In just a few short years, fleet tracking software has gone from a luxury to a requirement for companies all over the country. What started as a way to gain superior visibility over drivers on the road has turned into an almost unprecedented cost-saving opportunity, as the real-time and actionable information provided by GPS-powered solutions in particular reveals new opportunities for efficiency at every turn.

One of the most important things to understand, however, is that not all fleet tracking solutions are created equally. If you took a look at your closest competitor, you would likely be looking at a very different organization than your own – this despite the fact that you’re similar businesses operating in the same industry. Because of this, there is truly no “one size fits all” approach to fleet management. Only by prioritizing your long-term goals and identifying the specific challenges that you hope to address will you be able to locate the solution that is right for you.

Standard Features

Having said that, there are a number of standard features that you can expect from nearly every GPS fleet tracking solution available. Once GPS tracking hardware has been installed in your company vehicles, you’ll typically be able to pull up real-time information about things like safety, maintenance and the current location of the vehicle. When paired with the accompanying software, you can even create customized reports that highlight important information you need to know about.

You can see how long drivers take to get to specific locations, for example, or which types of jobs may require more time than others. As you begin to dive deeper into the more advanced features that certain models bring to the table, the discussion ventures into a more organization-specific deployment.

Going Beyond Location

Certain fleet tracking solutions use GPS functionality to actually shed light on the driving habits of specific employees. Depending on the nature of the system you select, you may be able to monitor information like instances of speeding, harsh braking or even whether or not your driver is wearing their seat belt while on the job. This may not necessarily be information that you’re interested in, but it could prove helpful in certain circumstances.

More sophisticated fleet tracking solutions also provide a great deal of information about a driver’s routes and stops. If you run a food service business that makes deliveries, obviously time is money. You need to make sure that your drivers aren’t just getting food deliveries where they need to go, but that they’re doing so quickly enough so as not to harm the finished product. More advanced GPS fleet tracking solutions can show you the precise routes that drivers are using, allowing you to make sure that they’re not taking too long or making any unauthorized stops along the way.

Maintenance and More

Another one of the reasons why a more sophisticated GPS fleet tracking solution will likely be worth the investment boils down to one simple-yet-important word: maintenance. Many fleet tracking applications use hardware to actually monitor the current and historical maintenance of your vehicles. Software can be used to track fuel consumption, routine maintenance schedules, oil changes, tire alignments and so much more.

This can not only help you identify trends and patterns that aren’t necessarily obvious (like if you’re spending more money than you should be to fix a particular vehicle and simply replacing it would be the better option), but it can also help you proactively diagnose small problems before they have a chance to become much bigger and more expensive ones down the road.

Before picking any particular solution, you’ll also want to be aware of the terms and conditions that you’ll be asked to agree to during your purchase. Some companies require you to sign a contract for their services for a particular length of time, usually somewhere in the neighborhood of three years. Others may allow you to go month-to-month.