Employee GPS Tracking Hardware vs. Software: What’s the Difference?

Think of hardware as your physical computer and software as the programs on it. Learn more about the difference between employee GPS tracking hardware vs software in this helpful guide.
GPS hardware v software
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System
Time Tracking Fundamentals
Understanding Labor Laws
GPS Tracking
Tracking More Than Time
Time Tracking Benefits
Choosing A System
Implementing A System

Try The Most Accurate GPS Tracking Software for Field Workers

Businesses of all sizes constantly try to find innovative ways to improve productivity, increase accountability, and streamline efficiency. To help them, various innovative solutions are available, each offering unique benefits to organizations across different industries. 

GPS tracking for employees is a game-changing tool that has revolutionized how companies manage their workforces. As a result, the age-old debate between hardware and software solutions is now more relevant than ever. Employee GPS tracking is location-based technology that allows organizations to effectively monitor and manage their employees remotely, which benefits employees and employers alike. 

For instance, it can help optimize dispatching and route planning for transportation and logistics operations. It also promotes enhanced safety and accountability for employees, allowing employers to respond quickly to emergencies and verify that all work is being carried out as intended.

When it comes to deploying employee GPS tracking, companies are presented with an array of unique hardware-based and software-based solutions to choose from, each offering its own benefits for different types of companies among various industries. 

In this article, we’ll compare and contrast employee GPS tracking hardware vs. software. We will delve into these different options and provide a comprehensive comparison between these two distinct types of employee GPS tracking solutions, examining their features, advantages, limitations, and ideal use cases.

What Is Employee GPS Tracking Hardware?

Employee GPS tracking hardware is a physical device or piece of equipment used to determine and transmit the geographical location of employees to an organization’s centralized system. These hardware devices usually utilize Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to pinpoint a worker’s location in real-time accurately.

A popular instance of employee GPS tracking hardware is a GPS-enabled badge or ID card that an employee can wear while on duty. This badge contains a built-in GPS receiver and transmitter, communicating the wearer’s location to a central monitoring system. 

Another example of GPS tracking hardware is GPS trackers for vehicles. These devices are either installed or carried in vehicles belonging to organizations or, in some cases, the drivers themselves. These devices give companies real-time data on the locations of vehicles, which can be useful in optimizing routes and managing fleets.

Essentially, GPS tracking hardware is the tangible equipment required to collect and send location data from the employee to the organization’s central tracking system. From there, the data is processed and interpreted by various hardware and software to be accessed by managers and organizational heads. 

What Is Employee GPS Tracking Software?

Employee GPS tracking software is a digital application or platform that processes, analyzes, and displays the geographical location data of employees collected from GPS-enabled devices. This software typically provides features like real-time monitoring, route optimization, geofencing, and reporting to help organizations efficiently manage their workforce and streamline their overall operations.

A relevant example of employee GPS tracking software is a mobile app that employees can install on their smartphones. The app uses the GPS capabilities of the phone to gather location data and sends it to a cloud-based system that can be accessed by authorized personnel. 

For employee GPS tracking, software refers to the digital solution responsible for managing, analyzing, and presenting location data collected from employees to help organizations optimize their operations and ensure employee safety and accountability.

Examples of Employee GPS Tracking Hardware & Software

Employee GPS tracking hardware and software solutions enable employers to monitor the real-time location of their personnel, helping to ensure safety, improve efficiency, and enhance overall performance. 

In this section, we will explore a few key examples of employee GPS tracking hardware and software, delving into their unique features, benefits, and applications across different industries. 

Several employee GPS tracking hardware and software solutions are available for organizations to explore, including the following: 

Software: Mobile GPS tracking app

Best for: Field service businesses

Why? Mobile GPS tracking apps are ideal for contractors and field service businesses with employees who work from various sites and locations or travel frequently. Employees can easily install these apps on their smartphones, and the app will utilize the device’s GPS capabilities to track their location.

This type of GPS tracking software allows managers to monitor employee movements, ensure they are attending meetings or site visits as required, and even set up geofences to receive alerts if an employee enters or leaves a designated area. The cloud-based nature of these apps makes it easy for field teams to stay connected and accountable, regardless of their location.

Hardware: GPS-enabled ID badges

Best for: Field service businesses

Why? GPS-enabled ID badges are an excellent choice for field service businesses, as they allow for accurate tracking of employees working at various client locations. Employees can easily wear these badges, ensuring that they are tracked on-site during their work hours. Real-time location data from these badges helps companies optimize routes, monitor employee performance, and ensure workers adhere to safety protocols and schedules.

Hardware: Dedicated GPS trackers

Best for: Single location businesses with a mobile workforce

Why? Dedicated GPS trackers are small devices that can be placed in vehicles or carried by employees. They’re great for single-location businesses with mobile workforces, such as delivery or service-based companies. Trackers enable managers to monitor their employees’ movements while on the job, ensuring timely deliveries and efficient scheduling. They can also help businesses maintain a record of employees’ driving habits and reduce fuel costs by optimizing routes.

Pros and Cons of Using Employee GPS Tracking Hardware

✅ Real-time location tracking
✅ Enhanced navigation accuracy
✅ Improved fleet management
✅ Stolen vehicle recovery
✅ Geo-fencing capabilities
✅ Emergency response optimization
✅ Data-driven decision-making
❌ Signal interference issues
❌ Initial installation cost
❌ Limited GPS tracking battery life
❌ Inaccurate mapping data
❌ Ongoing subscription fees
❌ Limited indoor functionality

Pros and Cons of Using Employee GPS Tracking Software

✅ Real-time location monitoring
✅ Customizable alerts and notifications
✅ Improved route optimization
✅ Geo-fencing features
✅ Fleet management productivity
✅ Historical data analysis
✅ Accessibility on multiple devices
❌ Potential software compatibility issues
❌ Periodic update requirements
❌ Potential data breaches
❌ Subscription or licensing fees
❌ Limited offline functionality
❌ Reliance on hardware accuracy

Factors To Consider When Evaluating Employee GPS Tracking Hardware & Software

When evaluating employee GPS tracking hardware and software solutions, several factors should be considered to help decide which option is better suited for your business, including the following:

Setup & Maintenance: Consider the complexity of setting up the tracking solution and the ongoing maintenance required. Hardware devices may require more setup and maintenance than software solutions, which can be easily updated and managed remotely.

Speed: The speed at which location data is collected and transmitted is important, especially for real-time tracking. Software solutions may offer faster data transmission, as they often utilize the capabilities of smartphones or other existing devices. In contrast, the dedicated tracking device’s specifications may limit the hardware solutions’ efficacy.

Remote Accessibility: Evaluate the ease of accessing and managing location data from remote locations. Software solutions generally offer better remote accessibility, as data is stored and managed in the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

Scalability: Consider whether your company can easily scale the solution to accommodate growth. GPS tracking software solutions may be more scalable, as they can be easily deployed on additional devices, while hardware solutions may require purchasing and setting up additional tracking devices across fleets or organizations.

Price: Assess the costs associated with each solution, including initial setup costs, ongoing maintenance, and subscription fees. Often, hardware solutions may have higher upfront costs, while software solutions may involve recurring subscription fees. Be sure to consider these factors carefully and what’s best for your business before investing in any given solution.

To help simplify things a bit further, here’s a table carefully summarizing each of these factors:

Setup & maintenance 
Remote accessibility

Why Employee GPS Tracking Is Important

Employee GPS tracking is essential for both employers and employees alike for a variety of reasons. For employers, an example of where it can improve efficiency is by optimizing route planning and dispatching, ensuring timely task completion. 

It also enhances safety by enabling swift responses to emergencies and monitoring adherence to safety protocols. GPS tracking increases accountability by verifying employees’ presence at designated work locations, reducing time fraud and resource misuse. Companies can also utilize the data collected to make better-informed decisions about workforce management and resource allocation.

On the other hand, employees benefit from GPS tracking through personal safety, as employers can assist when needed. A streamlined workflow with optimized routes and schedules reduces stress and increases job satisfaction. 

GPS tracking also promotes increased job security, as employees tend to be more diligent and productive when monitoring their whereabouts and work progress. Furthermore, transparent performance evaluation, facilitated by GPS tracking, provides employees with a fair assessment of their work, allowing them to identify areas for improvement while simultaneously promoting their professional growth and development.

How Workyard Can Help

Workyard is a powerful employee GPS tracking platform designed to help companies of all kinds, particularly those in the construction and field services industries, improve their operations and manage their workforce more efficiently. However, regardless of the industry, Workyard offers a range of features and tools that companies can tailor to meet their specific needs.

The platform enables companies to manage their workforce more effectively, from scheduling and task assignments to performance monitoring and communication. This enhances employee engagement and job satisfaction while ensuring they complete projects on time and within budget. 

As a GPS time clock app, Workyard’s time and attendance tracking features contribute to organizational effectiveness and transparency in payroll management by automating the timekeeping process, reducing the likelihood of time fraud, and ensuring fair employee compensation. Its GPS-backed timesheets are simple to generate and easy to review and can reduce payroll errors by up to $2,000 an employee.

With Workyard’s GPS tracking app, companies can monitor employee locations in real time, which is particularly beneficial for those with remote or field-based employees. Geofencing capabilities enable the creation of designated areas around specific job sites, allowing managers to receive alerts when employees enter or leave these areas, ensuring focus and schedule adherence. 

The platform also facilitates seamless communication and collaboration among team members, promoting a cohesive work environment and preventing miscommunication or delays in project completion. This not only helps workers and overall organizational operations but can also help boost company morale.

Workyard collects valuable data within organizations that companies can analyze to identify specific trends and help to optimize overall operations. This enables managers and team leads to make informed decisions about resource allocation, route creation, and scheduling, increasing employee efficiency and cost savings for the company. 

All in all, Workyard provides a comprehensive employee GPS tracking software solution for businesses to streamline their operations, enhance employee engagement, and make data-driven decisions. Combined, this ultimately results in better project outcomes, cost savings, and a more productive and satisfied workforce for companies across various industries.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a free trial of Workyard today!

Finding The Right Solution For Your Company

Implementing an employee GPS tracking system through hardware or software can provide numerous benefits for organizations across various industries. From enhanced safety to increased accountability and data-driven decision-making, GPS tracking can significantly impact a company’s bottom line and overall success. 

When evaluating the various GPS tracking options available on the market, companies must consider factors such as setup and maintenance, speed, remote accessibility, scalability, and price. Workyard, as a versatile platform, offers a comprehensive solution for organizations seeking to optimize workforce management and streamline operations through GPS tracking and other tools. 

Before implementing any tracking solution, it’s important to notify your employees before the rollout and obtain their consent to help foster adoption and ensure compliance. Develop a GPS tracking policy that clearly outlines all aspects of the program, including how they will collect data, how they will use it, how they will store the data, and what protocols will be used to protect it.

By choosing the right tracking solution tailored to your organization’s unique needs, you can enhance employee engagement, improve operational efficiency, and achieve better project outcomes, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business in the long term. Sign up for a free trial of Workyard today.

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