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GPS obsessed

20 July 2012

GPS On the Job

By James Neely/Guest Author

The word construction brings to mind hard hats, heavy equipment, and long hours spent on the job site as each new project takes shape. While these stereotypes are accurate, building contractors also deal with employee time management, theft protection, and other administrative duties in order to keep the job site functioning smoothly. In the past, some of these issues could be difficult to control, but now more and more construction site managers are turning to GPS tracking devices to solve problems at work.

Theft prevention is one of the primary uses for GPS tracking among construction companies. By equipping vehicles and expensive materials with GPS tracking devices, managers can keep an eye on the valuable equipment housed on the job site. Thieves target construction equipment because they can make a lot of money quickly on each sale. They also steal materials such as wire or metal that has inherent value. One police department in Idaho used a bait technique in which they put a GPS tracker in a roll of wire, left it on a construction site, and waited for thieves to pick it up. When they did, the officers were able to apprehend them almost immediately. Equipping each vehicle and piece of equipment with a GPS tracking device can prove to be a wise decision since it enables police to recover stolen items much more quickly.

Another way that GPS tracking can aid managers on construction sites and at other businesses is by keeping track of employees’ whereabouts in order to determine accurate time clock punches. State and federal regulations demand that accurate records be kept of hours worked, meaning that employers must have a reliable way to determine in and out punches for breaks, lunch hours, and for beginning and ending the day. Software programs allow employees to clock in via smartphone once they reach the job site, but some employers have encountered problems with employees clocking in before they leave home and logging travel time on the clock. To remedy this problem, companies can use GPS tracking technology to determine where the employee is when he clocks in or out, making accurate record keeping much more feasible.

Many companies have already discovered that GPS vehicle tracking devices can save them money by monitoring fuel usage, fleet vehicle routes, and employee time usage. By creatively applying GPS technology to other areas of the workday, they can continue to save thousands of dollars each year and operate their businesses more efficiently.

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