What is a geofence, and how can it help my business?

GPS tracking is becoming more popular in the business world for a few reasons. Not only does GPS technology allow business owners to streamline fleet tracking operations, but it also boosts employee productivity and safety, and helps improve customer satisfaction—all which improve your bottom line.

In the past, only large enterprises with extensive fleets used GPS tracking technology. These days, a good fleet tracking system can provide hardware, support, and flexibility at a reasonable cost. 

Advanced technology has allowed small business owners with two or more company-owned vehicles to use geofencing and vehicle location data to monitor each trip and keep employees accountable.

Are you wondering whether geofencing and location services would suit your company? Find out how tracking your fleet daily can improve customer service and business management by saving time and money and increasing productivity as you take your fleet organization to the next level.

What is geofencing, and how does it work?

Similar to how a physical fence creates a boundary that separates one piece of land or property from another, a geofence is a definable virtual boundary around a particular geographical location.

For geofences to work well, you need three things:

  1. A predefined geographical area (such as a work site or neighborhood)
  2. A tracking device (such as a smartphone with cellular data or a GPS tracker)
  3. A tracking application or software platform

Geofence technology uses real-time data from the tracking device to trigger an automated response when a user enters or exits the virtual boundary. 

For example, when your cannabis delivery driver works in a specific area, you’ll receive a notification that your driver has exited the approved geofence. 

You can configure geofencing in two ways:

  1. Circular: Creating a radius around a central point
  2. User-defined: Creating a specific location, neighborhood, or address to “fence” around.

Force Fleet Tracking is a premier provider of fleet tracking solutions. Our simple and affordable pricing structure allows you to take advantage of our services for a flat fee with no contract required. Devices and two-day shipping are provided at no extra cost.

With Force, geofencing capabilities are included in the service and are simple for any business owner to implement. To create a geofence using the Force interface, you simply:

  1. Go to the Geofences tab
  2. Tap the Add Geofence button, then Next, then Set Up Geofence
  3. Set the boundaries of your geofence by dragging it to a specific location or moving the six orange dots to your preferred boundaries
  4. Tap Next and follow the directions on the screen to finish the geofence setup

Combined with other fleet tracking data, such as driver behavior, vehicle health, fuel levels, and trip time, geofencing technology gives you a complete picture of what’s happening in your business over time and at any given moment—right on your mobile device.

The benefits of geofencing for small businesses

Creating a geofence is about more than just tracking the whereabouts of your employees. Here are three ways this technology benefits business owners who want to increase productivity, streamline business operations, and create a better customer experience. 

  1. Save time and money with geofence tools

    Without geofence technology, you need to manually call employees to figure out whether they actually made it to the job site. What a waste of time and energy!

    But since a geofence will send an alert each time your employee or contractor crosses the preset boundary, you’ll never again have to waste time waiting for them to return your call or using time-consuming methods to find their location.

    Geofencing is one of the most efficient ways to ensure your technicians are paid fairly. You’ll know when they leave the site for any reason, when they return, and how long they stay. You can then reconcile this data with timesheet information and avoid wasting money paying wages for times your employees were not working.
  2. Prevention of unauthorized use

    While you may have clear vehicle use policies, employees don’t always follow the rules. Unauthorized vehicle use hurts your business in a number of ways, including increased risk of asset damage, increased liability for potential accidents, the possibility of reputational damage, and extra costs for fuel and vehicle maintenance.

    Fortunately, geofencing technology can help you put a stop to vehicle misuse. Since you’ll get an immediate alert when one of your employees exits a designated area, you’ll know when a driver is headed in the wrong direction or leaving the job site at an unexpected time. This deters unscrupulous behavior because employees know that you’re aware of all vehicle movement.

    When combined with real-time GPS tracking, our geofencing feature gives you the ability to keep tabs on your company vehicles to make sure employees only drive them for designated purposes.
  3. Increase productivity

    Are your employees spending hours at lunch when they’re supposed to be working? Do they ever stay at a home or work site too long, frustrating customers who are scheduled for work later in the day? These and similar behaviors can cost your small business in many ways, including lost revenue and declining customer satisfaction.

    When you invest in geofencing technology, you can easily track trends in employee behavior. By combining geofencing data with other information (such as trip time, route, distance, and gas mileage), you can get a sense of where and how your employees might be wasting time and resources and help them create a plan to manage these things better.

👉 Curious about the benefits of geofencing for small businesses? Watch our webinar and discover how Force Fleet Tracking’s geofencing feature can help you streamline your processes and save time.

Applications of geofencing and best practices

Geofencing is an incredibly versatile technology. It has many applications for small business owners and is especially beneficial to employers who rely on a fleet of vehicles to serve customers daily.

Fleet management

Geofencing helps you with fleet management by allowing you to easily collect location data on every vehicle. You’re alerted when a driver crosses the virtual boundary you’ve set, so you’ll know when employees arrive at the office, a work site, or a customer’s home. 

When geofencing is paired with GPS tracking, business owners can also keep tabs on their fleet outside the geofence boundaries to know who is taking a company vehicle home or using it for personal errands.

Before you enable geofencing capabilities, it’s best to inform your employees that you’ll be tracking vehicle movement and their geographical location data and explain the benefits for all parties. Assure them that you’ll protect their privacy and secure all personal data.

Asset management

You need to protect your fleet and everything it carries. This is especially true if your employees deliver highly regulated substances like cannabis

You can use geofencing to receive automatic alerts when your drivers have left a particular area to ensure they aren’t carrying materials that are illegal in their current location.

You can also use geofencing to track assets left at a work site overnight. Your tracking application will alert you if that asset leaves the premises after hours.

Again, informing employees and contractors that you are using tracking software is always advisable to avoid concerns about violating their privacy.

Workforce management

You can use geofencing information to prevent time theft and identify blockers to improve efficiency and productivity. The data you collect will help you rest assured that your employees are using their time wisely and are exactly where they need to be at all times.

Before implementing geofencing for fleet management, make sure you’ve created and implemented a solid time-tracking policy and that your employees or contractors have time to get familiar with it. Then, let them know you’ll use location access software to keep up with their time worked.

👉 Looking for a reliable and easy-to-use geofencing solution? Discover how Force Fleet Tracking’s real-time GPS tracking can help you streamline your operations and save time. Get easy access to location alerts that let you know when your drivers arrive, how long they were on the job, and when they’ve completed their mission.

How Force Fleet Tracking’s geofencing can help small businesses

Home services businesses face distinct challenges in holding employees accountable for their whereabouts, keeping accurate records of where they provide service, and maintaining high customer satisfaction. 

Fortunately, Force Fleet Tracking’s GPS tracking offers a simple fix. With geofences you can  track employees and the vehicle they’re driving to and from the customer’s home and provide a digital record of when they arrived, how long they stayed, and when they left the area. Force also allows customers to track their technician’s vehicle for a more accurate ETA. 

Force can even help cannabis transporters with their unique issues surrounding regulatory compliance and transporting high-value products. 

Improve Business Operations with Geofencing Technology 

Geofencing technology ensures your fleet only carries product where and when it’s legal, alerting you when your vehicles have crossed into problematic territory. It also keeps your drivers safe and accountable since you’ll always know where they are via location tracking.

Published June 1, 2023