How Large Retailers Benefit from GPS Fleet Tracking Technology

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: How Large Retailers Benefit from GPS Fleet Tracking Technology.

By Thomas Falkner, freelance writer.

For large retailers with extensive supply chains and hundreds or thousands of delivery vehicles on the road, GPS fleet tracking technology has become an invaluable asset.

As retailers aim to provide faster and more transparent delivery services while keeping costs low, advanced tracking solutions enable improved efficiency, security, and planning across far-reaching vehicle fleets. This technology offers a raft of benefits that give major retail chains a vital competitive edge.

Enhanced Delivery Efficiency

One of the foremost advantages of GPS tracking for sizable retail enterprises is greater visibility over delivery operations leading to enhanced efficiency. Retailers can use live or historical tracking data to optimise routes in real-time, reducing mileage and avoiding unnecessary fuel usage and emissions. With traffic monitoring, stores can also redirect drivers to avoid congestion, minimising delays. GPS tracking systems from providers like Rewire Security help improve efficiency as managers can identify repetition, wasting time, and inefficient behaviour in driver routes or habits.

With a clearer overview of real-time locations and job progress, large retailers can provide narrower ETAs to customers and ensure deliveries always show up on time. Advanced analytics can be applied to patterns over time to refine routing methodologies, improve load factors, and fine-tune schedules. Machine learning algorithms can even automate route optimisations and escalation alerts for inevitable exceptions.

Improved Supply Chain Accountability and Transparency

Large-scale retail outlets with thousands of shipments each day require dependable accountability across expansive supply chains. GPS tracking gives managers up-to-the-minute updates on vehicle locations and statuses so they can confirm pick-ups and drop-offs stay on schedule. Stores can integrate tracking with order and inventory management to match vehicles with shipments and gain end-to-end visibility over fulfilment.

If issues arise, the retailer can utilise data for proof of delivery, verification of chain of custody, temperature compliance, and more. This accountability ensures optimal stock levels and minimises lost or delayed inventory which can be catastrophic for major chains. Transparency over tracking data can also be shared with suppliers and consumers for an unprecedented view across the retail chain. This builds trust and understanding between parties.

Enhanced Security

GPS tracking also facilitates upgraded security for vehicle fleets, protecting valuable assets and inventory from theft and other risks. Tracking enables real-time location monitoring so managers can detect unapproved detours, stops or suspicious activity right away rather than days later. Geo-fences around no-stop zones further guard against unscheduled diversions while helping ensure regulatory compliance. Real-time tracking even allows recovery of stolen vehicles and assets quickly before they disappear. 

In the event of accidents or damage, data provides indispensable documentation for insurance claims. Sensor integration can further enhance security by monitoring cargo doors, item movement, temperature and more - alerting staff to potential cargo or vehicle tampering rapidly. All this data aids investigation of issues after the fact as well. Altogether, GPS monitoring delivers preventative security as well as evidence if incidents occur.

Smarter Strategic Planning

For substantial retail enterprises, GPS fleet analytics help executives make better-informed strategic decisions around delivery resourcing, routing, infrastructure and more. Monitoring vehicle locations, idle times, velocities and stopping patterns over time provides invaluable data to optimise fleet strategy. Retailers can utilise this intelligence to balance workloads across the fleet, reducing bottlenecks and waste.

Long-term tracking data also facilitates smarter growth planning. As stores expand to more locations, execs can leverage analytics to decide where to allocate new distribution centres, optimally position inventory for faster fulfilment, recalibrate routes and make other impactful supply chain decisions. They can also assess delivery density patterns to determine ideal locations for new retail stores.

The Next Step in Delivery Service

As competition grows amongst major chains to offer ever-faster, more convenient delivery, GPS fleet tracking enables the next step up in service quality. Retail giants like Amazon, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Argos continue expanding tracking across fleets to tighten delivery windows, provide real-time ETAs and meet rising consumer expectations.

With trackable home grocery delivery particularly on the rise amidst the pandemic, advanced fleet monitoring at scale has become a prerequisite for retail dominance. GPS tracking helps major chains future-proof operations while continually improving sustainability as well. Ultimately this technology lets retailers lead the pack in reliability and transparency.

Ongoing Innovation

GPS fleet tracking systems will continue evolving with emerging technologies to unlock even greater benefits through automation and intelligence. As tracking integrates with smartphones, retailers can enable order tracking portals where consumers can self-serve ETAs and shipment progress. Machine learning will help retailers shift towards predictive analytics, outage detection, and prescriptive recommendations over their vast delivery networks.

Autonomous vehicle capabilities are also integral to the future of retail delivery fleets. GPS routing, safety systems and sensors will underpin driverless delivery enablement. With drones also on the horizon for small parcel delivery, fleet management systems will facilitate orchestration across autonomous vehicles, drones and human drivers. AI and automation will transform tracking and coordination, enabling new delivery speed and convenience levels.

From enhancing supply chain efficiency to strengthening security, GPS fleet tracking delivers transformative advantages for leading retail chains managing substantial logistics operations. With improvements across accountability, resilience, planning and customer service, advanced monitoring technologies provide an invaluable edge within an intensely competitive landscape.

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