehicle than the employees and don’t need communications, dispatch or even POD, a purpose-built telematics device may be the best fit for them.

  1. A Janitorial and Maintenance services company is concerned about:
    1. Showing Proof of Service to customers for billing.
    2. Mobile time clocking information to save on payroll costs.
    3. Cost and privacy,  weighing their options between a wearable GPS tracker and a mobile app.

They examine their workflow and see they need more than just a GPS history trail and mobile time clocking, which some systems can derive from a geofence report. On any given day their clients will call the company to report a new problem or issue that needs to be fixed, so they need to be able to dispatch new jobs and tasks to the closest available employees and get proof that the job was completed.

GPS dongles and wearable GPS devices have little or no communications or dispatch support. They also realize that any individual GPS tracking will require a location privacy policy for their employees, and that any path may also come with some device and service costs (low-end smartphones may be similar in cost to a GPS wearable device,  and if the company puts a BYOD policy in place they can avoid device purchase costs).

Since their needs are based around employee management and dispatching, a more flexible mobile app would be a best fit for them than a GPS device.

Contact us for your own workflow and solution review.

About allGeo

allGeo helps SMBs and Enterprise businesses better manage mobile workforce and field operations with tools such as real-time location, GPS time and attendance, geofence visit logs, Lone worker safetyMobile forms and more! All the tools can be highly customized to fit each use case. The platform features powerful rules engine and integrates with popular back-end CRM, HRMS, and Payroll systems to automate day-to-day operations.

allGeo serves customers from a wide range of industry including field service management, trade services, emergency responders, sales reps, transportation & logistics, oil & gas, home health care providers. These customers do report improvement in productivity and savings in payroll.