Magazine Article | April 26, 2011

Executive Outlook: The Path To Field Efficiency Begins With A Plan

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

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.

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