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4 Reasons Why Your Food Truck Needs a GPS

With the food truck industry’s rapid expansion, mobile restaurateurs have made creative use of several modern technologies, incorporating new devices and equipment into their business plans. One such device is the GPS unit. Here are 4 reasons why your food truck should include GPS technology in your business endeavors.

Security of Investments

As an expensive and necessary aspect of your business, your kitchen-on-wheels vehicle needs constant protection. GPS telematics technology allows you to monitor where your vehicle is at all times and make sure your vehicle stays where it is supposed to be. If you fall victim to car theft, vehicle tracking can alert the police to the location of the miscreants, increasing the chances of getting your truck back to you in one piece. Should your truck be involved in an accident, local authorities can access data collected by your GPS that may be used to correctly assign liability, securing your reputation and insurance rates.

Improved Customer Service

Incorrect information is frustrating and can be a showstopper, especially in relation to comestibles.That’s why having access to accurate information is so crucial in a customer-focused business. By knowing precisely where your vehicle is located and at exactly what time it will arrive at the designated destination, your customers can plan their visits accordingly. Through the use of social media and food truck location apps, you can maintain an excellent customer-oriented reputation for punctuality and accuracy.

The Oh-So-Fun Health Inspections

Working with, not against, the Department of Health is vital for maintaining a food-based business. In New York, health officials are working on plans to outfit every food truck and cart with a GPS tracking unit to make it easier to track them down for inspections, with the city footing the bill for equipment and installation. As food industry workers know, maintaining a good relationship with the Health Department is crucial, both for keeping your job and remaining in business. Be sure to clearly establish rules and regulations for data use to ensure that your information is secure and accurate.

Data Collection

There is so much GPS data can tell you about your business. Where your vehicles spend the most time, how far they travel on a given day, even how drivers use the vehicles. For your culinary business, GPS telematics can help you stay on a schedule, providing alternate routes to prearranged destinations so you arrive at prime mealtime. GPS units can also help fleet managers map out habitually profitable sites. Some telematics equipment can monitor the temperature of your vehicle, alerting staff to overheating or loss of refrigeration. With GPS, timetables become easier to establish, as data can tell you how much time you need to prep work areas, load the truck, and drive to your destination.

Human beings are notoriously clever when it comes to adapting new technology to suit their own needs. This list of methods outlines a small portion of what GPS technology can do to assist food trucks in their business practices, but every company is different. Experiment with what works best for your business and let your culinary creativity flow.

5 Essential Tools for Growing Microbreweries

Starting your own brewing business is expensive, time consuming, and highly competitive, but—if you are following your passions—worth every effort. Even with all your metaphorical ducks in a row, microbrewing can be a difficult industry to break into, let alone nurture to its full growing potential. Here are five tools you can use to get your product and your name, into the lives of consumers across the country.

Social Media

Get involved in social media marketing so people know who you are and what makes your product special. Are you a local crafter? Do you use organic ingredients in your brews? Do you have creative and distinct flavors? Use your social media accounts to let your customers know how you are different from the generic brands. Be sure to provide information on where you sell your products, so your potential customers can sample your delectable brews.

A Solid Business Plan

You’ve set a reasonable budget, have your contingency plans in place, and your business is running along smoothly thanks to your initial business plan. Now it’s time to foster growth in your business. By now you have a clear understanding of your profit margins and can feel secure in purchasing enough products and materials to match your estimated projections. At this point you probably are familiar with the needs and wants of your region. Is there a craft drinking culture? Do you live in a college town? By examining your location and your profits, you can determine what aspects of your business work best for your location.

GPS Vehicle Tracking

Without GPS technology, many drivers would be lost, both literally and figuratively. By installing GPS tracking units into your delivery vehicles, you can track your shipments in real time and ensure timely deliveries. The more organized your deliveries, the more support you can give to your buyers and their business endeavors. Modern fleet telematics companies also frequently offer equipment that can monitor the temperature of your product, maintaining brew integrity in-transit. Consistency is key, so temperature control data equipment is vastly beneficial for keeping your brew flavors uniform. When GPS tech is paired with RFID technology, you can scan your kegs as they leave the distillery and monitor their location so you never lose a costly keg.

Strong Partnerships

Make sure to vet your suppliers carefully, and choose those that are reliable and share the same business goals as you. If your ingredient deliveries are late production can be delayed, costing your company both time and money. By checking the business reputation and quality of the supplier’s products before signing contracts, you ensure that your company will always receive the best ingredients in a timely manner.

Security

Protecting your goods and equipment is essential for running a streamlined brewery business. Two years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, more than 3,000 cases of beer went missing when two loaded trucks were stolen from a brewery’s warehouse. Fortunately, the police were able to track the missing trucks down via the installed GPS. Commercial dash cams can provide an extra level of security and act both as a deterrent and definitive proof of the nefarious actions of thieves. Videomatics also provides protection from misplaced liability if any of your vehicles is involved in an automobile accident. With forward-facing dash cams and in-cab cams, insurance companies have access to data that provides evidence of the circumstances surrounding any particular incident.

With these five tools at your disposal, your microbrewery can reach beyond its original business goals. By utilizing modern technology, you can share your passion for crafting delicious brews across the country and watch your as your business grows.

Five Ways Fleet Dash Cameras Can Save Your Business Money

How fleet dash cameras save your fleet money

Aside from providing superior customer service, one of the most crucial considerations for a flourishing business is saving money. The more money you save, the more money you have to help your business expand and grow. While installing video cameras in your fleet vehicles may not be the first money saving technique that comes to mind, it certainly should not be the last. The following are five ways your transportation business can save money by using videomatics technology in your fleet.

Driver Monitoring

In general, humans tend to behave better when they know they are being watched. Whether succumbing to social structures or attempting to impress their peers, people have a habit of monitoring their behavior to fulfill cultural expectations. By adding a camera to your vehicles, you aim to improve driver behavior regarding accountability, making employees drive safer and lowering the risk of accidents. With fewer accidents, your company will pay less in damaged vehicle repair, and less in coverage costs for injured drivers.

Video data collection can also show which of your employees may need additional training, another common aspect of business management that pays off in well-trained employees in the long run. Consider offering incentives to employees that prove themselves capable of driving safely and delivering your products on time. For a functional and efficient business, remember to invest in videomatics to promote your company’s growth.

Fighting Fraud

In the transportation industry there is always the risk of fraud. If other motorists claim that your driver hit their car, or if they attempt a quick ‘crash and cash’ scheme by slamming on their brakes in front of your driver, you need access to technology that protects your business investments. Dash cameras can prove liability, allowing your drivers to demonstrate their innocence and maintain a clean driving record. Videomatics can be a digital witness to protect your drivers from wrongful punishment as well, allowing law enforcement officers to examine the circumstances of the crash, and assign fault accordingly. Cameras facing into the cab may also prove useful in protecting your drivers from wrongful accusations. An inward-facing camera can confirm what your driver was doing prior to and during the accident and show evidence regarding their role in the incident. In either case, access to definite proof can speed a case along.

Insurance Issues

Insurance companies are notoriously hard to work with after accidents and attempting to rush a claim rarely if ever works to anyone’s advantage. But imagine having video proof regarding the incident in question. With videomatics, insurance companies can process claims faster and manage related financial aspects fairly. Insurance companies are also concerned about saving money, so any safety equipment data that reveals money saving opportunities for insurance companies may bring out the coveted discounts.

GPS Tracking

When drivers are in the field, they typically have complete control over the use of company vehicles. By utilizing installed GPS and videomatics software, you can authenticate vehicle use claims regarding location and time spent on the road. Video collection can prove that vehicles are, and remain, where they are supposed to be. Say your data indicates that one particular vehicle uses more gas than the others along the same delivery route. With dash camera records, fleet managers can examine what may be causing the discrepancy. Perhaps the driver stops for coffee along the route while on the clock and idles in a drive-thru. With video evidence in hand, fleet managers can discourage use of company vehicles for personal errands and record and store evidence if vehicles are used inappropriately.

The Wonderful Opportunity of Section 179

Most people would agree that the IRS is not an enjoyable topic to discuss, especially in regards to business practices. However, in this instance the U.S. government and, by extension, the IRS, can actually work in your favor. Originally created as a means to encourage businesses to invest in their own future, Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code concerns tax deductions for purchases of certain qualified equipment. This means if you purchase or lease qualifying devices, you can write off the full purchase price from your gross income in the year’s taxes. This deduction incentive allows transportation companies to experiment with different technologies with little risk to their profit margins.

Investing in the latest technologies can allow your business to grow in efficiency and function. By assessing what your company truly needs to thrive, you can calculate your expenses for maximum productivity. What better way to do this than by utilizing telematics and videomatics technologies.

4 Military Inventions You Probably Have in Your Home

Military technology in the home

Functionality is a key attribute in the items we use in our daily lives, and what better resource to obtain highly functional items than from the military? While you may not see many tanks on local roads, there are many items we use on a regular basis that have military origins. Here are 4 household objects civilians acquired from standard military equipment.

Duct Tape

Duct tape was invented in 1942 by a concerned mother named Vesta Stoudt, whose two sons served in the United States Navy during World War II. Originally invented as a low cost, durable way to prevent moisture from entering ammunition cases, Duct tape had the double advantage of being easy to grab and tear open when soldiers were under duress. The old tape soldiers used was paper-thin and flimsy, causing the tabs to tear when soldiers frantically attempted to open the ammo boxes in battle. When her original idea stalled at the upper levels of the military factory in which she worked, Stoudt proceeded to do what any concerned mother would do: she wrote a letter directly to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlining her idea. Several weeks later, her invention was in production. Soon soldiers in the field had access to duct tape, and being the clever humans they were, began using this fantastic new substance for other minor equipment repairs as well as water-proofing their ammo. Today we’ve adopted this technology, and use it far beyond its original purpose. Need a way to repair a broken pipe? Try duct tape. Brake light out and waiting for a fix? Try red duct tape (temporarily, of course).

Microwave Ovens

Like many articles of human convenience, microwave ovens were invented by accident. In 1939, the U.S. government contracted a company called Raytheon to produce combat radar equipment for the military. One day, an employee of the company named Percy Spencer was working with an active radar set when he noticed that a candy bar he had in his pocket had melted. Interested, and quite possibly a little hungry, Spencer and his colleagues began to experiment with these ‘micro-waves’, heating up different food items and noting the effectiveness these waves had on cooking. And, as things are wont to do, experimentation stalled when an egg exploded in his colleague’s face, but Spencer did not give up. Raytheon filed a patent for this technology in October 1945, but microwave ovens as we know them today were not commonly used until about 1967. In the modern world, microwaves can be found in most homes and businesses, making popped popcorn possible whenever your heart desires. Thank the military for our access to quickly-heated instant food.

Internet

If you are reading this article, you can thank a teacher AND the internet. Originally dubbed the ‘Advanced Research Projects Agency Network’ or ARPANET, this network was developed during the Cold War to bring computing to the front lines, metaphorically speaking. The problem was, ARPANET was not mobile. Yes, it could transfer info between equally large and immobile computers, but it needed a network that could talk to another network deep in the heart of enemy territory. In 1974, two ARPANET researchers developed a universal rule book that set how computers should communicate, which supplied strict regulations to reliably transmit data, but was flexible enough to cover all different forms of data being sent. The network also had to be future-proof, allowing it to adapt and change as needed and as technology improved. In 1976, researchers successfully stitched two different networks together, and got them communicating. In 1977, they added a third. The internet as we know it today was born in 1989 after decades of work by some of the smartest minds in the world. This code lets humans interact with one another across the globe, transmitting ideas and experiences to other equally curious minds. The internet is designed to go anywhere the military goes, so when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere and need directions to the nearest gas station, thank the forward thinking of the military for your ability to look it up.

GPS

Humans have been navigating the globe for centuries, using the stars and sky as their guide. However, in the last 100 years, knowing exactly where you are has gotten a lot easier. GPS technology originated as a frequency-hopping system designed to hide Allied torpedoes from Nazi detectors. Invented by Hollywood beauty icon Hedy Lamarr, who donated her frequency system to the war effort, the navy didn’t actually use this predecessor to GPS until the 1960s. During this time, technicians experimented with the Doppler Effect, and were able to precisely locate satellites in space, thus beginning the development of this technology in the reverse: to use satellites as a means of locating exactly where you are on Earth.

In 1989, the first official GPS satellite was launched into space under the guidance of Navy engineer Roger Easton. That same year, after a passenger plane was destroyed for accidentally drifting into unauthorized airspace, President Ronald Reagan decreed that access to this technology was no longer fully classified. In fact, civilians could use GPS units with precision of up to 100 meters all around the world to prevent a tragedy like this from every happening again.

Today we have access to the full spectrum of GPS technology, and its applications are as variable as the humans who use it. Still at work in military operations, GPS tech is also used by business to track fleets, by search and rescue teams to assist in emergency circumstances, and as a tool for outdoorsy folks to find their way through the wilds. Thanks to the focus and efforts of our military, the only way we will lose our way is if we forget to bring our oh-so-useful GPS.

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