Using GPS for Management

Posted on August 13, 2008 by LCT Magazine

By Jim A. Luff

I recently started writing an article for our October issue.  In a sneak peak, I will share with you that I have been interviewing operators in Seattle, New Orleans, Detroit and other cities about their use of GPS.  I myself added GPS several years ago.  In my numerous interviews, I have found that operators who use GPS swear by them and without a doubt the operations costs have been lowered significantly in those operations.
I was amazed at how many operators said the abuse of vehicles was drastically curtailed even though GPS really doesn't report anything about vehicle abuse.  However, it does tell you the travel time from Point A to Point B so lead footed drivers are easily identified and it appears that drivers have a feeling that "big brother" is indeed watching.
Many companies have implemented "idling policies" for a combination of environmental concerns as well as fuel conservation.  Dean Schuler of Signature Limousine in New Orleans gave me the best quote so far by saying, "Until you have GPS, you never really know what your fleet is doing". 
Most operators said they were shocked to find how fast chauffeurs drive, how much unauthorized usage of the vehicles there was and how close chauffeurs were coming to being late to pickup locations.  Almost all started out by installing their GPS units covertly and without telling anyone.  However, once they saw what was going on they simply could not contain themselves and soon the word spread through the company that management knew every single turn they made, every stop they made and other aspects.  For all the details you will have to read the magazine.  But, as I continue writing, I am interested in your experience with GPS.  Do you use it?  What are your thoughts?
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