As the list of new or upgraded fleet management technology continues to grow, it’s imperative you get the most from your original investment. Within that list, asset tracking capabilities are booming, but the question remains: Are you getting the most out of it?
One tip we’d pull out of the manual is how to maximize your asset tracking technology by using everyday landmarks. Using landmarks—from the Empire State Building to that warehouse in town everyone knows—will help boost your productivity, security, and billing, while also enhancing your customer service, operations, and overall business processes.
Can you use everyday landmarks to quickly and easily locate your assets? Yes, you can. Preset landmarks, based on latitude and longitude positions, can be used in a variety of ways to help better locate your trucks by setting boundaries around chosen geographic areas. These then provide automatic updates when trailers or equipment arrive/depart at custom-selected locations.
While landmarks can be used for trailer tracking in both circular and polygonal shapes, polygonal landmarks offer more accuracy. For example, if you place a one-mile circular landmark around your truck yard, any asset inside that one-mile radius is going to report as if it’s sitting at your building in the system. If you set up a polygonal landmark around your yard’s perimeter, you get a more accurate picture of what’s actually sitting at your location.
USE GROUPED LANDMARKS
You can group landmarks by type, and your portal can be organized with landmarks for your company, customers, and facilities. The more custom landmarks you have set in your system, the more effective your usage will be as they help you search more quickly.
In addition to grouping landmarks, you can group the types of assets you have. This way, you can find out where equipment may be if it is out of place and ensure that the right type of equipment is in the right yard.
TRACKING WITH A “SKYFENCE”
Another cool asset tracking technology trick is using SkyFences—fancy word for geofence—to set a perimeter around any place where trailers could be left. SkyFences are landmarks that send notifications when assets enter or leave the perimeter.
A circular SkyFence can have a radius of 0.25 to 50 miles, while a polygonal SkyFence covers an area from a few hundred square feet to hundreds of square miles. As monitored assets enter and exit the SkyFence perimeters and report their positions, arrival and departure notifications can be emailed to the person responsible.
SkyFences allow you to send automated reports every time a trailer or asset enters or leaves a preset landmark, including international border crossings. For instance, you could SkyFence your company’s maintenance yard so that if a trailer arrives for maintenance, you immediately get a notification.
INCREASE BILLING ACCURACY
Landmarks can even offer better customer service with more accurate billing and reporting. Many disputes specifically within the rental and leasing space stem from the location of assets. With nesting, your truck rental and leasing company can landmark a truck yard or oil field and nest smaller landmarks within for further billing and location clarity.
You can also run historical searches on landmarks. If a customer is disputing the number of trailers used for runs, you can pull an entire month of reporting on that landmark for information on when that trailer entered the yard and left on another run.
In addition, you can do an inverse search for an asset. Instead of looking at everything that’s sitting at a landmark, you can look at everything that’s not sitting at a landmark. This can be broken down further to locate assets in motion versus stopped assets.
INCREASE BILLING ACCURACY
Truck yards are not always directly supervised. Landmarks can help you with security as they allow your truck rental and leasing business to track an inactive trailer if it disappears. If your trailer is stored in a yard and moved, it’s at risk of becoming lost without trailer tracking.
Using the landmark feature, you could landmark a specific truck yard and run a report multiple times a day to ensure the number of trailers that are supposed to be there remain. Alternatively, you could SkyFence the yard and be told immediately when something enters or exits with optional email notifications.
Utilizing features like landmarks is simply one way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your asset tracking technology. You can set landmarks for customers, companies, distribution centers, truck yards, fuel stops, ports of entry, maintenance facilities, and more. Bottom line: Wherever you have the ability to leave an asset, that location should be recorded as a landmark.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Henry Popplewell, president of SkyBitz, has more than 20 years of experience in the trucking industry and more than 25 years in operations, with a proven track record of driving revenue growth and improving customer loyalty. He is renowned as an industry thought leader and sought after for speaking engagements at conferences and events. For more information, visit www.skybitz.com.