By Jeff | December 6, 2016

Mobility and mobile devices have become an essential part of your business operations. From manufacturing and warehousing to transportation and logistics, industries across the entire supply chain and beyond have adopted mobility technologies to increase efficiency and keep up with customers’ demands.

But now that you have all these mobile devices, how do you make sure that they’re being used how and where they were intended? How do you ensure that none of them have been misplaced or, in some cases, stolen?

This is where a mobile device management (MDM) solution comes in handy. One of the many benefits of an MDM solution is the geofencing capability.

What is a geofence?

It’s a digital boundary that uses GPS or RFID to allow or control certain aspects of device performance inside and outside the set boundary.

Creating a geofence is extremely simple. It can take as much or as little time as you want, and the geofence itself can be as detailed as you want it to be.

Using MDM software like MobiControl, you simply draw a digital border around a geographical area. (Check out this video to see what we mean.) Then you set up the notifications, alerts, and functions you want to be performed based on device behavior in your geofence.

What’s the purpose of geofencing?

By setting virtual boundaries, you can use a geofence for:

  • Simple device tracking within the geofence
  • Defining specific actions to execute automatically when devices enter or exit the geofence
  • Detecting and locking down lost or stolen devices
  • Provisioning applications, policies, and services

Industry Use Case Examples

Geofencing can play a very important role in asset management — an essential and often difficult task in this day and age, where so many assets are mobile.

For example, you can create a geofence around your warehouse, distribution center, or manufacturing plant and set a rule that notifies an administrator if devices like mobile computers or rugged tablets leave the geofence.

You can also enable the MDM software to turn off or disable a device that has left the geofence, making it an easy protection against device theft. This protects critical business data and information that must not leave the premises.

If you have a geofence around your warehouse or distribution center, you can set up a geographic trigger to alert your workers when a delivery vehicle enters or exits the geofence. With this in place, workers can prepare to unload the truck sooner, which will streamline processes and reduce downtime.

Fleet management is another appropriate application for geofencing. You can create a geofence that applies to a particular shipping route. If a truck driver deviates from their route, the MDM software will notify the dispatcher. This way, you know that your drivers are using their time on the road appropriately, and you also increase the efficiency of your shipping and delivery operations.

Plus, it provides true visibility into the actual number of hours worked by employees. Fleet managers can verify the amount of time worked to reduce wasteful spending and ensure that resources are properly and fairly allocated.

You can also set geofences around the start and end locations of your drivers’ routes, and create a command that shuts off or disables certain apps on drivers’ mobile devices when they leave the starting geofence. Then, when they enter the geofence at their destination, the device or apps will reactivate. This is a very effective way to eliminate distracted driving, improve driver performance, and reduce company liability.

The business value of geofencing lies in its ability to provide a great deal of actionable data and insight about company resources, based on their location. This information can help you gain a greater understanding of employee performance, reduce costs, and increase overall efficiency.

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