The Wall Street Journal reports that employers are increasingly using tools like GPS and wireless communications technologies to keep tabs on heavy construction equipment, long-haul trucks, delivery vans, buses and police cars.Information workers aren't the only ones affected by information technologies. For example, computers aren't the only piece of equipment being remotely monitored by employers anymore.
"Now, they can see who is wasting fuel by idling too much, operating outside their assigned area, working machines too hard or driving too fast." the paper says. The data received from this equipment can be mined for insights into how to increase efficiency. Also, Equipment dealers sometimes arrange to receive the data from machines to help with scheduling routine maintenance.
The monitoring equipment is manufactured by companies such as Trimble Navigation, Topcon and Navman Wireless, and are being built right into vehicles sold by companies such as Komatsu and Caterpillar. The main revenue for these companies comes from ongoing fees, not from the equipment itself.
There was no mention of vendors or consultants offering products specifically designed for managing data collected from field equipment, but this sounds like an excellent opportunity.
We've previously looked at a few geolocative technologies for the enterprise, and at a company that offers to monitor employees online behavior when they're not at work.
Photo credit: Circo de Invierno.