A couple of years back, geofences were a new and unpopular fleet management feature. However, due to the feature’s potency and uses, it has now become a standard inclusion in fleet management systems.
Geofencing is much more than marking areas on the map. It comes in handy in any transportation-based industry, regardless of whether the requirements are big or small. So, do you have a GPS tracking system that supports geofencing? If not, you need to change it! If yes, we’re sure you’re not completely aware of what all this handy little feature can do.
In this article, let us teach you how to use geofences in your fleet management software to their fullest.
What Are Geofences?
The word geofences is self-explanatory. Geofences are virtual substitutes to physical fences that separate properties and land from one another. Therefore, as virtual perimeters, geofences set geospatial boundaries that are connected to your fleet management software.
Geofencing is ideal for separating areas from one another. They are used to either define forbidden areas or generate functional boundaries for vehicles. Most Level 3 automated cars rely on geofencing to navigate around without much drive supervision.
Through RFID tags and GPS tracking, geofences can send alerts to your software whenever a vehicle moves in and out of the geofenced area. Such alerts are also used to get an idea of vehicles’ locations without constantly checking the authorized fleet tracking software.
One of the defining things about geofences is that they can be drawn free-style in any size and shape. Just like physical properties, virtual geofencing needs not follow any geometric pattern.
Geofences’ freedom from geometric restrictions make them flexible and highly potent. However, if you do not need to geofence a large area but point at a small area instead, you can mark a point of interest. It does the same thing as a geofence, just does not need to define a large area.
For any location-based device or system, geofences take location tracking features and accentuate them to a higher level. Therefore, they have become one of the defining features of a good fleet management software.
General Uses of Geofences
- Restricting Areas: Some routes are inefficient for business but might be convenient for drivers. To avoid unnecessary losses, you can restrict certain areas through geofences. Restricted areas can also be used for some specific use cases as explained in the next section.
- Trip Updates: You can set points of interest along the way to avoid constantly checking your software dashboard. Every time a vehicle enters your geofence or point of Interest, you’ll know its progress.
- Proof of Delivery: Once your vehicle enters the destination geofence, you will know that the product or service has been supplied. Now, you can say no frequent calls to and from delivery people and customers for delivery updates.
- Discipline Enforcement: If you see a driver constantly deviating from the pre-set path, you can set a geofence in surrounding areas to see where they usually go, how long they stay there, and their visiting frequency.
Using Geofences for Specializations
Geofences are very versatile owing to their numerous benefits for fleet management. Whether you own an agricultural, mining, FMCG, or rental vehicles fleet, you’ll find a use for geofences. Let us have a detailed look at how geofences serve various fleet-dependent industries.
Fences, both real and virtual, play an important role in agricultural fleet management. Fences help in better segregating fields, maintaining cattle-vehicle harmony, and overall data-driven cultivation management. Here are a few practical ways through which the agricultural fleet benefits from geofencing:
- Planned Tilling: Large farms have multiple rows and areas that need tilling at different times. But, how do drivers know which areas to till and which areas to leave undisturbed? Through geofences! Create geofences surrounding only areas where the land needs to be tilled.
- Restricted Areas: Some areas are so sensitive at particular times that any disturbance might lead to major disruptions in the cultivation process. Therefore, you can set restricted geofences on those areas to avoid any mistakes.
- Cattle Tracking: If you subscribe to asset tracking, you can reduce the frequency of stray cattle. Mark your entire farm into a geofence and every time a cattle crosses the area, you will be notified immediately.
Construction and Mining
The construction and mining industry is bent towards live tracking and safety. However, geofences play a vital role here as well
- Remote Updates: If you manage a large fleet remotely, you will not have time to track each vehicle’s location in real-time. Therefore, if there is any specific area that you are concerned about, you can set a geofence around it to get an update of vehicle entry and exit.
- Asset Safety: The NCIB points that at least one out of five assets from construction sites are stolen. If not complete vehicles, at least parts of them are vulnerable to theft. Therefore, geofencing all parts of a vehicle will protect your business against theft.
Food and Beverage Industry (FMCG)
The food and beverage industry is very time-specific due to the consignment’s short expiry periods. Therefore, managers have to manage shorter and more complicated supply chains. Here’s how geofences help
- Trip Updates: Setting multiple geofences enroute allows you to consistently get updates of where a vehicle is without having to check the software constantly. Sometimes you might have instructions for drivers that you only want to share when they are near a location and geofences trip updates are the best way to know your vehicle’s specific activity.
- Proof of Pick and Drop: You can check geofence reports to see when a vehicle entered and left the dispatch center and the destination center. According to these timelines, you can get automatic delivery proofs.
Medical and Healthcare
Medical equipment is generally fragile and cannot be tampered with. Therefore, managers have to be very aware of the route drivers are taking. Geofencing helps in proper medical equipment delivery through clear supervision.
- Restricted areas: If certain areas are accident-prone or time consuming, you can mark them as geofences. Therefore, if a vehicle enters these areas, you can ask the driver to take a safer route immediately.
- Accurate ETAs: Pharmaceutical logistics are generally time-constrained and if someone needs an update on the trip, they need it urgently. Therefore, through geofenced route updates, your ETAs will be more accurate and easily available at all times.
Public transportation fleets cover a large area with an even larger network of vehicles. Geofences help generate smaller areas that make public vehicle route planning simpler.
- Avoid Self-Competition: Designate specific geofence-triggered areas to specific vehicles. This way, vehicles will hardly intersect paths with one another and hence, will avoid any competition within themselves.
- Stoppage Reports: Mark geofences on all the stoppages you need your vehicles to take. This way, you can easily track which stop has and has not been met along the way.
Rental vehicles businesses offer chauffeured and non-chauffeured services. For non-chauffeured services, business owners need geofences for a specific reason:
- Distance Control: If you have rented your vehicle for a specific area, you can restrict it with a geofence. Therefore, if your vehicle is at risk of theft, you’ll know through violation of the geofenced area. This is a great way of obviating out of town travel as well.
- Stoppage Planning: Does your client need to hit several destinations? You can set geofences around each destination so that both you and they will know when the vehicle has reached certain points on the route.
Automated vehicles can be divided into six levels. Level zero signifies vehicles that do not have any automation features while Level 6 vehicles are the ones that can essentially, drive themselves in any condition.
While Level 6 vehicles are the future of the automobile and telematics industries, they are yet to be introduced to us. The most we have right now are Level 3 cars that can navigate themselves but only in ideal condition, and this is where geofences play their role.
Once you have created ideal conditions for a Level 3 automated car to drive itself, you can geofence the area. Therefore, when the car leaves the geofence, you will be notified and deploy the car immediately for safety concerns.
Use Geofences With TrackoBit
Geofences are an already well-developed feature. However, the future has many more developing use cases for better fleet management and the possibilities are endless.
TrackoBit is one of the leading fleet management software that will let you use geofences to the fullest. With the help of the right guidance, integrated tools, and support, TrackoBit enhances all geofence use cases. Regardless of the industry you work with, and your fleet size, we will have the right fleet management solutions for you.
So, what are you waiting for, get a free demo now!