How to Keep Your Fleet Connected with a Fleet Tracking App

April 9, 2020

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Key Takeaways

A fleet tracking app brings the power of telematics to your fingertips via a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Key features from your fleet management solution—like GPS tracking, dash cam footage, fuel consumption, Hours of Service, and ELD compliance—can all be accessed remotely on a device while you’re on the go.  

In today's digital world, it's increasingly important for fleet managers to have access to information and data on the go. That’s why tools that help your fleet stay connected—even when employees are away from their desks—are becoming more and more valuable to fleet management.

To help fleets stay connected, some fleet management systems offer a fleet tracking app so customers can have a unified telematics experience across both desktop and mobile devices. Samsara Fleet, for example, is a new smartphone mobile app that helps you manage your fleet on the go so your telematics data is accessible at any time, anywhere, on any device.

Whether you manage a mobile workforce or simply think your fleet could benefit from accessing telematics data on the go, read on to learn how a fleet tracking app can uplevel your approach to fleet management.

What is a fleet tracking app?

A fleet tracking app brings the power of telematics to your fingertips via a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Key features from your fleet management solution—like GPS tracking, dash cam footage, fuel consumption, Hours of Service, and ELD compliance—can all be accessed remotely from a device while you’re on the go.  

Though not all telematics providers include a mobile app, there are certain fleet tracking solutions that do. For example, if you’re a Samsara customer based in the UK, you can download Samsara Fleet today on Google Play (if you have an Android) or the Apple App Store (if you have an iPhone). Learn more about the Samsara Fleet mobile app here.

Who needs a fleet tracking app?

Fleet tracking apps can be valuable if you work remotely for all or part of your workday, which can often be the case for fleets working in industries like oil and gas and fleet services. Or, it can be useful if you simply want to have continuous access to your fleet management data even when you’re off the clock. 

This information can be particularly helpful if you’re offsite with customers during your day or if you need access to certain information as soon as it occurs. For example, you probably want to know if a driver is involved in a safety incident sooner rather than later or if a vehicle has a critical maintenance issue that requires immediate attention.

Public fleets,such as governments and schools, can also greatly benefit from mobile GPS-based vehicle telematics. Governments are often presented with limited resources and labor shortages. Having a mobile solution can provide more versatile and accessible vehicle telematics data on the go to analyze fleet vehicles, vehicle location, service delivery and coverage, driver behavior, community safety, routing, dispatch units, diagnostics and preventative maintenance so that they can optimize their service their communities and respond to citizens

4 ways a fleet tracking app can benefit your fleet

There are many ways a fleet tracking app can help your business run smoothly and improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your fleet operations.

Read on to learn about how a mobile fleet tracking app can help you stay on top of operations, quickly exonerate not-at-fault drivers, respond quickly to customer service requests, and help your bottom line:

1. Maintain visibility into operations

While fleet management software can help you gain real-time vehicle, driver, and asset information, what happens when you need to step out of the office?

By using a fleet management solution that offers a mobile app, you can stay close to your operations whether you're on the road, at home, or with a customer. 

For example, with the Samsara Fleet app, you can set up text and email alerts to go straight to your phone, review information directly from the app, and respond to incidents no matter where you are. This means that you can access relevant details about your fleet and act on time-sensitive information, regardless of your location. This can be helpful in various different scenarios like if you needed to ensure a driver arrived on time to a specific location. 

Additionally, allows flexibility in your day, allowing you to work more efficiently and spend less time in transit—if you need to meet with a client offsite, there’s no need to rearrange your schedule to make sure you’re back in the office at a certain time to check in on your fleet. 

2. Exonerate innocent drivers

If your driver is involved in an unexpected safety incident, chances are you can mitigate impact by being able to take action right away. But if you’re on the road or with a client, it might take several phone calls from the driver or safety supervisor before you’re up to speed on what’s going on. 

With a fleet tracking app, it’s easy to respond to incidents as soon as they occur. Plus, you can easily exonerate innocent drivers and avoid lengthy claim processes by downloading dash cam footage to your mobile device and sharing it with law enforcement on the spot. This is a great way to exonerate drivers faster and settle claims quickly while also decreasing liability and protecting your brand. 

3. Improve customer service

Meeting customer expectations in the age of Amazon can be challenging, especially as Amazon continues to raise the bar for reliable ETAs and quick deliveries across all industries. Whether your fleet serves consumers or other businesses, more and more customers believe that the overall experience you provide is as important as the service or product you deliver. 

By selecting a telematics provider that also has a mobile app, you can help customers get the support and information they want no matter where you are. For example, if you’re away from your desktop, you can still get real-time location data from a fleet tracking app so you can relay ETAs to customers upon their request. Without a mobile app, you would instead have to place a customer on hold and either call the driver to learn their location or call an employee back at the office who has access to your telematics software.

 4.   Decrease unnecessary downtime

When you're out in the field, it can be challenging to resolve a pressing maintenance issue—and in certain cases, even get wind of it. This can cause unnecessary downtime and in the worst case, incur additional costs for your fleet. 

For instance, if a vehicle has an urgent maintenance issue—like a high-risk vehicle fault code—time is of the essence. If you’re able to get in touch with your driver sooner and provide them with actionable next steps, your vehicle is more likely to get back on the road faster. 

That’s why a fleet tracking app is so critical to your company’s efficiency and bottom line— with a fleet tracking app, delays can be significantly reduced to help save your fleet time and money. With the Samsara Fleet app, for example, you can receive a text as soon as an issue is detected, so you can resolve the matter before it becomes a bigger problem.

What to consider when selecting a fleet tracking system

Though a fleet tracking app can be helpful for your fleet’s mobility, the first step is finding a fleet management system that  offers one and meets your business needs. Look for telematics software that's intuitive, easy to use, and can give you a more complete view of how your fleet is performing.

With a fleet management software solution, you can quickly locate your vehicles, monitor traffic conditions, reduce fuel costs by monitoring idling time, and help prevent accidents—benefits that can help your fleet save thousands of dollars.

A comprehensive fleet management system also lets you drill down into your data, providing actionable insights to help you save time and money.

A good fleet management solution will present this data in a clear and intuitive way, helping you to identify trends that previously might have been difficult for you to see. You can then filter that data to spot fuel inefficiencies, identify gaps in your safety program, or come up with new ways to increase customer satisfaction.

Which features to consider in a fleet tracking system

When choosing fleet management software, it’s important to make sure that it has the features that your business needs. When considering your options, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Quality of location data: Would your fleet benefit from real-time tracking or is a single location ping every five to ten minutes sufficient? Ask your fleet management software provider how often their GPS trackers update your vehicle’s location and whether they offer real-time vehicle location tracking.

  • Ease of use: Consider how straightforward the software is and if it would require a heavy lift to onboard and train employees. Consider asking the telematics provider if you can speak with an existing customer to better understand how it’s used in their workplace.

  • Customer support: What type of customer service will you need? If you want a provider who can support you during the hours your drivers and business are operating and beyond, check to see if your provider has 24/7 customer support.

  • Ease of installation: How seamless will the installation process be for your fleet? Will it require hiring additional people or new resources? Before selecting a telematics provider, ask how long a technology deployment for your size fleet takes.

  • Mobile workflow: Are you frequently on the go or managing your fleet remotely? If you want access to information about your fleet on the go, consider a fleet management solution that offers a mobile app.

GPS fleet tracking with Samsara

Is your business looking for a vehicle tracking solution that can provide real-time location data for vehicles of all types while also supporting the growing needs of a mobile-first company? 

Samsara brings the experience of Google and Apple engineering to GPS fleet tracking with a telematics solution that provides fleet managers with more visibility into their operations. Samsara also offers a solution that provides organizations with the resources to move quickly, sift through data effectively, and integrate seamlessly with existing investments. 

Plus, if you want to leverage the power of the Samsara Dashboard from your phone, the Samsara Fleet mobile app includes key features at your fingertips so you can access important fleet data and insights on the go. 

To learn more about how Samsara can help you with GPS tracking and beyond, reach out today for a free demo or free trial.