What is a Geo-fence?
Geo-fencing (geofencing) is a feature in a software program that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. A geofence is a virtual barrier.
Within vehicle tracking, geofences (also known as POI’s) are ‘virtually broken’ by vehicles as they enter and exit which enables the system to report site visits and let us know how long the vehicle has spent ‘at site’.
How Can Geo-fences help?
As with many features, benefits can differ from business to business and depends on the nature of the job that the vehicles are tasked with. Most clients will look to add, as a minimum, geofences around the home addresses of employees and company depots/sites. For those looking to further personalise and enhance the systems reporting, geofences are added around customer sites which means they can be notified when a vehicle arrives or leaves a customer (this can prove especially handy for customer service teams looking to keep to delivery schedules).
Having a geofence around customer sites also allows managers to monitor site visits and to ascertain how long deliveries/visit take to each customer. This means you are even able to use a site visit report to send an accurate bill to the customer for the time spent on site or to simply prove your vehicle was there when you said it was.
Many customers also look to set geofences around area’s that they maybe wouldn’t want their vehicles to visit, such as the example below where a geofence of the local Golf club car park has been created with an alert set up should a vehicle enter it.
Conversely geofences may be created for areas that vehicles should always be in, with an alert triggered upon an exit as opposed to entry. An Example of this may be in a haulage operation where vehicles should stick to pre defined routes. A poly line geofence through the entire route would allow for notification of any deviation and allow the fleet managers/ co-ordinators to query this with the driver immediately. Another example of this is where the item being tracked, such as plant or machinery, should never leave the site where it is situated and in the event it did -alarm bells via a notification will allow managers to act swiftly in securing the asset which could even include immobilising it remotely!
Some customers create much broader geofences with entire regions ring-fenced to alert on any vehicles that happen to move beyond the permitted area. This can be great for a sales manager looking to ensure there is no encroaching by sales people on others ‘patches’ or even for security concerned councils wanting to ensure that their vehicles don’t leave the borough.
No matter what the industry, the correct use of geofences can enhance your vehicle tracking systems reporting and provide instant alerts should vehicle’s enter or exit specific sites. For clients looking to add large numbers of geofences where adding them manually is not feasible, a mass import is available with all of our tracking platforms.