Over 3 years ago, when I founded GPS Insight, I named it that because I wanted to help customers get through the mountains of GPS data which were collected using GPS hardware.

I had heard about failed GPS implementations because no one had time to sift through the data. GPS Insight seemed a fitting name, plus GPSI sounds like “Gypsy” which is about the only interesting “mascot” company name you can make with the letters g p s other than Galapagos, Egyptians, Poughkeepsie and glimpse.

So, getting to the point of this article, collecting GPS data isn’t enough. It needs to be “boiled down” to quantifiable results. Those could be graphs, exception alerts, or summary reports.

But most GPS products’ summary reports aren’t always enough. Knowing how many hours/miles/stops doesn’t necessarily help you streamline your company.

Here is a screenshot of a large trash hauling operation in Denver, and the tremendous amount of data which they collect each day using GPS Insight:

Tons of GPS Data

What exactly is someone supposed to do with this? (of course the answer is to ask GPS Insight to help with standard or custom reports):

Close up of a landfill & GPS Insight data

Even with custom colors for each vehicle, that is just too much to make sense of for mere mortals. But GPS Insight’s reports make VERY quick work of it.

Using landmarks and a Route Report from GPS Insight, you can define a route between two points and crunch numbers for data such as:

  • How many trips per truck
  • Average stopped time
  • Average to & from times
  • Exceptions

We define a “route” between two landmarks (in this case, a “transfer station” and a landfill — a transfer station is where the large trash-hauling trucks get loaded with trash in order to bring it to the landfill):

GPS Insight Route Report setup screen

Then we run the report, and it completes within seconds, after crunching through tens of thousands of data points:

Route Report options

Here is part of the output, which shows each vehicle which made a “round trip” between those two landmarks (DenverSouth and Dads_Landfill), along with trip and stop times, and averages, by vehicle.

sample GPS Insight Route Report

This helps to very quickly show averages and differences between certain vehicles.

BUT, what if you need even more help with a report that gives you exactly the information you require? In this case, the trucks work two shifts, and the day-time shifts experience worse “cycle times” than the night due to traffic, transfer-station and landfill wait times, etc.

So we have yet another automated, nightly report which we send to this and other customers to help crunch through all of this data. We have many options, and this one is able to handle multiple routes per day, per shift, per vehicle, so that if a vehicle goes to any combination of transfer-station and landfill, it will show up. This comes through to the end-customer as an email with a spreadsheet attached.

Here is a sample, in Shift/Transfer Station/Average “Loop” Time order. This report helps easily identify the trucks/drivers, per shift, per route, which are slower than the others:

More configurable Route Report with shift-awareness & multiple routes per report

So, we can now look at ONLY the “problem” vehicles. They may have been broken down, or it could be a driver simply not doing the best job possible. Let’s pick one and “drill down.”

Looking at only the 7197 and 7188 vehicles, one in green and one in blue, we see that they took different routes and 7197 only went that East Highway 30 route once. Perhaps it was to beat traffic, or to take longer than necessary (overtime). The combination of our exception reports and powerful mapping helps you to compare vehicles, drivers, routes, and overall efficiency between shifts/routes.

2 different routes

Here is a movie of the day’s activity, which sometimes helps to give an intuitive idea of what went on with a large number of vehicles for the day. Off-Hours, out of bounds, and suboptimal routes/driving behavior are often determinable by watching something in a movie form:

Please ask us how our mapping and reporting tools can help your company get to the bottom of its efficiency (or lack thereof…).