By Richard Pearlman, Esri
GPS and AVL (automated vehicle location) tracking are generally viewed as the most effective solutions for optimizing fleet operations, reducing costs, and improving
efficiencies. The benefits of visualizing and reporting location-related information are undeniable. However, fleet tracking is frequently a technology solution to what is primarily a management problem. AVL systems may identify unacceptable or unusual situations, but the reality is that alone, they also serve to reinforce operations and behaviors
that are far from efficient or cost-effective. The common perception is that fleet tracking gives managers the tool to ensure compliance with a desired route and schedule. In fact, drivers in the field are not working from efficient routes or
schedules to begin with. They are simply working through a list of stops. Information from fleet tracking solutions may cause reactions from managers and dispatchers. However, they are generally not working from a plan. Most managers of small
and medium fleets are not yet aware of the benefits of building optimal or efficient route plans.