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Ways to Make Your Fleet More Efficient

Q & A with Josh Danke, Senior Strategic Account Manager

Companies are constantly seeking ways to improve operations, reduce costs, and maximize productivity. We spoke with Josh Danke, Senior Strategic Account Manager at GPS Insight, on ways GPS Insight can help businesses with efficiencies.


What are your main duties as senior strategic account manager?

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I work with some of our largest customers to ensure that they’re receiving the full ROI for our products.

What problems are companies trying to solve?

Safety is very important. Businesses are trying to improve anything that has to do with speeding and aggressive driving. GPS Insight can definitely help with that. The cameras are really the way to go if you’re focusing on quick safety wins.

How can GPS Insight help businesses be more efficient?

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Many ways. For instance, Aaron’s operates a large fleet of roughly 2,000 vehicles across nearly 1,000 locations. They deal with TVs, electronics, and rentals, with typically 1-3 trucks at each store.

One area where we’ve improved efficiency is device installation. Previously, each store received devices individually. Now, we work with a smaller group of upfitters.

These upfitters receive the vehicles directly from the manufacturer (typically Isuzu box trucks and Ford Transits). They then install the box, upgrade features, and outfit the truck specifically for Aaron’s needs. Finally, they install the fleet management device.

The upfitter manages the entire process, including acquiring and paying for the device. This cost is then included in the overall vehicle price. Aaron’s then pays a separate fee for the monitoring service.

This approach simplifies the process significantly. Instead of managing device installation at 1,000 individual stores, we only need to coordinate with a handful of upfitters. (An upfitter is a person who modifies or customizes a vehicle to meet a specific purpose.)

A professional still handles the device installation and install costs are reduced due to the consolidations of installs. It eliminates all the trip fees generated by having third party installers traveling to their many locations.


What other issues are businesses working on?

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Utilization is a really big one. For small companies, managers can keep a pretty good tab of how much the trucks are being used in their head, but when it’s really big, no one really knows.

So they want to look at the utilization. Our GPS devices are great at letting them know exactly how much things are being used.


How can they do that?

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We have a new utilization report we just released. A company we’re working with has specific utilization requirements, and we can customize reports. They consider any time a vehicle is used away from the store as 100% utilization, requiring 9 hours a day, six days a week. This information can be entered into the report and filtered by them. There is a percent utilized column that allows them to define the number of hours per day and days per week that equals 100% utilization. They use this feature every month, and it’s quite effective to identify vehicles that aren’t being used much.

This way, they can address the issue at the store level. Almost every store will initially resist giving up trucks. However, when presented with hard data from the report showing a vehicle was only used for four hours last month, they can make a stronger case. This has helped them right size their fleet over the last year.

They’ve been downsizing due to the pandemic and haven’t fully recovered, resulting in a fleet reduction from 2200 vehicles to around 1850 currently.

This process of identifying underutilized vehicles is applicable to many large organizations. They all want to know what equipment is being used and what isn’t.

Even if they aren’t planning on removing vehicles or assets from service entirely, there are situations where they can be reallocated. For instance, a backhoe assigned to one job site might be more suitable for another ongoing project. The report allows them to check the utilization of such equipment. If a piece of equipment is significantly underutilized, it can be transferred to another project instead of incurring the high cost of renting additional equipment.


What other kind of reports help with efficiency?

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We have idling reports to cut down on idle time. You’d be surprised how often people will just let the truck run all day long, which is hard on the vehicle. Plus, it’s going to need more maintenance, and it’s going to need to be replaced sooner. If you’re running the vehicle less, it’s going to keep it on the road longer. Also it saves on fuel. It makes your business more efficient if you’re spending less money.

If businesses are looking to improve their fleet efficiency, why would GPS Insight be the choice?

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Our customizable reporting features can really help. We can really help businesses be more efficient. Same as with idle reporting, using landmarks can also make things more efficient. It can let you geofence off certain areas and then you can run additional reports in that area. That helps you confirm how long. someone was on site, which would help with billing hours and things like that, plus make sure people are where they are supposed to be.

What’s coming in the future?

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The new features with EV that we’re coming out with will prove to be beneficial. I have a customer – a university – who is trying to use a lot of our utilization data. They are doing a big EV feasibility study to try and determine how vehicles are being used and which ones can be replaced with electric vehicles based on their usage. So they’re looking at vehicles that rarely need to go get gas in the middle of the day, and then also where to place the charging stations based on how those vehicles are used. We’ll be able to provide that data with our reporting. These features will help people with the transition to EV. And then once they get implemented, they’re going to want all that EV data to further analyze things for the continued rollout.

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