It’s important to have boundaries, and a geofence is one invisible-yet-accurate way to create them on your worksite. These virtual perimeters can have major benefits when it comes to the safety and security of your employees, contractors, guests, and even property.
For the logistics industry, geofencing technology can even help make the entire supply chain more secure and efficient.
What is geofencing and how does it help supply chain management?
A geofence is a virtual boundary that companies put in place in order to maintain control of their worksites. Geofencing is primarily about safety and service. It allows fleet and freight managers to track employees, goods, and vehicles in order to stay alert to important timetables. It’s often used to monitor which employees, contractors, or visitors access the worksite or specific secure zones within it and at what times.
This tracking is hugely beneficial when a manager wants to generate reports about who enters the worksite, how close the entry and exit times are to the scheduled times, and where employees, contractors, and other guests are on the property in case of emergencies, like the need for an evacuation. The historical data compiled by geofencing software helps logistics managers plan any modifications needed in order to streamline operations.
Visitor Management Systems with geofencing technology such as Sine’s integrate seamlessly with other software programs that help you measure and manage your business efficiency.
How does geofencing work?
When a person or vehicle crosses either into or out of the geofenced area, the application sends a real-time push notification to a manager in the form of an SMS notification, email, or alert via a mobile app. It can provide information about the crossing event as well as the exact location of the device that has crossed the perimeter using RFID chips, GPS, Bluetooth, or WIFI beacons.
Some apps also send a notification to the person who crossed the virtual perimeter to let them know they’ve been checked in to a specific geofenced zone. This helps everyone on site understand when they’ve checked in or out of the space.
Geofencing and its advantages in supply chain management
Managing people on your worksite requires far more than just a sign-in sheet. Geofencing technology allows you to effortlessly collect data about the comings and goings around your site, respond to visitor management issues in real time, and easily compile information to better manage a facility in the future.
A VMS with geofencing not only helps reception staff (who no longer have to closely monitor guest movements), it makes entrance and exit more efficient for your guests. The software will even recognize familiar devices, so visitors don’t need to provide information each time they check in. They simply walk in, pass through the geofence, and get logged in by the system.
As the manager of a geofenced area, you get to choose the size and site of the perimeter, depending on what you’d like to track, whether it’s goods in and out of a warehouse or visitors coming in and out of your worksite. Sine’s software can even let you monitor multiple worksites, define boundaries using latitude and longitude coordinates, and collect information about where all of your employees are working in real-time. And workers or visitors can see on the own phones when they’ve crossed into a geofenced area.
Depending on the type of geofencing technology you employ, fleet and freight managers may use this technology to monitor who comes and goes from their site or use telematics technology (in the form of vehicle tracking) to create zones around off-site locations, such as customer service areas. In this case, an equipped truck will trigger a notification when they’ve crossed into it, sending back GPS coordinates to managers or a system that can generate reports on fleet movement. In fact, a telematics study found that almost 70% of geofence users saw improved driver efficiency and more accurate resource utilization after introducing geofencing technology to their management operations.
Safety, compliance, and privacy
It’s clear that this automatic visitor management can make worksites safer by alerting site managers to security breaches or alerting them to the location of people on site who may need help. And in terms of compliance, automatic tracking via geofencing makes running reports a breeze.
Different sectors have different needs when it comes to geofencing capabilities. Some may even install software that disables cameras or prevents recording from inside specific zones on a worksite to protect information and intellectual property.
But privacy goes both ways. One way that Sine’s software also helps protect visitors is by alerting people to the details of the check-in process when they log into the visitor management app. They will also know if their location is visible and can expect alerts about any location violations or other on-site emergencies. For logistics facilities, this can be particularly helpful in loud areas where intercom announcements are drowned out by equipment noise.
Frequent visitors can easily download the Sine Pro app for free on iPhone and Android. And once they see how little friction there is at check-in (whether it’s at a front desk or loading dock), they’ll be eager to skip the lines and paperwork that often comes with entering a logistics facility. Fleet and freight workers need to save all the time they can, and management get the peace of mind that comes with easy compliance, a safer workspace, and increased efficiency throughout the supply chain.