Connect – Measure – Improve

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Top 6 Ways To Get The Best ROI From Your GPS Tracking System

wpid-buses

Hello, and thanks for dropping by my blog. This is the first in a series of posts as we test out our new social media portal from local marketing gurus Spokal. Learn about them here…www.getspokal.com. Lets see what some initiative on social media marketing can do for Agile Tracking Solutions! Please take a moment to comment below or follow us on social media sites. I will report my story as we go so stay tuned and maybe other companies can learn and grow with us.

Today’s topic…we all hear how GPS tracking saves money and it does indeed…but what can happen sometimes is that end users can neglect to use the data that is being collected to help drive down costs. After the excitement of first getting GPS tracking a client can find they just get too busy to use it to its potential. Not a problem, we can help. Here are some tips and ideas. 1   Have your GPS tracking application map up on a large separate monitor in a central location if possible. The more people that see it the more it gets used. This way your whole team can potentially benefit from it more and your customers can see you are using technology to deliver better customer service and reduce greenhouse gases. 2   Use the routing feature to send the closest vehicle to a customer or supplier site. It only takes a few clicks to see who is closest and send them the most efficient route to a drivers smartphone or Garmin device. This will enhance customer service and productivity and reduce fuel bills. 3   Identify problem or inefficient drivers that are costing you money. Your GPS tracking system can generate real time alerts so you know when drivers are breaking the rules…so be sure to use this. Speeding is the main alert…not only will you save on fuel and vehicle maintenance costs but your insurance bills will go down as accidents get reduced. Some devices will show when harsh braking and rapid acceleration events occur. 4   Use the reports! This keeps you on top of the fleet activities and alerts you to any problem areas. Instead of looking at lines of data, get an accurate graphic report emailed to you automatically every Monday for example to see how you crew did the previous week. Also get scheduled maintenance reports to keep your fleet in top condition and track the maintenance history. Reports can be customized making your life easier. 5   Have some fun with your GPS system…reward drivers who demonstrate safe and fuel efficient driving habbits. Or reward the most improved driver. This is technology that helps many aspect of a business. Not only does it save you a ton of money but it makes your fleet safer, greener and more efficient. 6   Share it with your customers! It takes just a few clicks to share the progress of a tracked vehicle that is scheduled to arrive at your customers site. No more back and forth on the phone…just send the link and now your client can watch the vehicle make its way to their site…beautiful!   Thanks for reading and please comment or share!   Tim

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How To Track A Cell Phone In British Columbia

Welcome to our first blog entry of 2014! The most frequent topic being searched these days in the GPS tracking industry is ‘how to track a cell phone”. In British Columbia Canada we have a multitude of free tools that allow you to do just that with ease.

Last week I loaded a cool new app on to my iPhone called Strava, (www.strava.com) perfect for tracking my bike rides and runs and allowing me to easily share and compare my results with others.

For business applications the needs are very different…first you typically will want to see your entire team on one map along with your fleet of vehicles. You will also want to be able to easily message them with instructions from the same platform.

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Agile Tracking Incorporates Latest Speed Monitoring Innovation

Vancouver, BC November 28, 2013 — Agile Tracking Solutions is announcing the availability of SpeedGauge, an international provider of driver behavior and speed management solutions for commercial trucking fleets. This will allow customers of Agile Tracking to easily activate SpeedGauge’s innovative services directly from the GPS platform. SpeedGauge allows fleet managers to improve safety by reducing speeding in every location their vehicles operate. Now Agile Tracking can rapidly utilize the most innovative speed monitoring solution on the market.
SpeedGauge compares vehicle speeds to posted speed limits as part of its regular service for all interstates, side roads, and rural and urban streets – anywhere a speed limit is posted. Fleets using SpeedGauge can set customized speeding thresholds to receive reports of all incidents that exceed those limits, as well as a street view map of the location where the infraction occurred. This ability extends to yards and terminals – anywhere a fleet operates.
Excessive speeding is a major factor in 30 percent of fatal truck accidents and is a leading indicator of other types of poor driving behavior. SpeedGauge customers have come to understand that speeding is one of the easiest driver behaviors to control. Therefore, monitoring and controlling speed reduces accidents and speeding violations, both of which lead to substantial costs in fines, repairs and liabilities as well as insurance premiums and company reputations.
The addition of SpeedGauge’s services complements the already extensive functionality and customizable features built in to Agile Tracking’s GPS tracking platform. Agile Tracking provides customizable GPS tracking software, wireless data plans and hardware  that empowers fleet managers with dispatching, routing, in-cab driver messaging, geo-fencing, vehicle maintenance reminders, and a host of other tools. The platform fully integrates several hundred GPS devices, such as the Cal-Amp LMU trackers, Queclink’s GV series, Novatel MT series and devices from many other manufacturers, providing fleet managers a solution that is powerful, flexible and quickly implemented.
By combining the technologies, users are able to gain a more granular analysis of their operations to provide additional transparency to a business and enable managers to run their fleets more efficiently.

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Applications of Indoor GPS


When people think about GPS tracking, most of the ideas that come to mind are usually businesses involving the tracking of trucks and service vehicles or preventing costly construction equipment from being stolen. In fact, most of the industries that use GPS tracking are focused on businesses operating outdoors such as telecommunications, agriculture, and security establishments. However, that’s leaving out all the possibilities of providing GPS services indoors.

For several years now, GPS technology has made it possible to track vehicles outdoors and help drivers navigate from their current location to another address. Now the technology is advancing to the next level of creative business applications. This next evolution in GPS tracking businesses will serve to help businesses track objects and navigate indoors. This technology will help visitors navigate huge conference centers; medical staff navigate to emergencies through the winding corridors of hospitals; and workers find equipment, tools, and inventory stored in large warehouses.

Big companies are already starting to look for ways to capitalize on the possible applications of indoor location tracking. This can be seen in Apple’s purchase of indoor location company WiFiSLAM earlier this year. Google is also getting in on the game by making deals with some airports and museums to make indoor, street-view-styled maps.

However, the opportunities for indoor tracking are not limited to big tech companies. There are also companies like Meridian who are making it easier to add indoor navigation features to consumer apps. And there are many other innovative opportunities for smaller service businesses to operate in this blossoming industry. As location-aware mobile devices become more common, there will emerge many new ways to use indoor location tracking. Businesses will be looking for service companies that can service and support their indoor tracking needs.

Currently, indoor mapping data is still less common and less publicly available. However, with OpenLayers integration, the schematics of any building could soon be laid over Google Maps to provide a way to visualize and track objects inside a building.

The devices currently used to track objects inside a building are usually arranged in a network so that they can locate and track the position of an object without relying on satellites. This makes it hard to communicate with the GPS tracking devices inside the building. Also, GPS has a hard time distinguishing elevation, which makes it hard for a traditional tracking device to indicate what floor it is on in the building.

Instead, indoor position systems (IPS) rely on a network of nodes with known positions within the building to find their location. The nodes then actively track the IPS to give it the environmental context needed to determine location. Rather than relying on satellites, IPS uses other technologies like WiFi and Bluetooth. For example, WiFiSLAM locates devices indoors by triangulating a device within a network of WiFi or Bluetooth enabled nodes.

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Tracking driver behavior for a safer, greener fleet.


GPS vehicle tracking can gather and present a great deal of information about driver behavior. This information can include details on the vehicle’s speed, location, start and stop times, time spent idling, and many other factors. Fleet managers can use information about their drivers’ behavior to find problem areas, enforce company policies, and make changes that improve driver safety and productivity. One of the major factors contributing to high fleet costs is improper driver behavior. This can include unauthorized fleet vehicle use, speeding, agressive driving and leaving the vehicle idling for extended periods. Fleet managers can use GPS tracking to cut the amount of fuel wasted while vehicles idle, enforce company speed limits, and find out which drivers are arriving for duty late.

A significant portion of the fuel consumption and wear on vehicles comes from employees driving work vehicles for personal use. GPS tracking can make it easy to enforce policies about using company vehicles for personal errands. Managers can receive alerts if vehicles start after hours, and vehicles can trigger an alert if they go out of an area designated by geofencing.

Driver behavior has a significant impact on the amount of fuel each vehicle uses. Driving too fast, harsh acceleration, leaving the vehicle idling, or taking long routes all lead to higher fuel use. Fleet managers can use GPS vehicle tracking to improve their drivers’ behavior in all four of those ares. By establishing policies based on acceptable average and top speeds, acceptable daily idling time, and other driving behaviors, fleet managers can greatly reduce the fuel consumption of their fleets. Also, drivers can use GPS systems to get directions for the most direct and timely routes to their destinations.

GPS tracking also helps drivers submit more accurate time sheets. GPS tracking can automate a portion of the time-tracking process by automatically logging when vehicles start and stop. This gives managers a good picture of their employees’ work day. It shows when they start, how long they take for lunch and other breaks, and when they return their vehicles at the end of the work day. All this information is captured automatically without the need for manual entry. This also serves to improve driver behavior by making the time-reporting based on accurate verifiable data and not paper time sheets, which are subject to human error and exaggeration.

For GPS tracking to result in positive behavioral changes, drivers must have frequent access to the results and data regarding their driving habits. Fleet managers should distribute weekly reports so their drivers can see trends and patterns in their driving behavior. They should also be able to see how their driving compares to other drivers in the company and to the benchmarks set by the company. For example, if the fleet manager sets a goal of less than one hour of engine idling per day, drivers should see in their weekly report how long they idled each day of the week as well as the average daily idle time of their fellow employees. Drivers with the best results should be rewarded accordingly.

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Agile Partners with Energy Savers

Agile Tracking Partners with Eco-op Energy Savers Cooperative

eco-op_logoAgile Tracking Solutions is very pleased to announce a marketing partnership with eco-op Energy Savers Cooperative

Energy Savers Cooperative helps companies reduce fuel costs with alternative fuel conversions and driver training programs.

Visit them at http://www.myenergysavers.coop/ to learn more about their services.

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Route Optimization for Fleet Management

2.pngRoute optimization …this is a hot topic in the GPS tracking industry. Route Optimization can mean many different things. It’s all about fleet management and getting more done with less resources. Knowing where your vehicles are is the first priority…you need a starting point if you want to send an optimized route to your driver. This point to point optimization gets your vehicle to your customer site faster while burning less fuel. This is basic route optimization and can be done on the Agile platform with just a few clicks. Or simply use a smart phone for directions. The next step is route optimization for multiple stops. After all your stops are entered you can sort them or optimize them as required before you send the route to the driver. Some mapping sites like Mapquest have route optimization features that calculate the most efficient route. The challange is typically these services to not take into consideration construction delays and traffic problems. Garmin navigation devices that can be integrated to your GPS tracking platform can offer route optimization functions at the Garmin level… a world leader in GPS navigation devices. A series of stops can be sent to the Garmin Nuvi or Dezl via your tracking platform and in turn the Garmin can set out the most efficient route…like magic. There are other more costly software solutions that you can use for even a higher level of route optimization. Ask us and we will be happy to explain your options and look at what is just right for your business.

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Canadian telecom industry zeroes in on M2M technology

This article explains how Telus and Bell are just now starting to enter the market that is fast expanding. Lot’s of room for independent service providers like us that are more responsive to market needs and more competitive on price.

http://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2013/02/28/canadian_telecom_industry_zeroes_in_on_m2m_technology.html

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Skywave launches new satellite terminals

If you need coverage in remote locations, Skywave is a good bet for terminals and satellite data plans.

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Considerations for Selecting GPS Tracking Hardware

Choosing the selection of GPS tracking hardware to offer
One of the most important steps in implementing GPS tracking for your business, is to pick the right GPS tracking hardware with the help of your Agile Tracking Fleet Consultant. High-quality hardware is easier to service and maintain, and will help future proof your investment and get you the best fit over the long-term.

There are many kinds of GPS hardware devices available, and there are several features your business should keep in mind when honing in on the right GPS tracking hardware. When picking GPS hardware, you should consider:

  • The intended application

    GPS tracking devices have a wide variety of applications and ideal use cases. The most common is for vehicle tracking. Many businesses use GPS tracking to keep track of the vehicles in their fleet. These devices are typically installed under the dashboard inside a vehicle and send a signal to the software system chronicling its movements. There are also passive GPS tracking devices that are more suited for keeping tabs on stationary objects, such as storage containers. A third kind of GPS tracking device is a personal tracker, which can be carried on an individual to monitor their whereabouts.

  • The type of battery

    GPS tracking devices come with many types of batteries. And some don’t have batteries at all. The GPS hardware can have an internal battery pack, can be hooked up to an external battery pack, or can be hooked up to another power source. The positioning of the GPS device and the availability of external power sources will help determine the right kind of battery needed. Keep in mind, battery-powered devices will need to have their batteries changed or charged periodically. However, some low-powered GPS devices that only periodically or passively report their location can be active for a longer time on a single charge.

  • The method of communication

    There are several GPS device types with varying communication methods including GPS, GPRS, GSM, GPRS, SMS, DTMF, AGPS, CDMA, etc. These are the various cellular and radio frequencies through which these devices determine and communicate their position. Most GPS hardware devices support several of these device types, but it is important to ensure the software you’re using is compatible with the communication method your device utilizes. Your Agile rep will be able to help with this.

  • Additional features

    There are other features unique to certain models of GPS hardware devices. These include audio monitoring; weatherproof or rugged casing for long-term deployment under rougher conditions; accelerometers to detect motion and sense aggressive driving; support for over-the-air software updates; different I/O configurations for custom sensors; WI-FI or Bluetooth connectivity; LCD displays; numeric keyboards; SOS/panic buttons; speed alarms; the ability to cut engines; fuel usage sensors; and many other features. There are many features to consider, but try not to get too caught up in feature sets. Think about your specific needs and choose a device that meets those needs.

Bring your own device

The GPS tracking software products offered by Agile Tracking Solutions are largely device agnostic. This means that your decision will be less about finding a device that works with the software and more about picking GPS tracking devices that are right for your business. You will have the freedom and flexibility to select and get recommended the hardware that is most suitable for your needs. The wide compatibility of Agile Tracking Solutions software also means that we may be able use your existing hardware — lowering your costs, and increasing your ROI…a Win Win!