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Contractors Improve Utilization with GPS Tracking

By Kevin Aries March 7, 2019

Businesses in the construction industry face daily challenges like tight project deadlines, safety concerns, and productivity pressures in a very unique way compared to other industries. Due to the nature of their work, the consequences of failing to tackle these challenges can be much more impactful on the business. With the right tools and focus, however, construction contractors can improve fleet utilization and become more productive and efficient.

Changes in project scope or schedule can set your team behind, though often they can be unavoidable.1 By better managing what is under their control, construction contractors can help offset these disruptions to deliver improved service and save money. Fleet tracking and asset management solutions are the answer to improving utilization and becoming more productive. With GPS-powered fleet tracking and asset management, construction contractors can:

  • Reduce idle time
  • Save on fuel costs
  • Increase vehicle utilization
  • Reduce miles driven2

With stronger utilization strategies in place, construction contractors can have better visibility into where their assets are at all times, how they’re being used, and where there are gaps in productivity that need to be addressed.

How to Set Up a Fleet Tracking and Construction Utilization Program

Fleet utilization all comes down to efficiency: cutting costs, saving money, and streamlining operations. Keeping track of your fleet assets from both a safety and utilization perspective requires plenty of insight and data on your individual assets, which can be hard to uncover. Implementing a strategic utilization tracking program requires a proactive approach to technology. First, your team must identify any key metrics that will help track utilization. While these are different for every construction team, common ones include miles traveled, after-hours asset use, and on-site time vs. idle time. These metrics will form the base of your ongoing utilization strategy.

Next, contractors must have visibility into maintenance and asset service. If a piece of equipment is out of commission, it could mean wasted time on a job site waiting for a new one to arrive. It could also result in this piece of equipment being stolen from a holding lot because it was sitting idle so long.

And finally, contractors must also be able to accurately plan equipment routes to and from job sites. At Kimball Construction, leaders needed insight into where vehicles were going and how safely they were getting there. By visualizing vehicle routes and utilization in a full-service GPS tracking dashboard, Kimball Construction was able to save money on fuel as well as deliver better customer service and attention.

With the right utilization strategy in place, your team will be able to not only streamline operations but also have improved awareness of equipment safety and asset allocation. Knowing where every single construction asset is at every minute, both on and off site, keeps your team on a more productive schedule and can save your firm precious time and money. These insights, however, only come with the right technology, which is why GPS tracking is so important.

What to Look for in a GPS Tracking Solution

Now that you know why fleet tracking and utilization is so important for today’s construction companies, it’s time to look at how to find the right GPS tracking solution for your business. If turning to technology to help mitigate risks sounds like a challenge, remember that the industry as a whole is becoming more technologically advanced and that construction teams will have to adapt to be able to survive in the modern construction landscape.

Learn how to identify the right fleet management and asset tracking solution for your construction business with our Buyer's Guide.

In fact, 54% of construction companies3 have some sort of research team dedicated to finding and implementing new technology. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve and how this technology will benefit your team makes it easier to go through the buying process. As you’re looking for a GPS tracking solution, keep the following steps in mind:

  1. Have specific business goals in mind. Think about your current business problems and how a GPS tracking solution can address these specific issues. Then, think long-term about potential new problems, timelines, and budgets that this solution can also help address.
  2. Attend multiple live demos. Investing in a GPS tracking solution will help solve a lot of problems for your team and should receive the appropriate attention during the buying process. Ask plenty of questions and look for a vendor that openly aligns your business goals with the product features.
  3. Make an informed decision. Make sure the solution you decide to go with works for your team and how you operate. If you’re on the go, mobile access is a must. Also, think long-term and ensure there are plenty of resources and training materials available for your team.
  4. Ensure all team members are onboarded. Regardless of the solution you go with, it will be hard to reap the full benefits and insights if your entire team isn’t well-trained and comfortable with the solution. Go into the implementation process with your goals and benchmarks in mind.  

With global construction costs expected to rise by more than 4% in 20194, now is the time to implement an aggressive fleet tracking strategy to save time and money in the long-term. From better managing internal team logistics and utilization to keeping construction assets safe, GPS tracking from Verizon Connect can help your business run more efficiently. Because heavy equipment assets are a significant business investment, construction companies can have the assurance they need that these assets are being used responsibly and economically.


1 https://www.intergraph.com/assets/global/documents/SPC_LaborFactors_WhitePaper.pdf
2 Verizon Connect, 5 Steps to Improving Government Fleet Utilization (https://www.verizonconnect.com/resources/ebook/5-steps-to-a-better-return-on-fleet-assets)
3 https://jbknowledge.com/2018-construction-technology-report-survey
4 http://www.turnerandtownsend.com/en/insights/international-construction-market-survey-2018/

Kevin Aries

Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world.

Tags: Cost control, Data & Analytics, Dispatching & Scheduling, Fleet utilization, Fuel cost management, Productivity & Efficiency, Revenue & ROI, Team Management, Vehicle Maintenance

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