A lot less, it turns out. And the things we did do, were done less productively. GPS devices have transformed the way consumers and business professionals use technology in their day-to-day lives. Although you may not use GPS technology everyday, it's there when you need it – and it can probably be deployed in ways that will benefit your company.
When most people think about GPS systems, they naturally think about a device that gives them turn-by-turn directions and on-screen mapping. Some vehicles now come with built-in GPS capabilities while others require a separate GPS device. However, GPS technology has now been integrated into mobile phone platforms to create versatile and highly portable GPS receivers.
The use of GPS in small business is still in its infancy. Even so, there are a number of ways it can be used to improve productivity, profitability and convenience. If you're in the market for a small business GPS system, here's what you need to know . . .
Travel GPS Systems
The GPS market is dominated by three companies: Garmin, Magellan and Tom Tom, with Garmin being the most recognizable name of the three. If your car doesn't come equipped with a built-in GPS system, you'll want to look for a standalone device that has a full slate of features. Turn-by-turn navigation, voice direction, mapping options, venue (restaurant, hotel, hospital, etc.) location and other features are all things you'll want to consider.
You should also make sure the device has been recently updated. The cost of updating a standalone GPS device yourself can be significant ($100 and up). The average small business professional will find that entry-level GPS devices are usually sufficient for their travel needs, but conduct a thorough evaluation of available products to make sure you get all of your required features.
Mobile GPS Technology for Small Businesses
Mobile device manufacturers are increasingly integrating GPS technology into their products. Mobile GPS can be used in place of standalone travel GPS systems or to augment an existing system with an even more portable device.
But GPS devices are also being used by small businesses to track everything from employees and drivers to product shipments. With the right applications and GPS-enabled mobile hardware, you can stay on top of everything and everyone in your organization from your existing Smartphone.