GPS Tracking Advertisers and Exceptional Performers

dantotech

It’s time once again to recognize our advertisers and exceptional performers here at the GPS Tracking ROI blog.

One of our newest advertisers in Danto Tec, a German leader in top quality GPS systems sales and service.  Glad to have them aboard.  In general, European use of GPS on the highways is far advanced over the use US drivers are making of this important business and personal resource .. there’s a lot more to GPS that finding the way to grandma’s house.  Welcome aboard, DantoTec.

Another relative newcomer is Mil-Tech, who feature an up-to-date, competent directory of top US top_100government defense contractors.  What does that have to do with GPS tracking?  Plenty I would say.  First, when I worked in government contracting I would have valued this list greatly … getting in touch with people for competitive bids, finding local office information, points of contact for different programs, etc. was, and still is, I am sure, a huge chore.  here they are in one easy to use list.

Second, for those of you in sales and business development, even though some of these guys were involved din building the GPS, it’s absolutely amazing how littler use they make of the GPS both in bidding proposals and in their own business management … the cobbler’s barefoot children so to speak.  Thanks for signing up, Mil-Tech.

K-M-Parts I notice long-time advertiser KMParts is with us still … fantastic guys, and thanks.  KMParts is the North American Authority on Moeller Electric, formerly Klockner Moeller, Automation products and Motor Controls. We can assist you in upgrading or replacing all your Klockner Moeller or Moeller Electric products! Most of our orders ship same day from stock – call us FIRST for your next Klockner Moeller purchase!  For over one hundred years Klockner Moeller Corporation has produced high quality electrical components becoming a world leader in motor control and automation. Klockner Moeller has now expanded their technological expertise into power distribution.  Thanks again, KMParts.

hand-tech One of our long-time true supporters is HandTec, the UK’s best source for TomTom equipment.  They’ve been with us a long time and we appreciate the support. 

Handtec has been operating since 2003. These were early days of Personal navigation devices with basic PDA’s connected to wired and compact flash GPS devices making up much of our business. Since then we have continued to grow and stock one of UK’s largest array of Satellite Navigation devices, Handheld Computers and SmartPhones
Handtec also provides products and support to many corporate and government accounts. Each account has personal account managers that can understand their needs and become their contact point within Handtec – making the whole process simple.  However We are committed to provide the best service possible either if its a one off purchase or a lasting account relationship. 

Thanks for the support, fellows and gals.

 

 

 

GPS Tracking Investments — Recession? What Recession?

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Tracking Customer Service With GPS For Proven Profit

Free money.  If you service or repair at customer locations this could very well be free or found money.

Are You Late in Completing Service Work-Orders?

A recent Aberdeen survey revealed that companies do not complete nearly 21% of work orders on-time. Lack of insight into near and long term service workload and resource (people, parts) capacity resulting from poor planning and forecasting
is to blame for the sub-optimal service performance.

Please take a 10-minute survey to:

  • Benchmark financial and operational service
    metrics relative to peers; and

  • Compare how your service organization’s
    business processes stack up against those
    of best-in-class companies

  • Learn what your peers are doing to reduce technician overtime and fulfill service commitments on time

The Aberdeen group provides one heck of a lot of good information to business owners and marketers.  One of the things I find especially fascinating is how hard they hit the service side of industry.  that’s because they, as I have found by personal experience, find that most businesses spend a ton of money, often losing big to fulfill service commitments which could actually be a big profit center if managed correctly.  The report is free, I am sure you’ll more than get you money’s worth.

And for my institutional, school and government readers?  Not so fast, you need to read the report too.  How much do you spend in tasks involving employees going out to sties to fix things, install things, adjust things?  (School system White Fleets come immediately to mind) Just because you’re not a profit-making entity doesn’t mean you should be reducing costs and using scare money in better places … while:

Improving customer service!

As always, I welcome comments, disagreement is encouraged, and you can also email me direct at: davestarr (at) gmail (dot) com or call me on 1-719-423-8872. If you liked this article, please subscribe to my RSS feed so you get all my news and views.

Garmin Sat Nav Global Positioning Systems

It is highly likely that you have glimpsed one of the many Garmin commercials that have been highly visible near the Holiday Season. A typical version of one commercial shows a man who has become lost while doing Christmas shopping. As he drives around in his car searching for the way home he sees a number of familiar Christmas characters hitchhiking along the same streets. The driver ends up giving rides to the assorted group of characters while an unseen background chorus sings that cute Garmin jingle. See what can be avoided when you have a Garmin Sat Nav; who knows what kinds of characters may be waiting for the next unsuspecting driver.

It is highly likely that you have glimpsed one of the many Garmin commercials that have been highly visible near the Holiday Season. A typical version of one commercial shows a man who has become lost while doing Christmas shopping. As he drives around in his car searching for the way home he sees a number of familiar Christmas characters hitchhiking along the same streets. The driver ends up giving rides to the assorted group of characters while an unseen background chorus sings that cute Garmin jingle. See what can be avoided when you have a Garmin Sat Nav; who knows what kinds of characters may be waiting for the next unsuspecting driver.

The point hits home for us though, and it is easy to see that Garmin Sat Nav devices are the most popular navigation devices on the market today. They come in many assortments and styles and can be a very practical and smart looking addition to your car. A Garmin Sat Nav device can be a boon when trying to find your way around the city or place you arent familiar with.

The history of Garmin Sat Nav started in 1989 with a handful of employees who thought vertical integration was very important. Vertical integration means they design, market, build their products themselves. By 2007, the workforce at Garmin topped over 7,000 and continues to grow to this day.

Why Garmin Sat Nav? Garmin has always kept the customer in mind when designing their Garmin Sat Nav devices. Garmin Sat Nav devices boast easy-to-use menus and practical features. The devices themselves look very attractive and can be mounted just about any where on your dashboard within easy reach.

Why is it unique to use Garmin range of GPS? The features of the Garmin Sat Nav devices make them unique. There are split screen views, traffic alerts, touch screen navigation and even models that offer lane changing suggestions. They even have text to speech options which tell you when to turn.

There is no easier way to get directions and driving information than by using your Garmin Sat Nav. With an electronic navigator in your car you can settle back and let the Garmin Sat Nav map the course to any location you have in mind. The text to speech application has quickly become one of the publics favorite features. A Garmin Sat Nav is portable, powerful and adaptable. They are now used by pilots, boat captains and hikers who want to be sure of finding their way through unfamiliar terrain.

Many people wonder what the future of Garmin Sat Nav devices may still hold. The models made for cars have already become top sellers but there are many other applications that can make use of these navigational aids. One of the areas that is just starting to make use of this type of software is the market involving mobile hand held phones and computers. The sales of cell phones and other personal hand held devices are booming and Garmin is already poised to make their mark in this area.

Garmin will certainly cut deeply into the cell phone GPS market thanks to the reliable and efficient technology it employs. Today Garmin navigation devices are the clear cut winner in the consumer market because of the superiority to other brands. When you need to know which way to go you can count on a Garmin Sat Nav to give you the right answer.

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GPS Tracking Panchira Round Two

GPS Tracking Business

My anti-GPS privacy advocate readers will undoubtedly get all worked up over this one.  A few jealous boyfriends or unsure fathers and husbands may start thinking about buying Christmas gifts from the manufacture, and some may not be pleased with the idea of making GPS tracking sexy.  But here at GPS Tracking ROI we leave no stone unturned (or hem un-lifted) to bring you the straight story on profitable and innovative uses for GPS tracking.

I guess this post should just consist of one of those pictures that speak for themselves.  But you know me, never one with nothing to say ;-).

Sue
Creative Commons License photo credit: FALHakaFalLin

Several years back there was a semi-elaborate scam about a supposed Japanese manufacture called “Panchira” (panchira, by the way is Japanese slang for “show your panties) which was producing a line of GPS locatable lingerie.  Turns out the hoax was originally perpetrated by a fellow who just wanted to get more traffic to his web site.  he did.

I wrote a follow-on to that piece almost a year ago, entitled “tracking her panties for fun and profit”.

When I saw a news item this morning I immediately thought, “is this April First”?  When I double cheeked the calendar and then the rest of the details it looks like this is a “for real” development this time.

I’m still unsure if this can really be made workable with the size, antenna requirements and power budgets of today’s devices, but I’m no engineer and who am I to throw cold water on innovation.

A loose translation of the Portuguese tagline under the model is, “Capable of finding me”, an indeed, thousands already have.

GPS Tracking the Big Picture

A lot of people still think GPS Tracking is just a minor business “bean counting” tool that’s useful for saving fractionally on fuel costs or driver overtime.  But it can be way more thna that as a tool for understanding and managing world economy.

Worldwide ship movements annually Scientists have come up with the first comprehensive map of global shipping routes based on actual itineraries. The team pieced together a year’s worth of travel itineraries from 16,693 cargo ships using data from LLoyd’s Register Fairplay and the Automatic Identification System, which tracks vessels using a VHF receiver and GPS.

A few hot spots logged the majority of journeys. The busiest port was the Panama Canal, followed by the Suez Canal and Shanghai.

“There is a strong similarity of statistical properties between shipping and aviation networks,” lead author Bernd Blasius, a mathematical modeler at Carl von Ossietzky University, wrote in an e-mail. “But different ship types (e.g., container ships vs. bulk carriers or oil tankers) are characterized by different movement patterns.”

The study will be published in a forthcoming Journal of the Royal Society: Interface.

Factoring in both the volume of ships and the number of other ports each is connected to, these are the top ports in the world:

1 Panama Canal
2 Suez Canal
3 Shanghai
4 Singapore
5 Antwerp
6 Piraeus
7 Terneuzen
8 Plaquemines
9 Houston
10 Ijmuiden
11 Santos
12 Tianjin
13 New York and New Jersey
14 Europoort
15 Hamburg
16 Le Havre
17 St Petersburg
18 Bremerhaven
19 Las Palmas
20 Barcelona

Image: Bernd Blasius

Citation: “The complex network of global cargo ship movements” Pablo Kaluza, Andrea Kölzsch, Michael T. Gastner and Bernd Blasius, J. Royal Society: Interface

Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/01/global-shipping-map/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+(Wired%3A+Index+3+(Top+Stories+2))&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher#ixzz0yjugtNzV

The Ambulance Down In The Valley

Like anyone who writes a blog or operates a web site in support of a business, especially in the world of GPS Tracking, I take note of what people search for.  The poem below was initially posted  in response to a cigarette theft, where the stolen  $100,000 truck tractors were protected (and recovered) by means of on-board GPS, but the trailers, carrying more than $1,500,000 went missing.  very few trucking companies protect their trailers … where the cargo … the whole reason behind trucking .. rides … mainly, because their competitors don’t.  Business smarts haven’t improved any since March, I’m sad to say.

There’s a series of commercials popular on TV lately that really chaps my hide whenever I see one. A big name-brand insurance company has a guy going around and spotting hazards like a banana peel on the sidewalk. Does this do-gooder pick up the litter and protect people?

Continue reading “The Ambulance Down In The Valley”

Is It Legal To Put a GPS Tracking Device on Someone’s Car?

I regularly read the search words and phrases that readers use to find the GPS Tracking ROI blog.  The title of this post is a very common one.  It’s also the kind of question that is very easy to answer.  Without any quibbling the answer is, yes, no or maybe.

Oh, you wanted a more definitive answer?  Well, here it is.  First of all, remember that I am an expert on GPS tracking business and technology, I am not a lawyer and do not offer legal advice.  If you have a legal issue, you need a lawyer, period.

Peugeot Elegance
Is She Being Tracked?

Creative Commons License photo credit: William A. Franklin But I can give you some clues.  The question as it is written is nearly impossible to answer accurately.  You really need to go through a chain of other questions to get even close to an answer.  Here are a few things that will get you in the ball park:

  • Are you the owner of the car in question?  If you are, it is almost certainly legal in all states, except (and this can be a big exception) if the person you are gathering information on is an adult and a co-owner of the car … example, your spouse.  You could get in a jam regarding invasion of privacy and such, and you could find that information you gather is legally inadmissible.  You really need a lawyer’s advice on that one.
  • Is the person being tracked your own child?  If so, placing the device is likely legal under some conditions almost anywhere.  As a general rule minor children are not entitled to an expectation of privacy from their parents.  If it’s someone else’s minor child, though, I wouldn’t walk away from the idea, I would run.
  • Is the installation secretive or disclosed?  example, if you are a car rental company and you warn people that you are tracking the car it is likely legal.  If you just install the device and use it clandestinely you are likely running a grave legal risk.
  • If the person driving the car is your employee, it’s almost certainly legal.  Again, though, disclosure is the better part of valor.  I also find, from experience, that companies who disclose GPS employee tracking properly, in advance, gain more benefit than companies who try to keep it secret.
  • If you are a third-party, like a private investigator, your question is way beyond my scope of knowledge.  All 50 states have their own set of laws and the specifics of each individual case may be different.  Again, seek proper advice before you act, nor after you have already ‘stepped in” something.
  • If you are a law enforcement agency again your state laws may vary.  In many cases over the past 10 years courts have held that police can track people mainly at will as long as they are only gaining the same information that a law officer could gain by other means … example actually following the vehicle physically.
  • GPS surveillance in many states is legal even without a warrant in many states, based on the above rule.  An important differentiator about warrants in many states is entrance to the vehicle.  If an officer can attach a device without gaining entry to the vehicle it is often legal without a judge’s approval, if entry us required so is a warrant in many cases.
  • And as a windup, will the act of placing the device take place on public property or on the car owner’s own property?  Even police agencies often have to get a warrant to go on private property for an “install”.  Let’s suppose you are a private citizen wanting to track another adult for some reason you think is valid.  Even if the act of tracking is legal in your state, the entry onto another person’s property is likely trespass and in many states that’s a serious crime in itself.

So now that you are thoroughly confused, here’s my parting thought.  Think through the reason you might have that question in your mind.  What are you doing wrong that would cause you to suspect you are being tracked?  is it worth it?

Remember there are many ways to track a car or person without GPS installed … cell phones being a prime example, so it may be more profitable to evaluate your lifestyle rather than this often complex question about GPS Tracking.

GPS Tracking — 15% Extra Profit — Instantly

Here’s a recent news item that came to me and grabbed my interest right away, because the dealer involved is right in my old home territory, Morris county, New jersey where I grew up.  I’ve written often regarding the “for sure” bonafide savings GPS can bring to fleet management, but here’s up to date, real world testimony:

Automotive Vehicle and Parts Dealership Uses GPS and Push-to-Talk Services to Stay Competitive in Slowed Economy

image SUNNYVALE, CA and BUTLER, NJ–(Marketwire – March 16, 2009) – Route 23 Ford, a wholesale vehicle parts dealer ranked 12th in nationwide Ford parts sales, has seen a dramatic increase in driver productivity and accountability through the use of TeleNav Track™, a cell phone-based GPS navigation and tracking service. The company is also using Nextel Direct Connect and wireless devices from Sprint for instant communication between drivers and headquarters employees.

"In the vehicle parts delivery business, drivers are often unexpectedly needed to pick up or drop off a part where they just came from," said Mark Steindler, parts manager for Route 23 Ford. "With TeleNav Track, our back office can see where all our drivers are at once and can redirect them in mid-route, if necessary. As a result, our driver efficiency is up by an average of 15 percent."

Route 23 Ford, part of the Route 23 Auto Mall LLC dealership group, is the largest wholesale parts dealer in the greater New York area, doing business with companies such as American Transit and the city of New York which includes the FDNY and the NYPD. A few years ago, after noticing a decline in vehicle and warranty sales, Route 23 Ford recognized an industry shift. Vehicle quality was continually improving, creating less of a need for vehicle replacement and a greater demand for parts and service. This made the industry even more competitive, leading Route 23 Ford to take action.

By deploying TeleNav Track on employees’ GPS-enabled Sprint wireless phones, Route 23 Ford has seen drastic improvements in fleet productivity. Prior to using the service, the company lacked accurate knowledge of where its parts drivers were at any given time. This made it difficult to determine the most appropriate driver to dispatch for unexpected deliveries and resulted in wasted fuel and employee time.

With TeleNav Track, Route 23 Ford has better field oversight and management, eliminating costly guesswork and enabling the company to hold its drivers to an even higher standard of accountability. With TeleNav Track, the back office is able to print driver activity reports, which can help in better management of business and personnel matters. …

Now this article leaves me with two questions:

  1. To the sales force at Route 23 Ford?  Are you paying attention to your Parts department?  How many of these proven units are you selling along with your new truck sales.  Another proven way to increase profit in these hard times is to sell the customer what he needs to make the best use possible of his fleet.
  2. To you, my reader .. are you profiting from GPS tracking your fleet yet?  And if not, why not?  Waiting for the economy to pick up is the absolute worst excuse.  You need the 25% or more boost in your bottom line that GPS tracking can give you from day one — and there are plenty of low-down, no-down deals available from qualified GPS suppliers.

There are m,any good suppliers out there.  Here are two that I recommend without hesitation (and with out any remuneration as well, I might add, I mention them only because I know they are good)

My friend Rob at: http://www.gpsinsight.com/

My friend Colin at: http://www.geotab.com/

GPS Tracking Alternative — For the Infirm

Wow, months go by and I don’t see anything new in this area and then bang, bang, news of new devices comes out on the market.

Last post I detailed a very neat and compact GPS child finder (which would also work very well for an individual of any age who tends to wander.)  Today, thanks to the New York Times Gadgetwise Blog I came across this alternative system:

The idea of using an electronic device to monitor the movements of people and pets is not new. Several products exist that use GPS technology to keep an eye on kids, animals and those with some form of dementia.

EmSeeQ

Now a new company has created a monitoring device with a twist: instead of GPS, it uses the GSM cellular network to locate those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Down syndrome, or other ailments that may cause people to wander off.

EmFinders‘ (”Em” for eemergency) device, called EmSeeQ, looks like a black watch without a face. It’s placed on the user’s wrist just like a watch. (It’s unlikely that a user can remove it, as two hands are needed to do so.) So as not to agitate an individual who needs to wear one, the device remains silent and passive with no beeps or lights.

If an individual does wander off, a caretaker calls the EmFinders center. It in turn calls the 911 dispatch center, and a recording gives the operator the location of the individual. According to company head Jim Nally, by using cellphone technology, the company can pinpoint the location of someone within 10 to 20 feet, or about 1,000 feet in rural areas.

The EmSeeQ charger “GPS has a hard time operating in urban canyons,” Mr. Nally said, explaining why his company chose to use a mobile network for monitoring. According to a company spokeswoman, the EmSeeQ can operate on a much weaker signal than required for an actual cellphone call….

Now some may already be wondering, what the difference is and why would one be better than another?  To answer this question for yourself, you have to consider two things.

GPS and GSM (or other cellphone technology) are actually two completely different systems.  GPS works all the time, world-wide, even in the middle of the ocean or at the North or South poles.

But GPS, itself, doesn’t “track” anything, ever.  The receiver in the decide you are using reads one-way signals that come down from the GPS satellites in space and determines where it is on the surface of the earth.  To ‘track’ somehting, the person who wants to do the tracking has to get a message back from the GPS reciver to his or her own location.  To do this, any system that provides digital communication can be used.

For most of us in the developed world, thatsystem turns out to be the cellular phone system.  It covers a large portion of every developed counttry and provides relatively cheap and depndable data messages from the GPS reciver to whatever device (or web site) the ‘tracking person’ is using.

That’s the principle being used in the Amber Alert multi-use tracker I wrote about recently.

Now here is the fact that seems to get missed in a lot of literature on this subject.  Not only does GPS itself not provide any tracking service on it’s own …you do not need GPS to track any person or object if they are carrying an operating cellular phone.  (by operating, I mean turned on … no calling or any other action is required for your cell phone to be tracked)(Many folks didn’t know that, did you?)

This fact has nothing what-so-ever to do with GPS.  Whatever your cell phone is, even if it is an older model that doesn’t come equipped with GPS (that tells you where you are), whenever a cell phone turns on, it searches a certian frequency range for the closest cellulr base site and registers itself with the cellular network.

This is a ‘fact of cellular life’ which many people are unclear on.  It’s just the way the network operates.  It can only be avoided by not turning on a cell phone.  Depending on the model of cell phone and the service you are using, your phone can be located to a precision ranging from one hundred meters or so down to just a very few feet.

Federal law requires all cellular carriers to be able to do this … and this information can be accessed by a lot of people.

Law enforcement … with or without a warrant, depending on state law and circumstances, agencies with names we can’t talk about here, and commercial services that provide emergency assistance (like EmSeeQ), who have the owner of the phone’s permission.

That’s how the EmSeeQ provides a person’s location.  The device is, at it’s heart, a cell phone, with a phone number like any other cell phone number assigned.  EmSeeQ ‘owns’ the number and thus has the right to purchase the location of any of their phones, on demand, from the cell phone carrier.  No GPS is involved at all.

So which system would be the right system for you?

If you want the ability to monitor a person’s location, on demand, yourself, then you want the Amber Alert system. This system allows you, the owner of the device, to use it any time you wish.  It also allows you to monitor pretty much privately.  You don’t need to involve the 911 Emergency system, the police, or any other outside agency.  Particularly useful if you want to just make sure your child went to band practice and not the video arcade, or to reassure yourself that grandpa is still in the park on his afternoon stroll and not wandering off … things you would not want to involve 911 with.  It’s by far the most powerful system in that respect.  You could even use it to monitor your dog, or even a package you shipped to a client.

However, power always comes with responsibility.  If you are a third-party, responsible for a person’s safety but unwilling or unable to keep personal track of folks, but only to assist them in emergency situations, then you are much better served by the EmFinders device.  A prime example might be a nursing home with a hundred residents.  Trying to monitor all their movements would be a full-time job for a dedicated monitoring technician, 24/7/365.  Very, very seldom could this level of monitoring be required.  And for privacy reasons you really don’t want to monitor their every move.  You just need a way to locate people who are actually astray, and you want the emergency services folks involved from the first sign that a client might be in danger.  That makes the EmFinders system a clear choice.

So there you have it.  A nice run down to start the new year with.  Two different systems to locate an Alzheimer sufferer, a straying child, or anyone else important to you or your business.  Both intelligent, both economical and both worthy of a tip of the hat from the GPS ROI blog for seeing a real-world need and coming up with a smart, user-friendly solution to a well documented need.  Kudos.