Everything you need to know about commercial vehicle tracking systems

Commercial Vehicle Tracking Systems

Long gone are the days when companies would need to hire a manager to sit in the passenger seat to monitor the performance of the driver and vehicle. It can now all be done virtually by one software operator who can overlook a number of drivers and their vehicles at the same time using GPS tracking software.

Here is everything you need to know about commercial vehicle tracking systems and how they could help your business:

How does a vehicle tracking system work?

Vehicle tracking systems are not too dissimilar to the GPS systems that most drivers use on devices such as smartphones and sat navs, but it comes with a lot more benefits and ways to analyse performance. It uses global positioning systems (GPS) via satellites, which then send real-time updates and data to the software operator.

A piece of hardware is installed in the vehicle and the data is then beamed back to the manager, who may be assigning jobs or monitoring the performance of a driver.

Is it legal to track commercial vehicles?

Yes. It is perfectly legal in the UK to track your company’s vehicles. The ability to track mileage and other key data has proven invaluable to companies worldwide for insurance purposes and performance analysis.

It is also legal to track vehicles owned by employees and not by the company, providing the tracking stops at the end of the employee’s shift. It can be agreed with the driver that data will not be collected outside of working hours, or the driver can turn choose to turn off data transmission using a privacy button.

However, it is illegal under the Data Protection Act to track a vehicle without the knowledge of the employee.

If you wish to fit coverts tracker on your commercial vehicles to help in the event of theft, you are also obliged by law to inform the employee of the tracker and the data you will be receiving from it.

What kind of data you can receive

As well as the regular features that come with regular GPS systems, fleet management and vehicle tracking systems such as TomTom Webfleet are able to locate vehicles and give directions to the destination that may have been assigned to the driver of the vehicle.

Additionally, a lot more complex data is also detected, such as the speed of the car, driving patterns and the software operator will be alerted when the driver performs an illegal or aggressive manoeuvre, such as speeding or hard braking. This is ideal for monitoring the wellbeing and behaviour of the driver.

A lot of taxi companies opt for the software because most of the systems come with dispatching tools, which have been proven to dramatically improve workflow. The software allows companies to be able to give customers a more accurate ETA and accurate updates if the driver has encountered a problem or is running late.

Accident tracking, roadside assistance and anti-theft features are also vital tools that allow companies to act quickly and effectively if the data is showing that the driver may have been involved in an accident.

Things you should consider before choosing a vendor

Vehicle tracking systems are a big commitment for any company and it’s important to choose the ideal vendor so that your business benefits from the technology.

There are a lot of providers offering systems that are unnecessarily complicated. Always be on the lookout for a solution that has a simple dashboard and doesn’t require much learning to use. Make sure you try the software before you buy.

It’s also important to get the most out of the technology. Some vendors offer alert systems that will send texts and emails when something isn’t right with the vehicle or driver.

Before buying, also ask the vendor to prove that the GPS signal will be reliable and will not drop when the driver is driving through tunnels or has to leave the city.

Third-party integration is also highly desired because it means you can sync all of the data with your accounting and payroll.

Finally, should you ever encounter any problems with the software and require assistance, it can save a lot of time and troubleshooting by selecting a vendor that offers real, live person anytime help!

Xero: Accounting software for small businesses

Accounting software for small businesses

If you’re a small business owner, you’ll know that accounting can be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated, especially if you use one of the larger accounting software packages on the market. It takes valuable resources away from your business and is a hindrance to the growth of your business. If that’s you, Xero might be just what you need to free up your time and take your business to the next level.

Xero is easy to understand, it’s quick and it’s affordable. With Xero, your books can always be up to date and you’ll be able to take a snapshot of your financial affairs anytime you want – even from your mobile device – equipping you to make strategic business decisions on the go.

XeroWhat is Xero?

Xero is one of the fastest growing cloud accounting programs in the world with more than 700,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries. In 2014 and 2015, Forbes ranked Xero number one for the World’s Most Innovative Growth Companies.

Xero can be integrated with other programs, such as point-of-sale and payroll software. With over 500 add-on solutions, you’ll be able to do just about anything in Xero.

Xero is a cloud-based online program, which means that you can access your books from anywhere, on any device. You don’t need to make any backups, and more than one person can work on the books at the same time. You can also give your accountant access to help you with those tricky transactions you don’t know how to handle. For some programs, being in the cloud means that it is slow and not always available. Not with Xero. It’s quick and has a 99.97% uptime rate – by far the best in its class.

How can businesses benefit from using Xero

Working with Xero has many benefits. We can’t list them all here, but here are some of the advantages we think you’d like to know about:

  • You have real-time visibility of your financial position, enabling you to make business decisions on the go.
  • A specialist Xero accountant can access your books anytime from anywhere, and add value as and when you need it.
  • Xero is easy, quick, and it doesn’t break the bank.
  • You can import feeds directly from your bank, so you don’t need to input each transaction manually.
  • Xero supports foreign exchange transactions and it converts a foreign currency into your home currency automatically, so accounting for transactions across borders becomes a breeze.
  • Payments can be linked to invoices, so your customers can pay you with a click of a button.
  • You can attach documents to your invoices or bills – just scan or take a photo of your receipts or any supporting docs you want to keep safe.
  • Bank reconciliations are easy and quick. Bank transactions are fed directly from your bank; all you need to do is match payments and receipts with transactions. It even remembers how you treated similar transactions before.
  • You can customise your reports in a way that’s understandable to you so you can see exactly what you need to know to make business decisions.
  • Xero’s mobile app can be used on any mobile device. You can send invoices, record receipts and expenses and do reconciliations while you’re in the field, waiting for a train or in those five minutes before your dinner date shows up.
  • Managing your contacts is a breeze. You can have all your contacts in one place, make notes, view work history, import emails and even see their location on Google Maps.

Who uses Xero?

Anybody who wants more time running their business, doing the things they really love while still having time for family and friends, uses Xero. It’s perfect for almost any kind of small business, whether you’re a start-up, retailer, creative agency, service provider or a non-profit organisation.

Xero takes the pain out of accounting and frees you up to grow your business. You’ll always know where you stand. Are you meeting your targets, making a profit or having the funds to buy new equipment? With Xero, all these questions can be answered effortlessly and you’ll be able to plan and make decisions swiftly and efficiently.