According to a recent security fleet study, the most immediate concern for security fleet managers are increasing fuel costs. With annual fuel consumption at over 35,000 gallons a year, it comes as no surprise that a search for better fuel efficiency initiatives is more important than ever. Add on maintenance costs and pressure to reduce emissions, and you have a trifecta that may seem impossible to solve. While the pressures may be increasing, GPS tracking technology is also advancing and can help enterprise security leaders to increase efficiency, decrease cost, minimize liability and, last but certainly not least, keep properties safe.

Decreasing Fuel Costs and Excessive Mileage

Vehicle maintenance and inaccurate routes play large roles in fuel costs for fleets. Essential maintenance can often get lost in the shuffle as fleet managers do not have daily access to every vehicle, and therefore they are unable to diagnose the issue when the first signs of vehicle failure occur.

While vehicle maintenance is considered a premium feature by many solutions providers in the GPS tracking industry, a new plug-and-play, cloud-based solution has emerged. This technology can give small- and medium-sized fleets the benefits that were only previously available to Fortune 1000 companies at almost half the cost. Fuel usage tracking, another capability considered a premium feature by providers, is now available with these next-generation systems.

The technology helps choose the best routes, which saves time, fuel and mileage and ultimately reduces overall wear and tear on the vehicle. Moreover, a tracking solution ensures vehicles are serviced regularly, which streamlines maintenance processes as well as helps to avoid costly breakdowns. Enterprise security leaders can now have full circle cost-reductions in the fuel and maintenance departments of fleet management.

Reckless Driving

In the security industry, reckless driving may sometimes seem inevitable. And while regulations, policies and laws are enforced, next-generation GPS devices can also come to security fleets’ aid. These cloud-based software products can make information on speeding and hard braking available to all sizes of fleets in real-time. Speeding and hard breaking is dangerous and responsible for 40 percent of workplace fatalities, and while it poses as a grave danger to employees, it also comes at an expense to companies. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), excessive speeding may decrease fuel economy by up to 20 percent.

Real-time monitoring of vehicle speeds and braking is a key factor in evaluating driving behavior, which will ultimately minimizing risk and save on fuel. Gathering this information in real time is a challenge for the older generation of GPS systems since they rely exclusively on GPS satellites for detecting speed, leading to inaccuracies and in many cases completely missing out on dangerous driving events.

Enforcing Employee Safety

On-the-job crashes are not cheap, with an estimated cost of $24,000 per crash, according to the National Safety Council. While 28 percent of fleet vehicle crashes are caused by distracted driving, including eating while driving, changing the radio station, or texting/talking while driving, other distractions such as the need for drivers to determine the quickest route or determining the urgency of a call are also considered real threats in the security fleet industry.

Today’s fleet tracking solutions also monitor driver behavior indicators such as excessive idling, speeding, hard braking, sudden starts, miles driven, cellphone use and personal use of company vehicles. While most companies and state governments are enforcing stricter distracted-driving policies, adding fleet tracking and distracted-driving products into the program has been proven to minimize risk.

Customer Assurance and Minimizing Liability

Customer assurance in the security business means safety, comfort and peace of mind, so it is important to know where your employees are at all times. Use of cloud-based GPS systems provide you with real-time snapshots of locations along with entry and exit into virtual perimeters, proof of visits and duration of stay, all of which are important, not only to the customers’ safety but to the employees’ safety as well. Utilizing the GPS technology can allow for fleet managers and fleet owners to locate a driver at any time and immediately provide customers with proof-of-visit. In short, you’ll get the real story of what’s happening on the road 24/7.

This new breed of fleet technology is easy to install, streamlined, accurate, easy to use and affordable. These types of devices communicate directly with an online tracking platform and read engine data up to 60 times more than the standard GPS tracking system. Security fleet managers who utilize the functionalities of the device will report increase ROI through customer retention, risk reduction, decreased fuel costs, decreased maintenance cost and customer acquisition through referrals from satisfied customers based on the increased speed, reliability and accuracy of your company’s fleet. The trifecta of pressures may not be impossible to conquer after all.