Archive | March, 2013

A buyers guide to vehicle tracking software

26 Mar

Buying a Vehicle Tracking Software

Background

A lot our customers are not first time vehicle tracking system buyers.  In the Philippines, it is mostly about price and this is where procurement gets in the way of users.  The Business Mapper – Asset Tracker team have collected various facts and feedback from customers and have summarized a guideline here.

Vehicle Tracking is NOT CHEAP

Vehicle tracking is not cheap in absolute terms, but it may be cheap in relative terms.  If a buyer is moving high value cargo or VIP’s then vehicle tracking is cheap.  The trouble with vehicle tracking is that most of its benefits can only be realized in hindsight.  The buyer needs to clearly understand which assets should be tracked and why.  Best way to do this is by doing risk assessments, what happens if this asset gets hijacked or is exposed to unnecessary risk due to driver negligence?

Pricing Models: Software, Tracking Intervals and GPS units

Subscription - Most service providers offer vehicle tracking in a subscription model package.  Starting with a base rate and various rates for Tracking Intervals (they may call this reports).  As a buyer be sure you understand what these interval rates are and try to determine the full Operational Cost of a vehicle Per Day (OCPD).

Tracking Intervals - The ideal tracking interval for a proper vehicle tracking system is anywhere from 2-5 minutes.  That means roughly 480 intervals per operational day, excluding door and engine reporting events.  A buyer needs to calculate the cost per day based on a vendors rates.

  • Operation Cost Per Unit Per Day = (480 – Subscription Allocated Interval Per Day = Chargeable Intervals * Interval Unit Price )

GPS Units - This is often a price sensitive item.  In most cases you get what you pay for.  The cheaper they are, the nastier they get.  Cost-savings will certainly be shadowed by maintenance costs and downtimes.

  • If a device goes down, the vehicle is untracked for the duration of the service
  • A support technician needs to remove the device and fix it (downtime at the depot for the vehicle) ask the vendor if they charge for this.

Software - If a buyer is running a fleet, there should be an operational dashboard.  There simply is no way to manage 50 vehicles using a map interface without going through each vehicle in detail.  Software should support other GPS devices, if newer GPS tracker models come out, the software should be able to adopt to it and use it together with older devices.

In Summary:

Do a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis: 3-year system cost analysis

  • CAPEX (Servers, Internet Connectivity, Licensing)
  • OCPD (with ideal tracking intervals)
  • Mainetance Costs (Downtimes and support costs)
  • Subscription Costs

List down success criterias for the System

  • Risk Mitigation of high value assets
  • Operational Standards in route selection and driver behavior

Business Mapper and Community Mapping Services Comparison

26 Mar

Differences Between Google Earth, Wikimapia and etc with Business Mapper

A lot of our potential customers often ask the question, what makes Business Mapper different from FREE community mapping services such as Google Earth, Wikimapia or Google maps.  Listed here are the various differences.

Data

Business Mapper comes with maintained datasets or digital gps maps of the Philippines, most datasets are aged for relevance.  The trouble with community mapping is that it is both reliable and unreliable, users just have to figure out from the thousands of records which are valid and which ones are not.

Data Storage

Business Mapper stores data on the customer’s own servers, not on shared networks or public domains.  Whatever the customer captures or surveys remain the customer’s intellectual property.

Designed for Integration

Business Mapper was designed to integrate with corporate databases for data-mining.  With community mapping services user’s cannot answer these question; who are my customers in this barangay, municipality or province?  How much revenue do I get from customers in this area? Where are my top 20% markets?

Google Earth, Wikimapia and etc.

These community mapping services are a great service to the world, they have people aware of the power of GIS or Location Information.

Trademark Disclaimer

Please read the trademark disclaimer here

Why you need to have defined business processes

26 Mar

Why Define Business Processes?

Most SME’s don’t have clear business processes.  Mostly the owners/founders keep it in their heads.  There are lots of books about this subject here are some of the most important ones.

Business Continuity

This is an often overlooked aspect of small and medium Philippine business.  So many businesses become successful under a patriarch but because of lack of documentation of its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) the business often dies down when the patriarch is gone.

Training of New Staff

Having documented procedures makes training of new staff easy, SOP’s provide a checklist of how to do tasks, new employees simply need to follow them and improve their skills over time.

Measurement and Improvement of Services

Documented business processes or SOP’s allow an enterprise to determine what causes issues, where the bottlenecks are and which steps in the processes may be improved.  Doing this analysis with SOP’s helps ensure that it is an OBJECTIVE analysis, the opposite of which becomes SUBJECTIVE when there are no SOP’s to follow.

Consistency

Having SOP’s helps an enterprise deliver consistent levels of service or quality.  Having none make service delivery heavily dependent on the quality of personnel and this often leads to frustration on the management’s part.

Paperless Trail Inc Announces New Website for Activity Factory Business Process Management

25 Mar

Paperless Trail Inc. (PTI), a Philippines based system integrator and application developer specializing in digital mapping, GIS applications and document imaging, recently announced the launch of the website for one of their product brands, namely Activity Factory – Business Process Management Tool. The new website can be found at www.activityfactory.biz

The goal of the website is to create a resource center for any and all information related to Activity Factory such as workflow, monitoring, optimization and business process management in the Philippines. On the website, visitors can get information on the different features for Activity Factory including Workflow Designer, Database Integration, Performance Monitor, Directory/File Watcher Workflow tool and Temporal or Scheduler Workflow tool.

Activity Factory is a business process management tool designed to manage the coordination of applications, approvals, proposals, renewals, requisition, reimbursements, leaves, and so on with a group of individuals. Through its user-friendly interface, authorized personnel can gain access to selected tasks, view their status and input, and pass it on for the next stage in the relay. Activity Factory is perfect for small to medium sized businesses.

The new website was designed so that visitors will be able to easily locate and access the information they need about the product and its features. Screenshots are also available to give a visual representation of what Activity Factory can do. The website will also be updated regularly to give the online public up to date information in a timely manner.

Paperless Trail Inc Announces New Website for Business Mapper Location Intelligence Tool

1 Mar

Paperless Trail Inc. (PTI), a Philippines based system integrator and application developer specializing in digital mapping, GIS applications and document imaging, recently announced the launch of the website for one of their product brands, namely Business Mapper Location Intelligence Tool. The new website can be found at www.businessmapper.biz.

Download the Digital Census of the Philippines >>>

The goal of the Business Mapper website, is to create a resource center for any and all information related to Business Mapper such as GPS maps of the Philippines, fleet tracking, franchise or branch mapping, and other location analytics. On the website, visitors can get information on the different features and product lines under the brand specifically Incident Reporter, Asset Tracker and Managed POI Subscription.

Business Mapper is a location intelligence tool which uses a Geographical Information System interface. It provides businesses and organizations with GIS based data and mapping tools that allow them to visualize their data including customer demographics, saturation, branch locations, and other location sensitive operations.

The new website features a user-friendly interface that ensures visitors they’ll locate the information that they need with just a few clicks. The website will also be updated regularly to give the online public up to date information in a timely manner. In addition, there is also a section for partners and external articles that will complement the information found in the Business Mapper website.

Visitors to the website can also download the Digital Census of the Philippines from the website via the link – http://www.businessmapper.biz/Media/Default/downloads/BusinessCensusPhilippines.pdf