5 reasons why you need an online stock & asset tracking system

Keeping track of inventory, such as stock and assets, has never been an easy task. However, in the construction sector the problems are multiplied by factors such as the size of project being completed and the many comings and goings of an often diverse workforce.

  1. Saves money

Construction site theft is an ongoing problem that blights all projects. However, there’s an economical way to help prevent it. In a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building, 92% of respondents confirmed they had been affected by theft. Twenty-one percent reported weekly site robbery. Among those items most frequently taken were plant, fuel, materials, and tools.

Estimates put construction industry losses at £800 million a year, but actual figures could in fact be a lot higher. Additionally, the theft of tools, building materials and small plant is also a major issue that plagues the industry – particularly as these crimes are sometimes perpetrated by direct employees or contractors working on a project.

Recent estimates from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners indicate that a typical organization loses at least five percent of its revenue each year to employee theft.

Physical security measures such as access control and CCTV can only go so far, which is why inventory needs to be tracked in a secure and systematic fashion that leaves a clear auditable trail.

Mosaic AssetTrak is a powerful multifaceted tool to support management with the tracking of materials and equipment on-site. Historically, on-site materials tracking and locating have been made complicated by the use of traditional paper based tracking processes. These are invariably labour intensive, potentially ineffectual and contribute to the increase in construction costs.

This type of solution, provides a slick on-line process that easily allows you to book out and in items against a worker record. It provides an online and real-time record of where plant, tools and materials are at any point in time during the project, and if policed correctly can reduce these losses.

  1. Saves on administrative time

Using a spreadsheet or paper based system to track your stock and kit could end up costing more due to poor systems and human error. Pen and paper systems are not reliable because they can’t be updated in real time. Spreadsheet, often if worked on by multiple people means multiple copies and lack of traceability. Inventory software will help you compile all of your information and make it easier to input inventory data. No more paperwork cluttering up the site cabin and no more cumbersome spreadsheets cluttering up your desktop.

  1. Improves efficiency

The cloud based technology can delivers a seamless user experience that paper and spreadsheet systems cannot compare to. It will reduce administration and costly mistakes goes hand in hand with these outdated methods of tracking and tracing stock and assets. It can help you with handling material deliveries, keeping tabs on the issuing of stock, tracking all plant equipment and scheduling of inspections and the issuing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to the workforce.

Being transportable (via Smart Phone) and updating data in real time, stock is less prone to disappear and inspection reports can be scheduled in advance and stored against each item. This reduces rates of loss, wastage and theft, creating a better culture of responsibility onsite.

  1. Locates who has items with ease

There’s nothing worse than spending hours or sometimes days trying to find a tool, especially when a workman can continue a particular job and is waiting for you to find it. Even with manually organised inventory lists, it can take a long time to find a product in your warehouse or storage unit. This problem is compounded when tools can also be left in the back of vans or even on site. Using a well-designed inventory software will help you find out exactly who has what inventory, so you can get back to managing the workforce and project.

  1. Aides inspection and maintenance cycles

Relying on cumbersome log sheets and spreadsheets to manage inspections and track equipment is risky. This is very time-consuming process and prone to human error. Poor processes could ultimately result in project downtime when equipment is not properly maintained which has a knock-on effect on project timescale. A forward-thinking mobile asset inspection solution, such as Mosaic AssetTrak, allows you to plan all your inspections and maintenance online.

Asset and stock inventory management made traceable and easy with cloud-based technology. Mosaic AssetTrak offers real time tracking of onsite stock and assets. Tag tools and stock with RFID (Radio-frequency identification) tags and barcodes and use the smartphone app to check tools and stock against individual worker records. This software solution works via the cloud and with smartphone app technology to deliver a seamless user experience, and reducing paperwork and costly mistakes.

 

10 ways specialist health & safety construction software can benefit your business

There are already established technology solutions out there, where software supports and enhances Health & Safety project strategy delivered to a workforce. The article below shows how one unique solution, is already making a difference to both costs and staff welfare on UK sites and infrastructure projects.

#1 Significantly reduce time spent on administrative paperwork or spreadsheets
With inductions to consider, stock to monitor, and site staff to manage – there’s a lot of processes and paperwork involved. On a good day paperwork isn’t an issue, but when a process or step is missed, you risk a lot. From issues with safety and wellbeing of staff and contractors, to going over budget, poorly maintained processes have the potential to wreak havoc.

It’s your job as a Project or Health & Safety Manager to ensure safety in the workplace, and you can’t accurately achieve that with messy systems.

SkillPass is the solution

#2 Improved how you manage contractors
CSCS verification is a notorious admin burden for contractors – Failure to efficiently check cards and qualifications can result in down time while correct paperwork is produced. Once in-situ keeping on top of the expiry date of qualifications is difficult without the correct software.

SkillCheck is the solution

#3 Monitor the health of your workforce
With 9 million working days being lost last year to Musculoskeletal Disorder and a further 12 million to stress – we must take the health of the workforce seriously. The construction industry is particularly prone to a workforce needing further support, due to the additional physical and mental pressures placed workers.

HealthCheck is the solution

#4 Improved management and planning
Running a construction site requires you to manage your time, your team’s time and spin many more plates. Paperwork gets in the way of doing your important tasks and doesn’t always reduce risks. Electronic and cloud based systems go where you go and help structure your day and provide easy to use reports, helping you and your team do more and stay accountable. A streamlined integrated system prevents accidents and fatalities over the course of a project, which is well worth the investment.

Mosaic suite of products is the solution

#5 Deliver crucial pre-projects inductions online and off site
It is vital for each member of the workforce to have a briefing prior to a project starting, so they hit the ground running and know the potential hazards on site. From an administrative perspective, this is a logistical nightmare to get your own workforce and contractors booked on to class slots.

It involves a lot of skilled admin to collate all the contacts and chasing up to ensure everyone receives that all important first induction. Running inductions online and off site can also be a considerable time saver.

Induction Manager is the solution

#6 Use time & attendance data to secure accurate workforce payments
Ensuring that timesheets are in on time and accurately filled out correctly currently costs the UK construction industry millions in process and human errors. This is usually a paperwork driven exercise that needs approvals from Supervisors once completed by the worker. It is prone to delays and inaccuracies. Surely there is a better way to track time & attendance.

Tally System is the solution

#7 Know who has been issued what stock & assets
If your company uses a lot of its own tools, then managing your maintenance responsibilities can be something of an administrative nightmare. You must make sure you meet your contractual obligations while ensuring that testing schedules are managed effectively.

Similarly, plant management can be just as time-consuming and fiddly. You need to manage their use, maintenance and costs – which usually involves a lot of paperwork. Look for some construction asset management software which includes the ability to manage maintenance and plant, if your company struggles with these tasks. By accurately recording these aspects of your business, you also help protect your company during contract disputes.

Asset Manager is the solution

#8 Ensure that all health & safety messages land
Toolbox talks and daily safety briefings are now common place on most UK sites. But how do Site Managers know if everyone has received them. The simple answer is they generally do not, as there is a time lag between paperwork returning to the office and checks being completed.

Briefing Manager is the solution

#9 Innovate to face the challenges within the sector
There’s no doubt that running a modern-day construction business involves plenty of admin – but instead of cutting corners (and risking legal disputes later), you can use today’s technology to turn stacks of paperwork into manageable tasks.

Mosaic suite of products is the solution

#10 Competency training to improve your workforce’s knowledge
How do you assess key competencies and knowledge understanding of your workforce? Reduce errors which occur from misinterpretation. Provide training to improve ‘correct’ knowledge retention.

Perception is the solution

At Mosaic we provide a Health & Safety solution for companies who need to ensure that all of their workforce is adhering to certain standards. This passport platform allows companies to store and retrieve essential health and safety information from a single cloud based database. Not only does this save time and money, it helps ensure security and safety of the entire workforce.

Five construction admin challenges, that traditionally revolves around maintaining safe sites

Businesses in the construction industry face a different set of challenges than your average company. Take one aspect: safety. Most businesses face a relatively predictable set of safety issues. In construction due to the nature of building, safety has to be of paramount importance, otherwise workforce welfare could be compromised.

Organising the safety of the workforce can be a massive challenge, particularly on large projects and Joint Ventures (JV), particularly if traditional methods of paper and spreadsheets are employed. Let’s look at some of the most common admin challenges, and how you can manage them more effectively using Mosaic.

#1 Inducting the workforce
In the construction sector, it is vital for each member of the workforce to have a briefing prior to a project starting, so they hit the ground running and know the potential hazards on site. From an administrative perspective, this is a logistical nightmare to get your own workforce and contractors booked on to class slots.

It involves a lot of skilled admin to collate all the contacts and chasing up to ensure everyone receives that all important first induction.

#2 Verifying subcontractors
CSCS verification is a notorious admin burden for contractors – Failure to efficiently check cards and qualifications can result in down time while correct paperwork is produced. Once in-situ keeping on top of the expiry date of qualifications is difficult without the correct software.

#3 Managing plant and maintenance
If your company uses a lot of its own tools, then managing your maintenance responsibilities can be something of an administrative nightmare. You must make sure you meet your contractual obligations while ensuring that testing schedules are managed effectively.

Similarly, plant management can be just as time-consuming and fiddly. You need to manage their use, maintenance and costs – which usually involves a lot of paperwork. Look for some construction asset management software which includes the ability to manage maintenance and plant, if your company struggles with these tasks. By accurately recording these aspects of your business, you also help protect your company during contract disputes.

#4 Ongoing safety briefings
Toolbox talks and daily safety briefings are now common place on most UK sites. But how do Site Managers know if everyone has received them. The simple answer is they generally do not, as there is a time lag between paperwork returning to the office and checks being completed.

#5 Workforce Payment
Ensuring that timesheets are in on time and accurately filled in correctly currently costs the UK construction industry millions in process and human errors. This is usually a paperwork driven exercise that gets approvals from Supervisors once completed further down the chain. It is prone to delays and inaccuracies. Surely there is a better way to track time & attendance.

Sum-up
There’s no doubt that running a modern-day construction business involves plenty of admin – but instead of cutting corners (and risking legal disputes later), you can use today’s technology to turn stacks of paperwork into manageable tasks.

Looking to upgrade your construction health and safety systems now with Mosaic.

Get in touch to see how we can help you identify areas of concern and reduce administration inefficiencies on your construction site or project.

 

Managing your stock, assets and inspections was never simpler, via this new app!

A new app joins the Mosaic family! We’re proud to announce the launch of Asset, Inspection & Stock Control Manager. It’s a smart app that allows a complete 360 view of all stock and removes the need to use paper-based tracking systems. With apps and cloud based technology, managers can work from their phone which they are more likely to keep track of and not lose whilst onsite.

Removing obstacles and delivering results
Our latest app works on devices supported by Android, so can be used on any smart phone supported by this platform. This means the technology is mobile, lightweight and responsive. Tracking stock on cloud based technology means a reduction in theft and lost tools and stock, as well as less admin time. Updating in real time, this app saves time, hassle and money for busy site managers and staff.

The app and software can be used for all types of materials, including the correct safety clothing and equipment. This means that only qualified site users can access certain equipment, thereby reducing potential hazards and accidents.

Earning its keep and paying you back
Any new technology requires investment, and we’re sure that Mosaic’s Asset, Inspection & Stock Control Manager will repay you quickly. Theft and loss are big issues, especially on large construction sites. A power drill or kango breaker still adds up, and this means you have to replace tools as well as spend time tracking down who used it last. Our app will reduce the time and make staff and contractors accountable for the equipment they use.

You can also read this article on how RFID technology has ROI for many companies and projects.

If you’re interested to see how our latest app can save you time and hassle with tracking your equipment, download our product sheet or call us to book a free demo.

Keeping track of tools, plant, stock and PPE just became a whole lot easier

There’s no bigger frustration for Site Managers and contractors to go looking for a piece of equipment to find that it’s missing. No one seems to know what happened to it, and the job is delayed for a few hours or even days until the tool can be replaced. Time and money is lost time when equipment goes missing. Site managers need to manage their budgets carefully, and paying out for new tools and equipment is the last thing they need on their busy workloads.

Asset taking on site
One swipe is all you need. All your tools, plant, stock and PPE tracked

Technology comes to the rescue
There are a few ways Site Managers can look to address these issues. They can introduce a paper or spreadsheet based system to track who has which tool. We’d disagree with this approach, it produces too much paperwork and isn’t accurate and easy to update across a single platform.

Asset tagging combined with RFID technology provides the best solution for busy sites with dozens of contractors and stakeholders. Efficient systems produce cost savings and reduce other concerns with health and safety.

How does asset tagging and RFID work?
The concept is simple, and is easily applied to to new and ongoing projects and systems. Stock and equipment can be marked with barcodes or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags and then scanned with a PDA (personal digital assistant). Our systems are cloud based and so updates are made instantly, saving time on paperwork. Reduced errors means equipment can be checked in and out and if anything goes missing, can be tracked down quickly to the last person logged against that item.

Implementing this new technology onto busy sites
Incoming deliveries can be scanned using the PDA so stock levels can be carefully managed across several devices. It can take a lot of effort to get all levels of your organisation using these new systems. A simple and effective place to start can be with your stores area and tool station. Ensure that a full log of all tools and equipment is taken, then start checking tools in and out. As site staff see this is being implemented, it will be easier to then roll out the technology to other functions such as site inductions.

The long term payback of asset tagging and RFID
We understand that costs are a huge factor in choosing new systems, but it is also time that is important to factor in. We created a simple online calculator which shows the amount of money your construction project could save with implementing asset tagging and RFID technology.

We think asset tagging can really help reduce issues with theft on-site of expensive equipment and help you to better track and monitor tool usage and stock. Accidents could be prevented if only staff with certain clearance can use certain tools for their tasks.

 

Mosaic –  The building blocks to safety  

Ensuring safety in the workplace takes a lot of knowledge, paperwork and processes. Everyone involved in construction projects and site management needs to be clued in on health and safety and managing site inductions. With over 30 fatal injuries of construction workers recorded from April 2015 to April 2016, clear guidance on health and safety is paramount. We believe that easy to use systems are the way to save lives and simplify onsite processes.

We’ve made it as easy as one, two, three with our online systems.

1. Run an online site induction which saves time and money and ensures that everyone is aware of the potential and unique hazards before coming onsite
2. Check contractor competencies – you can check that all skills and qualification are legitimate and all in date (CSCS IT partner)
3. Issue a smart card easily to each worker – this allows you to know who is onsite and off site, which saves time on timesheets and counting numbers quickly in case of emergency evacuation.
4. Maintain strict control and management. Equipment going missing is a big issue for busy construction sites and a key area of costs. Our systems ensure you know exactly who has which tool and when. Plan for tool and plant inspections more effectively.


5. Fatigue is a huge risk and can cause fatalities, especially those in critical roles such as crane operators, drivers etc. Monitor staff’s time on site to avoid overwork or double shifts occurring.
6. Keep track of staff health records including drug and alcohol test results. Our password secured records will help you manage your staff’s health as well as alerting you to those who are banned from site due to misconduct.
7. Conduct your daily briefing  and tool box talks efficiently with our products by keeping records of attendance and who did the briefings. This improves accountability without increasing paperwork.
8. Assess key competencies and knowledge in your contractors using Mosaic Perception. Reduce errors which occur from misinterpretation and contractor’s situational judgement. Improve training and knowledge retention and your training ROI.  
 
Running a construction site requires you to manage your time, your team’s time and spin many more plates. Paperwork gets in the way of doing your important tasks and doesn’t always reduce risks. Electronic and cloud based systems go where you go and help structure your day and provide easy to use reports, helping you and your team do more and stay accountable. A streamlined system prevents accidents and fatalities over the course of a project, which is well worth the investment.

 

Asset tagging with RFID technology has always shown strong payback figures

An article, published a while ago back in the July/August 2012 edition of Maintenance and Asset Management magazine’ looks at: ‘benefits of automation using RFID’, ‘RFID asset management’ and ‘RFID versus barcode’ within the maintenance and asset management sector. Even way back then what is of interest is that the article shows that payback on most RFID technology investments can be a year to eighteen months or less.

It concludes by advising the use of RFID tags in one area first and start the culture change of using handhelds instead of paper. Track, measure and document benefits and roll out to other areas of your business step by step. On a construction project then this could simply be the stores area.

Depending on the size and requirement, different companies will reap different benefits from RFID. For some, making an immediate impact on budgets will be the key driver: for others, it will be Health and Safety driving the agenda.

We have developed a ‘calculator’ to help you accurately assessing the cost of using this module. We feel it is time you put a figure on all those administration hours put into tracking equipment, stock control and ensuring tools are maintained correctly.

We fervently believe that companies need to use RFID technology to reduce theft, improve health & safety, improve down time and eliminate man hours spent tracking stock and equipment using outdated technology.

Take a free demo and see for yourself the benefits that our online Stock, Asset and Inspection module can bring to your site or project

Source: Click here to read article

Helping you with costing your stock, asset and equipment tracking!

Here’s how Mosaic’s Stock, Asset and Inspection module works!

All deliveries entering the site can be scanned as stock, using a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). While plant equipment is simply labelled with barcodes or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags and is scanned both when given and returned against the recipient’s record. When the time arises for the equipment to be serviced or inspected, records denoting this can be uploaded against the specific plant tools, construction hand tools and site equipment. Let’s see how it stacks up as an investment.

We have developed a ‘calculator’ to help you accurately assessing the cost of using this module. We feel it is time you put a figure on all those administration hours put into tracking equipment, stock control and ensuring tools are maintained correctly.

We fervently believe that companies need to use RFID technology to reduce theft, down time and eliminate man hours spent tracking stock and equipment using outdated technology.

Take a free demo and see for yourself the benefits that our online Stock, Asset and Inspection module can bring to your site or project

10 questions you are unlikely to hear a Site Manager ask on a Mosaic project

We take a look at how the deployment of a Mosaic Management System can change site working practices and worker behaviour. Below are ten questions that you would be unlikely to hear from Site Managers, once the Mosaic suite of products is fully operational on site:

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1. “Who has actually been inducted?” …I will need to gather all the paperwork together…

Mosaic Induction Manager allows all those participating in the induction process to book themselves onto the class. The induction can then be delivered on-line, off-line or a combination of both depending on client requirements. Once finished the worker is registered against their record as having completing the induction.

Mosaic Induction Manager - Onboarding and Inductions both online and offline
Mosaic Induction Manager – Allowing Inductions options both on-line and off-line

Site Managers can easily run a report to check who has received their induction and therefore is eligible for site access. Paperwork and spreadsheets are no longer necessary, saving considerable administration time.

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2. “Is that worker qualified to do that?”… Someone could get hurt here…

Depending upon client requirements, all qualifications can be checked before access to site is

construction worker using dangerous equipmentallowed. Evidence of this is appended to a worker’s record. Each worker is assigned a role, that they must have the right qualifications and experience to perform, before they are issues with their site smart card.

3. “Where is the contractor qualification certificate evidence?”… I cannot find copies…

All certificate and any qualification evidence is scanned and uploaded against a worker record. This can easily be view via a desktop.

No more photocopying of certificates etc., cluttering up site offices.

What makes a safe worker?
What makes a safe worker?

4. “Can I check your CSCS card is in date?”… I am worried about fake cards also… 

As a CSCS IT partner we have access to their database to check worker CSCS cards are in date and not fake. Once checked, workers can continue to use their CSCS on site or alternatively a Mosaic Smartcard can be issued. When the CSCS card expires, an ‘administrator’ is notified, who can inform the worker to get it renewed.

Card security and onsite access to construction site
CSCS cards need to be scrutinised to see if they are in date and also not fake

5. “Do you have a ticket to use this?”…You should also be wearing specific PPE to use this piece of kit…

When a worker is booking out a tool, or piece of plant via the storeroom, Mosaic will flag up if they do not have the right qualifications or skill-set to use it. They can then be denied from taking a piece of equipment that they are not qualified for.

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6. “Who on site has not had a start of shift briefing?”…On a busy and complex project such as this, I need to ensure all workers receive this..

All safety briefings and toolbox talks can easily be recorded against worker records. All the worker has to do is present their smart cards to a reader to record attendance.  

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7. “I am not 100% sure how long that worker has been on site?”…Fatigue management was a real problem on my last job where some guys were double shifting…

Mosaic Fatigue Risk Manager notifies Supervisors (usually in the form of the project

Without technologies help it is impossible to keep track of your workforce all the time
Without technological help, it is difficult to ensure consistent H&S messages are communicated

administration) of workers who have reached their time limit for their shift. The Supervisor can then act accordingly. This helps prevent double shifting and allows shift patterns to be better managed.

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8. “I thought that worker had a site ban in place and was not allowed on here?”…With a site ban in place, I would be open to all sorts of litigation claims should there be an accident…

On a worker’s record ‘site bans’ are recorded and activated. If they still possess a smart card, then this would be flagged up when they try to access the site.

9. “I will need to check when that piece of kit needs an inspection?”…Poorly maintained equipment causes more downtime than we can afford…

Once an asset (which can be tool, small plant, large plant) has been registered on the system, management will be notified when it needs inspection and maintenance.

10. “I am not entirely sure how many workers we have on site at this moment?”…I simply don’t trust the signing in book…

Mosaic Tally, sometimes known as the time and attendance module, means all workers scan onto and off the site using their smart cards. Tally can be set up to work over multiple access points, allowing your workers and contractors alike to be monitored over large geographical areas. This information can easily be retrieved from the system in the form of a report.

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Mosaic family of modules

Asset tracking on site

RFID technology delivering exceptional returns tracking site stock, tools, plant & PPE

Asset taking on site
One scan is all you need to record a tool taken out against the worker record

Here’s how RFID works! All deliveries entering the site can be scanned as stock, using a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). While plant equipment is simply labelled with barcodes or RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags and is scanned both when given and returned against the recipient’s record. When the time arises for the equipment to be serviced or inspected, records denoting this can be uploaded against the specific plant tools, construction hand tools and site equipment. Let’s see how it stacks up as an investment.

Mosaic stock control, asset tagging & inspection manager is a powerful multifaceted tool to support project management with the tracking of materials and equipment (such as large plant, small plant, construction hand tools & construction equipment), on-site. Historically, on site tracking of materials and tools have been made complicated by the use of traditional paper based processes. These are invariably labour intensive, unreliable and contribute to the increase in construction costs.

To compare the economic feasibility of using RFID tags, we delved into some academic research. The most commonly used measure for gauging financial viability is through a combination of Return on Investment (ROI) and payback period. The academic literature reported that although initial investment and interest rates can cause wide variations in the outcomes of these economic criteria, many of the researchers found an average payback periods of 18 and 36 months for RFID and GPS technology, respectively (Pisello 2006, European Commission 2008, Telogis 2013) While the average ROI values associated with the RFID and GPS technology applications may be up to 10% (Pisello 2006, European Commission 2008, Telogis 2013 and GPS Insight 2013).

So not only does it look like a viable investment on the face of it with quick pay back periods; but our system can also further help with distribution of PPE to the workforce and contractors alike. Firstly, a system such as Mosaic is in place to ensure everyone receives the correct clothing and kit for the job they perform. Secondly end users, such as contractors, could potentially invoice for this site service.

An example of the amount of PPE distributed amongst a workforce was mentioned in a recent Construction Index article about Wates. They have more than 4,000 employees and more than 10,000 supply chain operatives and partners. They estimated a spend of £2m a year with a supplier to provide them with the necessary PPE for their annual operations. By using Mosaic’s asset tagging system, Wates could potentially invoice contractors for the £1.4 million PPE equipment they use while on their jobs. This would represent a considerable recouping of costs and one that would go straight on the bottom line in a sector notorious for tight margins.

 

Pisello, T. (2006). “Shrinking the Supply Chain Expands the Return: The ROI of RFID in the Supply Chain”, Alinean: the Business Value Selling Experts, accessed via http//.www.Motorola.com.

European Commission (2008). “RFID Adoption and Implications”, Impact Study No. 07/2008, accessed via http//.www.ec.europa.eu.

Telogis (2013). “ GPS Fleet Management ROI”, accessed via http//.www.telogis.com.

GPS Insight (2013). “Investing in Fleet Tracking Yields Substantial ROI”, accessed via http//.www.gpsinsight.com.