Give Your Assets Boundaries with Geofences
Used by a large percentage of our customers, the ClearPathGPS geofence tracking tool helps you by enabling you to:
- Virtually monitor jobsites and location of assets
- Be alerted via texts of unauthorized or after hours movement
- Get the data you need to support billing, usage and more
Here’s a brief snapshot of what you can do, and more importantly, what you can achieve with the ClearPathGPS geozones tool:
Draw a GPS Geofence Around Your Assets
A geofence is a location-based technology that works by drawing a virtual or imaginary border around an actual geographic area. (This area can be any size and any shape.) Using tracking technology (such as GPS), the person monitoring a geofence can receive alerts when specific devices or assets enter or leave the geofence area.
Let’s assume your company regularly sends a lot of assets to job sites: trucks, trailers, containers, heavy machinery, etc. With ClearPath’s geofencing feature, you can use an aerial view of the location to literally draw a virtual “geofence” around it, and the app will automatically monitor and record the comings and goings of all your assets there.
Big Value in Little Squares (or Polygons)
Geofences have many practical uses today, and the chances are you’ve encountered them yourself many time. When you allow the mobile app from your favorite coffee place to “Enable Location Services” on your smartphone, for example, that company adds your device to the geofence it has drawn around that location (as well as its other locations). This is why, when you pass that coffee shop again, you might see an ad or text pop up on your phone offering you a discount if you stop by that day.
Once you start drawing GPS geofences in our app, you’ll find all sorts of ways the tool benefits your company. Use it to automatically monitor the comings and goings of your fleet. From unauthorized, after-hours use of your vehicles, to proof of service, to monitoring “forbidden” locations like bars or clubs. You can have several geofences active in your ClearPathGPS portal at the same time, and you can even color-code them.
Assuming you know the site’s address, cross streets, or coordinates, you should be able to zoom in from a satellite view and draw this geofence in just a few seconds.
Powerful Geofence Reports & Alerts
Custom geofences automatically log arrival and departure of each vehicle. Reports can be used to audit time cards, provide proof of service, and verify client billings by job site. If you’ve got employees working at a single location for a prolonged period, keeping track of their times at the job site (versus when they’re away for a lunch break, for example) can become a tricky and time-consuming task. Plus, if you’re relying on your employees’ self-reporting on a handwritten time card, that won’t help you with a customer who challenges your invoice’s billable hours.
But with geofences, you can automatically capture and record the moment each vehicle enters and leaves the fenced area. This will help your own team make time card tracking easier and more accurate, and give you documented proof of your employees’ time for billing and SLA purposes.
In fact, you can think of the geofence you set up around a job site as the easy, automated version of having your employees punch in and out.
Also, that same data your geofence is automatically capturing can also help make generating accurate invoices much easier, because you’ll have a detailed report of every moment each of your employees and assets were within the geofence boundary. Plus, this data can help you answer a customer’s challenge to your invoice with documented proof. Say a customer disagrees that your crew was onsite on a given day for as many hours as your invoice states. You can show that customer your third-party ClearPathGPS geofence report proof, and settle the issue with verifiable evidence.
Geofences Help Protect Your Assets Against Theft
Imagine you know your workers at that job site are just an hour or so into their shift — and you receive an alert that one of your trucks just left the perimeter. Now you can call your staff onsite and ask if someone on the team had to leave for some reason. If they tell you no, everyone’s working, then you might have just discovered a thief took your truck.
There’s also a bonus here, if you’ve got a GPS tracking device on the vehicle. You can immediately locate your stolen vehicle online, monitor its route in real-time, and even let the police know where it’s heading. With the cops in hot pursuit, the thief is far less likely to be able to take your truck to a secure location and begin chopping it up — let alone steal any expensive tools or equipment you have stored in that vehicle. Just like this business owner.
Geofences Improve Customer Service and Satisfaction
Thanks to the truism that what gets measured gets improved, just knowing your company has geofenced a jobsite—and someone is watching—will encourage your field employees to take their scheduled arrival and departure times more seriously. This means you can take on jobs with much more confidence that your staff is going to be arriving on time each day for that customer. Or geofence your fueling locations to make sure that employees are using fuel cards for their own vehicles…not loaning it out to their spouse or filling up their personal vehicle tank.
And here’s an unexpected way geofences can benefit your customers… Geofences help customers get ready for arriving drivers at the right time – not waste their time during a painful four-hour expected arrival window. Let’s say your customers want to know when your employees are about to arrive at their site, so they can begin preparing equipment for your tech’s work, or readying a shipment for your driver to pick up.
With a geofence, you can trigger an automatic alert for your team (or your customer directly) as soon as your employee crosses into the area. This can save the customer from preparing too early and waiting around, or having to scramble to get ready as your employee knocks on their door. This advance notice is great for two reasons. First, it helps make your employees’ time onsite much more productive, because they won’t waste time standing around when they arrive, waiting for the customer to get the site ready for work to begin. Second, it means your customer’s experience will be better — because they’ll always be ready for your arriving drivers.
That can lead to lots of great benefits for your company: customer referrals, better customer reviews for your service, and even repeat business from that customer.
Are Geofences Difficult or Time-Consuming to Create?
Not even close! That’s our final piece of great news about geofences. They’re sort of the opposite of most tricky new technology you need to learn for your business.
If you can draw a square… or a circle, triangle, diamond, or any squiggly shape… you can set up a geofence in about 5 seconds. All you’ll need is some details about the physical location: address, cross streets, lat-and-long coordinates. (Oh, and the ability to draw that squiggly square.)
When you want to create a new geofence around, say, a new job site, you’ll just go into your GPS tracking app, use the map feature to find an aerial view of the location, and draw your geofence boundaries however you’d like. That should take all of a few seconds. When you’re done, you’ll see a colored border around that site. This will be your virtual fence line, and your GPS tracking system will record (and alert the appropriate people on your team) every time one of your assets crosses that line and enters or exits the job site.
Then you can set up rules in your GPS tracking app about what types of data you want recorded, who you want to be alerted about events relating your geofence, etc. That part should take just a minute or so — and you can update those rules online, anywhere, anytime.