Whether you are tracking your assets via asset tracking or using fleet tracking services, we know it is a proven fact that what gets measured will get improved in our organizations. If you have a fleet of trucks or just a team of field service staff, using GPS asset tracking technology is critical in providing transparency, efficiency and productivity.
Many trucking organizations, construction companies and government entities will track just their vehicles and leave their trailers as well as other assets out of their strategy. GPS trailer tracking, construction GPS tracking and government vehicle GPS tracking solutions offered by Position Intel make it very economical for you to track these assets with our real time fleet tracking solutions.
EOBR mandates can only be pushed back awhile longer before we all know they will go into effect. That said, it is important we work together to get ahead of these requirements and slowly implement our way there.
Monitoring your employees through GPS asset tracking does not have to be a negative transition, we find many team members find the increase in productivity and optimization of their days or routes to be a benefit as well. Often times, they appreciate the improvement of their logistics and operations because technology can eliminate a lot of unnecessary phone calls and disorganization.
If you have a fleet of vehicles than surely you are aware of the ongoing ELD and EOBR mandates requiring you to monitor your drivers’ hours of service along with other safety components.
In my opinion, this sets up organizations with fleets to embrace technology, improve their quality metrics and promote a safe driving environment for all drivers on the road today. Though I understand their are drawbacks and many opponents of this bill, I believe this will improve efficiency for logistics.
As companies grow and more assets are added, it is an easy way to quickly lose track of what you have and where they are. I’ve worked with clients in the past who attempted to keep track of these assets via a chalkboard, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and filing systems. Unfortunately, these methods do not provide an accurate and real-time depiction of what actually happens in the real world. In fact, without true visibility you are not able to make sound business decisions. As a company continues to add more assets, unfortunately the amount those assets which are at risk also follow.
I heard a story from a friend of mine about how one of their drivers was upset (not sure why) and decided to just pull over to the side of the road somewhere and drop their load. So there it sat, on the side of the freeway somewhere in the middle of nowhere and they had no idea where it was. It was only when the Highway Patrol contacted the company indicating they had located the trailer that they found out where their assets were. This causes critical delays and concerns for the company and it’s customers as you can probably imagine. If a customer was expecting a goods to be delivered, how on earth do you explain to them this issue when their expected delivery doesn’t arrive when you committed it would? Imagine that trailer along with it’s contents just disappearing, thousands of dollars lost. You’d be surprised how often this actually happens, it’s not unheard of. Luckily, most companies insure for this type of incident and are able to make a claim. At the same time, insurance companies continuously reevaluate rates. Guess who’s policy changes with a higher expense?
When a company has hundreds or thousands of assets, it’s important to know their operating condition and where they are located, especially with expensive vehicles. Tracking assets and collecting data real-time has been proven to be faster, most cost effective and much more accurate than any manual process. It’s also a critical part of addressing employee behaviors that in the past were missed such as driving behaviors, quality standards and other important aspects of a job. Increasing efficiency and reliability for a business is also a crucial component that asset tracking can provide. A tracking software saves time and makes many processes streamlined enabling employees to focus on the customer. Reliability and quality of information for the company and the customer then goes up as they have true insights at their fingertips versus trying to gather that information from multiple sources.
The more I talk to business owners and clients, the more I am realizing the importance of keeping track of assets. Far too many times we find assets just “disappear” or as many like to call it are “misplaced.” And, most of the time we as business owners don’t even realize they are missing until it is too late. There are countless testimonials and case studies I found online that prove tracking your assets as a business is critical, they also make justifying the expense easy with an ROI being accomplished nearly right away after implementation.
The US Department of Transportation tracks and measures what is known as a CSA score. CSA is an acronym short for Compliance, Safety and Accountability and they use another acronym called SMS to ensure safer roads for everyone. SMS stands for Safety Measurement System and is used to assess compliance by analyzing safety data from roadside inspections and crash reports. This allows them to identify and intervene with motor carriers that pose safety risks.
A carrier’s measurement is based upon 7 basics:
1. Unsafe Driving (speeding, reckless driving, inattention, etc.)
2. HOS Compliance (hours of service and/or operating a CMV while ill or fatigued)
3. Driver Fitness (proper credentials and/or medically unqualified)
4. Controlled Substances (use or possession of controlled substance/alcohol)
5. Vehicle Maintenance ( brakes, lights, mechanical defects, improper load, etc.)
6. HM Compliance (hazardous materials, no shipping papers, etc.)
7. Crash Indicator (history or pattern of high crash involvement)
You would be surprised at how many companies don’t check this until after they receive a warning letter or intervention. You may want to consider checking this not only for yourself but also if you are considering a potential carrier or partner to do business with. How do you easily access your score along with others? I will share with you below.
1. Go to the A&I Online Safety Measurement System portal at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/Data/Search.aspx.
2. You can do a standard search by the carrier name or using their USDOT#.
3. If you search by carrier name, click on their USDOT# to find their results.
4. You can then drill down to each measurement function by clicking on it.
Employee monitoring has emerged as a necessity but controversial issue in recent years, mostly due to technology. While many employers are using some sort of monitoring device to track their assets, their employees are likely tied to those and opposed to “big brother” watching over them. An example of this can be a courier service or trucking company who are monitoring their vehicles but the employee may feel as if it’s an invasion of their privacy.
As businesses move forward and as technology continues to evolve in the workplace, many of our professional and even personal tasks are becoming much easier to perform on a daily basis. As an employee, you may not agree with being tracked by your employer. At the same time, you are less likely to be upset about it if there are benefits that improve productivity and reduce frustrations. You also may be less concerned about being monitored as an employee if your employer involves you in the process.
In order to deploy a successful monitoring solution, I recommend complete transparency by the employer as well as involvement from the team members. Employee monitoring is all about improving efficiency and productivity while eliminating unnecessary processes that employers would like to resolve for their team. This reduces stress, provides more time for employees to do other more fulfilling tasks and can eliminate a lot of manual paperwork that is done.
Though it’s controversial, it’s here and will only continue to become a larger part of our professional lives. I believe the term “employee monitoring” in itself sounds invasive and rude. But if we look at the productivity, the opportunities to improve and the efficiency this technology can create outweighs the fact that it may be abused. As long as these technologies are only functioning during company hours, employees (that have nothing to hide) should not resist this in my opinion.
What do you think about employee and asset monitoring? Comment and let us know!
S.T.A.R – Stop. Think. Act. Review.
Are you quick to react? Do you often respond to an email and after hitting that send button regret it? Do you catch yourself changing your mind or opinion after you start speaking?
The STAR method will help you better plan your decisions, discussions and actions that will save you time, energy and possibly regret in the future.
STAR is a great way to create a culture amongst leadership and your team to drive quality, safety, improved communication and better decision making skills within an organization. Also, it is a great methodology to adapt for us as individuals. Whether it is at the workplace, with your children or in your marriage; the STAR method is a great way to make effective decisions.
It only takes a few minutes and even less after it has become habit for you, this is a simple and easy way to remember and a process that will assist you with any challenge or task.
Stop. Pause, take a deep breath, remove distractions and focus on the task or challenge at hand.
Think. What are you about to do? What would you like the result to be? How should you go about it? Whom does it affect?
Act. Complete the task, have the conversation or take the action as you planned.
Review. Did you get the expected result? What could you have done differently?
Life is all about an action and then a reaction, this method allows us to think about the reaction before taking action. It also allows for a quick review afterwards for you to analyze how it really went.
Next time you are feeling stressed, pressured or are faced with a challenging situation I challenge you to try the STAR method and I’m certain you will find it as useful as I do. It will also save you time and energy on the “reaction” you receive as you put the time and energy into thinking about it before you acted.