Four Benefits of Location Tracking
Although automated vehicle locater (AVL) systems do a great job of on-the-road vehicle tracking of mobile workforces, their capabilities begin and end in the parking lot. The real work of field personnel and other mobile workers begins when they step out of their vehicles. Using a personnel tracking system, organizations can increase situational awareness, verify work performance, and improve operational efficiency.
Tracker for ArcGIS is a solution that captures location data, which can be used to know where personnel are and to see where they have been. It includes a mobile app that records data with the user's permission, and a web app that visualizes this data. Agencies benefit from these capabilities in four ways. Users can see everyone's location, detect patterns, promote efficiency and collaboration, and improve situational awareness. What's more, Esri's powerful ArcGIS software supports Tracker for ArcGIS to help users visualize field activity and understand data in a geographic context.
Know Where Everyone Is
Organizations need to provide effective services to their clients, which means that mobile workers need to be on time and in the right place. This is a challenge for field operations managers who cannot see where their people are working or how much they may have fallen behind schedule.
Mobile workers enable Tracker for ArcGIS with a simple toggle on their mobile devices. The app captures location data and, if in a connected environment, transmits it to the organization's ArcGIS cloud or server. Supervisors and managers use the Track Viewer web app or the Operations Dashboard to see any personnel location that they have been given permission to view.
This opens new possibilities. For instance, coordinators can use the system to monitor personnel working at events such as concerts, football games, or parades. The map shows if guards are in place to enforce security, crowd control personnel are appropriately spread across the venue, or medical staff are positioned to provide rapid response.
Public safety, utilities, oil and gas, city services, and business organizations can track essential personnel with Tracker for ArcGIS. This real-time awareness can be key in keeping projects on track or assigning the best resource. For some, employees are paid for their time to and from the site as well as time spent on a given project. In this instance, Tracker for ArcGIS installed on mobile devices can be used to generate time-stamped location data to assess level of service agreement.
Understanding why delays occur or performance declines is essential to knowing how to address these problems. Spreading mobile workers too thin leads to serving many customers poorly rather than a given group very well. Personnel location analysis uncovers where problems are happening and why.
Assessing worker times to complete different activities may provide insight to employee efficiency, or it could verify logged time. A tracking record of contracted services ensures that service-level agreements are met, as tracked data provides an authoritative record of where work was performed and by whom.
Tracked data can also help you identify trends in routes. When someone is lost, for instance, search and rescue commanders track teams to maximize their search capabilities. A real-time track view verifies what areas teams have covered and which ones may have been neglected. If teams use a grid-pattern search approach, the track view shows them what portions of the assigned area they have covered and which ones they have yet to cover. This information reduces overlapping searches and saves precious time when seconds count.
Promote Efficiency and Collaboration
Esri has created a suite of mobile applications to improve the workflow of field operations. Work orders, data collection, inspections and routing become more efficient when they are all a part of a modernized workflow. Tracker for ArcGIS can display your company’s tracks on a single screen or integrate with your field service dashboard.
This dashboard allows you to view the tracked locations in real time. As we know, certain situations or workorders require specialized expertise. Managers who know where workers with specific skill sets are located can quickly assemble the right team for the right job.
Contractors can also use Tracker for ArcGIS to gain control over projects in which construction crews spend most of their time at job sites. For large construction projects, such as the installation of an aboveground utility, project managers must know who is working where. This helps them better coordinate activities. Moreover, track views verify where and when work was done.
Tracker for ArcGIS provides operators with data that supports collaboration, thereby improving efficiency and productivity.
Expand Situational Awareness
Organizations use ArcGIS tools to visualize and query data to expand their scope of situational awareness. They rely less on call-ins and line-of-site field crew communication, and more on digital maps and apps to accurately locate their people. In fact, many organizations have used ArcGIS to completely transition from paper-based reporting systems to faster and more accurate digital monitoring systems.
One advantage of making this transition is that digital mapping systems integrate with dispatch, maintenance, fleet management, and other types of systems that demand operators know where their people are working at all times.
Another advantage of Tracker for ArcGIS is that organizations keep personnel tracking data private by storing and managing it in the secure and reliable ArcGIS platform. This makes it easy to control who has permission to view tracked data. Organizations can sync data collected by Tracker for ArcGIS with other ArcGIS field apps or have workers use them independently to protect sensitive information.
Managers can also use ArcGIS to extend the capabilities of Tracker for ArcGIS. They can set up geofence alerts for when workers go outside assigned areas, or time thresholds that indicate where tasks are taking longer than expected. Operators can feed data into analytic models that measure key performance indicators, such as frequency of visits and costs per hour.
Tracker for ArcGIS, used in conjunction with other powerful capabilities of the ArcGIS platform, helps organizations make informed decisions based on accurate field intelligence.