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Sep 11
2017

Install GPS in Business Vehicles?

Posted by: Steve Marr

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From time to time the question comes up about installing GPS tracking in company vehicles. One viewpoint is that tracking provides accountability and validates usage as well as gives the ability to locate company vehicles at any time. The contrary argument is that it communicates lack of trust in employees.

King Solomon wrote, “Only simpletons believe everything they're told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.” (Proverbs 14:15, NLT) My perspective is that installing GPS monitoring on company vehicles is wise and prudent. 

For example, when “Andy” installed GPS equipment one driver quit immediately claiming that he wasn’t trusted. In reality, the driver was not as productive as others. The most likely reason the drive quit was because he knew he could no longer get away with slothful behavior.

In a number of instances I have advised business owners to install this equipment on vehicles.  It improved productivity most of the time. Some employees may have been tempted to extend a 30 minute lunch into a 45 or 60 minutes.  The tracking provided accountability.  

In one occasion an owner of a plumbing business noticed a number of trips from the jobsite to a supply store. Upon researching the situation the owner learned that his plumber consistently failed to check his equipment before leaving the shop and was not stocked properly for jobs.  As a result he made too many inefficient trips to the store. This problem was easily corrected by insisting that his employee check his inventory before leaving the shop.

When management knows that GPS equipment is in place, it reduces questions about employee behavior as well as prevents delays along the way.

If an employee complains about feeling over monitored, simply respond, “I trust you and the GPS system helps validate that my trust is well placed.” Explain that GPS validates locations should any questions arise. 

When managing a GPS system, be careful not to over manage the staff. For example if somebody’s parking five minutes too long at McDonald’s I wouldn’t raise the issue. Nor would I start micromanaging his or her route or schedule.

Using GPS appropriately can be an excellent tool to ensure accountability and help increase productivity. Installing them on company vehicles is a wise and prudent decision.

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