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Why Local Government is Using GPS Tracking

GPS Tracking for
Local Government

Managing Public Sector Vehicles with Technology

From public works to parks & recreation, local government uses several types of vehicles while providing services to their community.

As part of their fleet operations, local government is incorporating GPS tracking to help solve the challenges that come along with managing a fleet of vehicles. The technology is being put to good use helping to improve safety and accountability throughout their fleet operations, as well as driving forward initiatives like sustainability and smart cities.

While GPS tracking is by no means new technology to the public sector, there are important aspects to keep in mind when selecting a provider, such as how they secure their software and GPS tracking devices, and aligning your organization internally to ensure the project is successful from the get-go.

Why Does Local Government Use GPS Tracking?

Reducing Risk and Liability

For government organizations, it’s important to ensure not only the safety of their employees but the wellbeing of their citizens as well. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver error causes 94% of all vehicle collisions. Along with the physical and psychological consequences accidents cause to all parties, they can also have far-reaching financial liability for your organization if your drivers are found to be the negligent party.

To help reduce the risk and liability, government organizations are turning to GPS tracking to enhance their safety protocols by monitoring driver behavior and enforcing safer driving habits. GPS tracking technology provides a wide range of information and analysis to help improve fleet safety performance across the board, from driver safety to vehicle safety, to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

reducing risk for government
Displaying Accountability to Constituents

Displaying Accountability to Constituents

It’s important to your constituents that you spend their tax dollars wisely. That’s why many government organizations are using GPS tracking technology to better track their fleet operating costs to eliminate unnecessary spending. A few common areas that can deliver significant savings are reducing fuel use and excessive idling, examining utilization to eliminate underused vehicles, and streamlining maintenance management to reduce expensive repairs. Along with displaying your organization’s accountability to constituents, reducing these unnecessary expenses makes room in the budget for other important initiatives.

Building Strong Community Leadership

Demonstrating strong community leadership has always been a focus for the public sector. In the current landscape of government fleet management, technology is playing an important role in taking important initiatives to the next level, particularly in developing environmental and sustainable-living strategies. Government is using GPS tracking, along with other fleet and transportation technologies, to impact their sustainability efforts and the future of smart cities.

Sustainability

Sustainability

Sustainability efforts are becoming more important than ever to government organizations. Green initiatives demonstrate that your organization is doing its part by lessening the environmental impact of local service vehicles and leading your community by example. Since fleet operations can have a negative impact to the environment if excessive idle time, route efficiency, or regular maintenance are not monitored and managed in the most efficient way, it is often an important area of focus for sustainability initiatives.

Using GPS tracking to improve fuel efficiency, take optimized routes, and keep vehicles well-maintained limits the harmful effects of excessive Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

Smart Cities

Impacting Smart Cities

The rise of the “smart city” infrastructure has been a significant influence in the adoption of fleet, transportation, energy, and other technologies across government operations. The trailblazers of “smart government” recognize the possibilities of a technology-based infrastructure to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services to connect with their citizens and solve overlying issues.

One development in the field of smart cities is the increased use of GPS tracking, providing new insight to developing the smart city through vehicle and driver data collected. This includes collecting carbon measurements, fuel usage, and other metrics that can be used to support better urban sustainability.

Important Criteria When Researching Providers

Functionality and Customer Service

When researching GPS tracking providers, it’s crucial to ensure the software has the functionality needed to solve your business challenges, and the provider offers you resources to help you successfully use the technology. At the end of the day, the investment in GPS tracking will not be worth it if the provider doesn’t meet these key requirements. That’s why it’s important to test software functionality and the provider’s customer service before procuring a system.

GPS Functionality and Customer Service
How GPS Insight Secures Its GPS Tracking Devices and Software
Video: How GPS Insight Secures Its Solution

How Do They Secure Their GPS Tracking Devices and Software?

With cyber-attacks on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to ensure the provider you choose has the best security in place to protect their software and GPS tracking devices. Government organizations typically have confidential information that needs to be protected, so it’s crucial the provider has the right security process and protocols in place.

Align Your Organization Internally

Along with ensuring the provider meets these key criteria, it’s important to align your organization internally to ensure all aspects of the project from your side are determined. You should consider who else will be impacted by this and how? While all departments serve the same organization, their needs from GPS tracking are often quite different. That’s why you need to gain a firm understanding of everyone’s challenges and goals with the technology.

Departments in your organization that typically use GPS tracking data:

Public Works Fleet

Public Works

Housing & Urban Affairs Vehicles

Housing & Urban Affairs

State Patrol Car

State Patrol

Parks & Recreation Trucks

Parks & Recreation

Veterans Affairs

Veterans Affairs

Get Procurement Involved Early

Get Procurement Involved Early

Along with including other departments that will use the technology, a best practice for government organizations when researching potential technology partners is to include their procurement department early in the process. Connecting with procurement at the beginning allows you to understand important aspects of how they procure technology. Not to mention, their office will not likely be happy to receive a purchase order on their desk from a new vendor if they are unaware of the project. It’s not advised to spend time researching and testing technology to find out after it doesn’t meet the requirements of their department.

Important Project Details to Align on with Procurement

Your procurement department’s time frame for implementing the technology.

How does the department prefer to procure technology? Through purchasing contracts like NJPA, purchasing co-ops, or through an RFP?

Their terms and conditions and preferred contract language.

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