Loss prevention in any business is an important topic, especially in challenging economic conditions. In difficult times, business owners look for any means to cut expenses and flows of money out of the business that stifle profitability. The trucking industry is no different. Plus, it is faced with the additional prospect of losses that can be incurred by theft and misuse of trucks that are in a fleet. The business managers of fleet operations have to be more vigilant than ever in loss prevention activities. Here is how they can accomplish this feat.
Types of Losses
Operational losses include the use and misuse of trucks and trailers that are owned by a company. Some of these losses can be attributed to doing business as a fleet operation, such as major equipment break-downs. The other operational losses can come from abuse by drivers and other employees that come into contact with fleet vehicles.
Theft of assets and property is another type of loss. When operating a trucking business, your assets are vulnerable to theft as are the contents of semi trailers. This type of theft is more common that is widely reported. For example, one news reports told of an individual who was stealing semi-trailers and emptying out the contents, burning the trailers on his property and later selling the contents in his small business. The total dollar amount of the contents was worth $180,000.
The normal business method of preventing loss entails hiring the right people. This is important, but its effect is only limited to inside loss prevention. This does nothing for external loss prevention. Some businesses hire outside help and consultants to mitigate losses. This is a costly method and the success is only as good as the people who run the program. The best method of helping to prevent losses is being proactive and outfitting large, expensive assets with GPS tracking devices. These are different from the GPS navigation systems that trucking fleets use to help drivers get the best route information. GPS tracking devices are manufactured to provide specific real-time feedback to an end user. This real-time information includes location, direction of travel, speed and geo-fencing (sending alerts when an asset breaches a pre-set boundary on a map). These devices are relatively inexpensive and operate from either an internal battery or through a connection to a vehicle’s 12 volt battery system.
These units are so invaluable to a trucking business because they can be used to monitor asset movement in real-time which helps fleet operations to be able to manage routes and driver activity all from one single PC screen. If an asset becomes stolen, the person monitoring this type of activity can know it in an instant and provide the location to local police who can recover the asset in mere hours, versus days, weeks, months or maybe even never. Assets like semi-trailers can be outfitted with these devices as well. No longer will trucking dispatchers have to gu ss at where trailers are located. Finally, another reason that GPS tracking makes sense for the trucking industry is because most insurance companies will provide a reduction in insurance premiums by employing these devices. When their risk is reduced, they are willing to give ba k to the customer in this manner. GPS tracking makes sense as a loss prevention tool because it helps a business remain profitable while protecting valuable assets. Maintaining a tight grip on a business operations is mandatory if you are going to survive in a challenging economy.