In March of 2008, the Aberdeen Group published a study on how fleet management impacts both small and large businesses. This report, entitled Improving Productivity and Profitability through Service Fleet Management, can be found in its entirety at the Aberdeen Group website (but it does require a subscription to their service. A free summary of the reports findings can be found here. What they found was that small businesses are much more likely to benefit and do so by a greater margin that larger businesses.

In the report, businesses were grouped together based on the size of their fleet. The breakdown was as follows:

  • 1 to 10 where characterized as small
  • 11 to 50 as medium small
  • 51 to 250 as medium
  • 251 to 1000 as medium large
  • More than 1000 as large

The report also measured the pressures that businesses cited as reasons they desired to increase their efficiency with GPS technology. Of the reasons mentioned by small fleets, a desire to improve to improve the customer experience through improved response times was listed by 73% or participants. This was by far the leading response, and for obvious reasons. By improving customer experience a company hopes to generate return customers and establish a word of mouth advertising campaign, both essential for the survivability and longevity of a small business.

Other reasons businesses cited for wishing to implement some form of GPS technology were:

  • Reduce service response times (57%)
  • Reduce fleet related operating costs (46%)
  • Increase service related productivity (41%)
  • Extend life of service vehicles (16%)

Probably the most interesting finding of the report was that small businesses (fleets with 1-10 vehicles) tend to benefit more from implementing GPS technology than large businesses (fleets with more than 1000 vehicles). According to the report, small fleets saw an increase of 25% in the number of work orders completed per day after two years of GPS implementation. Large fleets only saw an increase of 8%. This technology need not necessarily be a GPS fleet tracking system, it could be “GPS-enabled vehicle tracking systems, cell phones with GPS navigation or tracking capabilities, commercial-grade mobile or ruggedized handhelds with GPS, and other personal and in-vehicle monitoring and navigation devices.”

Another KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that the GPS technology has improved for these businesses is the ability of technicians to arrive to the service location on time. Small fleets have seen a 46% increase in this key metric. It is easy to see how this will result in an improved experience for the customer and solidify your businesses reputation of being punctual.

The report then goes on to make recommendations on how one ought to proceed in implementing a GPS fleet tracking system. These recommendations include:

  • Get GPS. It works and it is relatively inexpensive to implement across any size fleet.
  • Measure your process. Knowing your “as-is” condition is important for viewing the impact that GPS technology will have once it is implemented. It can also highlight areas where additional the low tech measures will further improve efficiencies.
  • Initiate employee training on improved fleet usage and maintenance. Taking a whole fleet approach to maintenance will improve overall results and increase worker productivity, enhance fleet durability, and improve workplace communications.
  • Consider implementing dynamic scheduling.

In the end, determining which solution to implement could save your company money, increase revenue, and improve your image among customers. Considering that GPS technology has become so affordable in recent years is there any reason not to test this out for you fleet?