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Sherlock Holmes is a timeless character. Since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the famous detective back in the 1800s, his popularity has waxed and waned, but has never really faded altogether. To wit:
More than 70 actors have played the character in 200-plus films (the Guinness Book of World Records lists Holmes as the “most portrayed movie character”). Multiple famous authors have cribbed off the Holmesian canon. There are two different shows, “Sherlock” and “Elementary,” on TV. There are even Sherlock Holmes fan clubs can join.
So what’s the big fascination? One answer is that we all wish we could think like he does. Holmes has the ability to look at weird occurrences and seemingly random clues and find a neat explanation that solves the case – and when he explains the solution, it seems at the same time both totally obvious and something you never could have thought of it yourself.
The secret to his detective prowess: “To both see and observe.” Holmes doesn’t just look at the world; he really sees it, and puts everything he views into the context of the case he is trying to solve. Of course, he also has a huge bank of obscure knowledge to draw on, but apart from that, he’s just taking data everyone has access to – what’s in front of our very eyes – and increases its worth by giving it meaning: It helps solve a mystery.
So how can a fleet manager or operations leader be more like Sherlock Holmes? By taking ownership of all the data that’s possible to pull out of a business and analysing it – which will help solve any mysteries around costs and let you make both short- and long-term decisions.
You might think that sounds impossible – with the sheer amount of numbers involved in a business, how do you have time to thoughtfully analyse everything?
But that’s where a GPS vehicle tracking system can help: Not only does it help you keep tabs on your fleet drivers and vehicles, improving fleet safety – but it also pulls in data on drivers and their habits (including idling, speeding and aggressive driving), vehicles’ locations and engine ‘on’ hours, fuel expenditures, job in and out times, maintenance costs and schedules, timesheets, field activity, mileage per vehicle and more.
And it doesn’t just spit meaningless columns of numbers at you: It breaks it down, too. You can pull up reports on any of the information the system tracks and view the data in easy-to-read tracking dashboards, giving you the big picture overview without getting too in the weeds with details (although those details are available if you need to dive deeper).
Vehicle tracking lets you take all that data and turn it into useful, actionable information that helps you answer questions about where money is going, how employees are spending their time or using company property, what fleet maintenance services needs to be budgeted for, etc. – taking the mystery out of business management and operations.
You don’t need to have Sherlock Holmes’ powers of observation to solve business mysteries and make informed decisions. You just need a way to collect all the data that is available and give it meaning through analysis – and fleet tracking gives you that power.