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Pocket GPS Interview Tracking Specialists Navman Wireless

 
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject: Pocket GPS Interview Tracking Specialists Navman Wireless Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comSteve Blackburn, European Vice President of vehicle tracking company Navman Wireless sets the record straight on vehicle tracking.

Q. You claim Navman Wireless's products dramatically increase productivity and efficiency, how do you achieve this?

A.The benefits of vehicle tracking systems for businesses with a fleet of vehicles to co-ordinate are no secret these days. Real-time information on the exact position and driving speed of the whole fleet opens up a wealth of data on journey times, driving speeds and fuel consumption that all add up to a leaner, safer operation.

With vehicle tracking technology on board you can improve your whole fleet's efficiency and cut fuel consumption in a range of ways. Monitoring driver behaviour helps improve vehicle handling skills, cutting fuel costs, while the most efficient allocation of jobs should avoid unnecessary journeys. At the same time substantiated records rule out the possibility of false overtime claims by drivers, and knowing where each of your vehicles is located at all times means a massive boost to the security of your drivers and vehicles, as well as any goods being transported.

Q.Do you have any examples/figures/percentages re the reduction of fuel consumption?

A.With vehicle tracking, fuel savings come partly from more efficient vehicle use and routes - avoiding unnecessary journeys and mileage - and partly from using data from the vehicles to help train employees to drive more fuel-efficiently. These days, the best vehicle tracking systems include highly effective fuel-cost-saving features including downloadable speed analysis reports, which demonstrate how a particular vehicle has been driven in comparison to the rest of the fleet.

A company operating a fleet of 25 vehicles using Navman Wireless's vehicle tracking system in 2003, for instance, made an annual fuel saving of 60,000 in its first year of using it. At today's fuel prices, that saving amounts to almost 100,000 a year. Another customer meanwhile has calculated that it is saving more than 25,000 a year by cutting back on vehicle engine idling times.

Q.How often do you experience resistance from unions or workforce and how is this overcome?

A.With some workforces, particularly those that are strongly unionised, introducing tracking naturally prompts questions about the level of trust between drivers and the management team keen to bring in new technology. Honesty is usually the best policy for businesses when it comes to justifying their plans and explaining exactly what they hope to achieve.

Vehicle tracking is win-win technology and we advise businesses to explain to staff and unions the benefits, both to the business and to drivers, that the new system will bring.

By cutting costs and driving productivity, companies that make the best use of vehicle tracking have laid the foundations to become more profitable. In a time of economic uncertainty, this can bring workers a greater sense of job security.

Businesses are increasingly explaining to staff how tracking will make the business more efficient by cutting wasted fuel and improving customer service standards, adding that individual drivers also stand to gain from having the new technology installed.

For instance there will be no need to fill in mileage sheets to get paid or claim expenses any more, and drivers should be dealing with happier customers - the office team can see if a driver is running late and can warn the customer in advance. The system will also give verified back up if, for example, a customer disputes whether a driver has attended a job.

The benefit-in-kind tax charge on company vans for employees has soared recently from 500 to 3,500. The move means that van drivers will be forced to pay significantly more income tax - unless their employers can prove that the van is only used for business and not personal use. Vehicle tracking gives definitive proof of business mileage, so drivers won't have to pay any more tax.

Businesses can also reassure staff that vehicle tracking will help keep them safer and less stressed at work. When job instructions are sent, drivers simply click on the screen to accept the job and access an on-screen map with directions. There's no need for journey planning and maps, and none of the stress of getting lost or misinterpreting instructions and going to the wrong address: drivers can concentrate on driving safely.

Companies, in fact, have a legal obligation to fulfil fundamental duty of care responsibilities to drivers. Under the Health & Safety (Offences) Act 2008, fleet operators and their directors and managers who do not take occupational road risk management seriously could find themselves in jail. If convicted in a Crown Court, they can receive a custodial sentence of up to two years. A breach of the Act needn't result in a death for a prosecution to be successful.

Transparency is key to ensuring that vehicle tracking systems are a hit with both bosses and staff. Once initial scepticism has been overcome, the technology is welcomed by almost all drivers especially when they have experienced at first hand how it improves their working life and their ability to do their jobs.

Q.How do you address fleet drivers' privacy concerns?

A.Vehicle tracking is one of those 'does-what-it-says-on-the-tin' products, designed to track a company's vehicles, not its employees. If staff are concerned that their privacy is being compromised then employers need to emphasise all the positive reasons behind installing tracking, and the benefits to staff such as safety and efficient working. If they can get the message across that it's about transparency, safety and efficiency, not about spying on employees, then there should be no reason for anyone to feel they have given up their privacy.

Q. Earlier this year, Navman Wireless called on the UK government to protect businesses against unscrupulous telematics operators. What kind of unscrupulous practices do you refer to?

A.The problem with the rapid growth of any industry sector or technology, is that it attracts unethical operators looking to make quick, easy money at the expense of unsuspecting and badly advised customers.

The business model for vehicle tracking has become established with third party leasing companies providing finance for contract agreement periods of, in most cases, up to five years. For those businesses dealing with reputable providers, this model has proved extremely popular, proving particularly tax efficient and negating any cashflow difficulties. It can, however, have serious financial and business repercussions if a vehicle tracking company fails, or is no longer able, to provide their service. According to start-up business research by Barclays, 18 per cent of all new businesses fail within their first year, and 50 per cent fail within three years. Industry experts suggest that failure rates within the telematics sector are likely to be even higher.

At Navman Wireless we're currently in negotiations with TrustMark and the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) after lobbying government to introduce a TrustMark standard for the vehicle tracking industry. BERR's TrustMark scheme has helped raise standards in the building sector, and we believe the vehicle tracking industry could benefit in a similar way.

Because of the high-tech nature of the telematics industry there would need to be a different scheme structure and a unique set of government-endorsed standards for vehicle tracking. Approved operators would have to meet specific criteria ranging from hardware quality and server hosting standards to adequate IT support, all designed to benefit and protect consumers. Until a scheme to guarantee standards is introduced though, the critical message for businesses is to do their homework before investing large sums of money in tracking technology.
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alanlakes
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh! What a perfect world these people live in. It's about being managed and getting out there and seeing what's going on, which unfortunately we seem to forget in England.
We have trackers. Our despatchers/job contollers are not allowed access to the software/information.
We are paid flat rate to travel before and after normal hours.
Docked an hour a day for travel to Office, but my contract states I must live 70 miles from office to enable access from to local customers.
Still fill in daily mileage sheets
But you spend 5 minutes to long at lunch or stop after driving 150 miles with 100 to go for a cuppa and wait for the "management by email" question - Why did you blah blah .....?
But ask for Sat Nav so you can find the Customer and you get a deep inhale of breath followed by " we are not suppling you with toys to play with at our expense ..... blah blah".
Talk about **it for brains.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My local private hire firm uses tracking and the owner (who also drives one of his cabs) swears by it. He claims it has benefited his business immensely, he can send the closest car for the job, he can advise a customer exactly how long a car will be and he can task cars much more easily.

The issues you comment on are surely problems with your employers, little to do with the technology and benefits of tracking!
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alanlakes
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was my point. Unfortunately you can't trust people to use or even be persuaded about the technology and benefits of tracking so all the statements about improvements and benifits are not believed.
We have tried to persuade our managers to believe their original sales talk to us.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, whilst I agree your experience sounds poor it is not necessarily representative of every company that chooses to use this technology.
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7andy
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was amused by the fact that the Company could save lots of cash, but the poor old employee should just be grateful he still has a job!!
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alix776
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PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weve had trackers fitted to all the companies trucks and its hasnt made a bit of difderence to any of thrucks mpg so i think that blows that theaory out of the water .

in the world of tracking companies all rosey and its only benifits that are put forward.

in reality in many companies its used to spy on drivers/employies and nothing else. in small companies the introduction can be seen as the company looing trust in its employees

i know of one dutch based haulier that if a driver stops he has to enter the reason on the tracker is he doesnt then the phone goes and they are demanding an explination.

in all it depends on how the tracking system is used and set up, the rose coloured glasses many of these companies seem wear or the world veiw they put forward just doesnt exsist

in certain applications where drivers earnings depend on reduceing empty running or a whos nearest to customer it is seen as somthing to be welcomed ie couriers/taxi drivers etc.
from my personal experience as running my own courier company we utilized tracking solutions one was public the other was private the private one was using copilot live which a link was sent to the customer so they could track the progress of there goods they sent by me as they were time sensitive
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