Vbiz AssetTrack

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AssetTrack uses the open source core OpenGTS.

Trucking and logistics
Vbiz AssetTrack was first requested by a customer to track assets in the trucking and logistics industries. The rather unique request included the need to:

  • Track tractors and trailers in near real time.AssetTrack
  • Record and easily display last known location regardless of time expired.
  • Include a device that was easy to install and rugged enough to handle Canadian winters.
  • Be simple to use, available from anywhere and web based.
  • Use a permissions/user based authentication system.
  • Provide for additional reports when needed.
  • The potential to integrate with existing tracking hardware.

We met all of that and more. It has been such a success that it became a specific product as mentioned below "AssetTrack Dongle".

The Service Industries
Through active conversation with other customers around the release of AssetTrack we asked whether we could adapt the solution to work with service industries like delivery, electrical, heating and construction companies.  So as before we looked at the requirements:

  • The solution needed to work with common cellphones as well as dongles located outside the cab of the vehicle.
  • As some of the customers were already using other Vbiz services such as odoo we needed a solution that could take advantage of and integrate well with our other services.
  • There was a need  to help with billing as well as tracking as many customers wanted a simple report to show where they spent time throughout the day for invoicing.
  • The resolution of the tracking display needed to be varied depending on the implementation, for instance in the delivery industry we can show the agent actually in the driveway or predict ETA.
  • Mileage and travel times were more important and could very quickly show that just because a customer was 20 minutes away with travel times, distance and other costs in many cases profit was simply not there.

So as before we set to it and we think the Vbiz "AssetTrack" system meets all of these additional requirements and in many cases exceeds them. All of our customers have increased their profitability though the use of these tools, found inefficiencies, added new services and increased customer satisfaction.

The service industries use all three of the product lines below, some have the dongles installed in their trucks, some just use the cell phone app. Some use "AssetTrack In Cab" which is a full blown 7" tablet mounted in the cab, which integrated with Odoo provides onsite quoting and estimate creation and retrieval, customer logs, route planning and updates, communication with headquarters, messaging and email and research if needed via the web.

How it works

The Vbiz asset tracking system is built on top of an open source project called OpenGTS. OpenGTS is a fantastic tool used in over 110 countries worldwide. As an Open Source project you can of course build a server, download the software and install and configure the service yourself and then administer it yourself moving forward. For larger enterprises we even recommend this and can help you if needed.

But the core of the Vbiz business plan is to bring these types of enterprise products to small businesses to help them compete. How the AssetTrack system works is below.

  • First we have servers and infrastructure in data centers in various parts of the world including Canada.
  • The infrastructure is  configured, running and administered to provide you with optimal up time, reliability and performance.
  • When you sign up for our service we deploy dedicated virtual servers for you, your data remains on these dedicated virtual servers, we do not sell or distribute you information in any way, with anybody.
  • If you're in Canada your data stays in Canada.
  • If you leave us, we can help export your data and then your data is destroyed along with your virtual servers.
  • The tracking devices and software collect only the information you wish and relay that information to your virtual servers via encrypted tunnels keeping your information secure.
  • The setup of a new device usually takes about 10 minutes and devices can be deleted just as easily by you.
  • You have administrative rights to your data, we do not read, share or distribute you data to anyone.

So how does the system track your vehicles?  Well a picture is worth a thousand words. You or your staff can access the reports, maps from any web browser. Its that simple.

  • The tracking device (Tablet or Dongle) is installed in your vehicle by you  or a mechanic.
  • If you're using a cellphone then you would install the client software on your device and configure it via our tutorial
  • The Cell phone or device then starts to triangulate its position via GPS.
  • Once the location is acquired and the software or device contacts Vbiz AssetTrack virtual servers  the device then sends its GPS location information over the Cell phone network (usually every 2 minutes).
  • Your Vbiz AsetTrack virtual servers record the data in its database.

 

  • Within several minutes of adding a device to your Vbiz AssetTrack virtual servers, you will start to see the location of the new asset.
  • You can view the locations via a map (the AssetTrack system is set by default to use Google Maps) OR
  • You can produce various reports that show where the asset stopped for more than 'n" minutes for billing purposes for instance.
  • You can also see groups of assets in reports or maps.
  • Depending on the resolution you increase the accuracy of the route taken or reduce the information,  it's all up to you.

 

To get started, decide which of the packages below you wish to leverage.  If you want to bundle different packages and/or if you have larger fleets, quantity discounts can be discussed.  We are here to help, Contact Us.

Advantages
  • The Vbiz AssetTrack systems uses both GPS and the Cell network to provide near real time tracking.
  • We have staff working all over the world to provide service and support.
  • We can place servers in most developed countries so could provide branch office or globally distributed services if required (But please be aware we are not targeting enterprise customers).
  • We can track static assets as well, for example, industrial equipment as long as there is a power source, i.e. generators and fixed containers as a theft preventative. (this is not our core business and for mission critical services there are companies that specialize in theft prevention, and provide specific guarantees for that measure.
  • We are also a small company so understand your needs and strive to offer the small company support and service you would expect.
  • We price ourselves  as neither  the  lowest in business nor the highest, we plan to be profitable and help you to be the same.
  • You may find cheaper solutions, for instance we found dongles for $23 out of China. The one we use is $130 but if you are tracking a $30,000 dollar trailer or a $150,000 tractor you may not want a system that works intermittently or stops working altogether when the temperature drops.
  • We can provision for remote locations including the US if needed.
  • We are always here to help you to get the most out of IT.

Contact Us.

Fleet Management
In addition to tracking vehicle location you can use the fleet management module to track all aspects of your fleet of vehicles.

  • The Fleet management module allows you track all aspects of vehicles.FleetHome
  • You can track your contracts, expiry and renewals.
  • Track overall vehicle, fuel and service costs and logs.
  • Odometer readings and mileage.
  • Track brand, model, status and service types.FleetContractsFuelLogs

Future Road Map
As we move forward we are always developing new ideas, if you have an idea or find AssetTrack does not do something you need please reach out to us, we are all ears. It's because of customers providing us with feedback and ideas that we are in business and have put together the service catalog we now provide,

Some things that are in the works:

  • Further integration into Odoo:
    • Tracking data can be used directly in the fleet management module.
    • Tracking data can be used directly in the invoicing module.
    • Tracking data could be used directly in the HR and expenses module.
  • Additional reporting and exporting data to external apps such as financial applications
  • Integration with "OBD-II" dongles for the "In Cab" product  so you can even record error states and record more information (again there are specialized apps that do this, and if you need mission critical monitoring you may find them  better fit) this service will be focused on small businesses and  is cost effective.
  • Greater breadth of device choices, but as mentioned we operate in Canada so new options must hold up to rigorous testing.

AssetTrack Basic

AssetTrack via a current cell phone
$25.00
month
  • Dedicated Asset track (based on OpenGTS) server for your company
  • Full access to the AssetTrack portal
  • Tracking at various resolutions
  • Integration with Google Maps
  • GPS coordinates as addresses in all reports
  • Stop for "more than "n" minutes" reports for billing
  • Vehicle data, identification and license information
  • Driver information and reporting

AssetTrack Dongle

AssetTrack Dongle for equipment including trailers
$49.00
Month (2 year contract, required)
  • All of the features of AssetTrack Basic
  • Can be mounted on any vehicle or trailer that requires power to move
  • Fixed resolution and data set
  • Provides vehicle ID and other information
  • Has tamper proof features and alerting
  • internal battery
  • Rugged dongle for extreme weather
  • Dongle simple to install

AssetTrack InCab

AssetTrack via full blown tablet
$69.00
Month (2 year contract, required)
  • All of the Basic feature Plus
  • Provides for Vehicle Communication via Vbiz OM and integration with Vbiz Odoo for logistics
  • Communication via Vbiz OM
  • Over the air updates
  • Wireless can be used to reduce Cell usage
  • Most flexible and feature proof
  • Can be integrated with existing Android applications
  • Can be mobile for use around the job site