The Sensible Time for Digital Controls

To control one’s thoughts and emotions is by far one of man’s greatest Mt. Everests. It is a constant pursuit for men to seek control in  what to acquire and experience, that a substantial percentage of the inspiration heard from peers, read in social media and coached by mentors tell you that you can influence, direct and control your own environment; that you can make your life what you want it to be, as Napoleon Hill would even say.

Although this is a life motto shared by many, it is surprisingly unnatural for men to adopt technologies that allow them to take total control. The internet has become the lifeblood of the modern information society allowing to connect millions of people and operate business worldwide, suggesting a greater need of advanced technologies for controls. However, despite today’s world having easy access to communication and information, controls that come from tracking technologies, monitoring devices and work management tools still do not break the traditionals.

In various industries, integrating tracking and monitoring strategies and technologies into the daily operations of businesses or organizations is seen to boost productivity and minimize unnecessary expense. Below are among the top industries wherein tracking technologies play a crucial role in the operations.



Some academic institutions make use of GPS-based school bus tracking system to monitor their shuttle service for the security of their community. Parents and administrators can locate the exact position of the school bus carrying their kids real-time using a GPS tracker.

The GPS tracker for a school bus can estimate the travel time for every route taken. School authorities can also monitor the efficiency of their field personnel. School bus tracking system can keep track of field personnel’s log sheets for easy verification and make the employee accountable. For vehicle maintenance, the GPS-based fleet tracking device can monitor vehicle mileage and other information which the fleet manager can use to determine if it’s time for the vehicle to visit the shop.

Aside from tracking the whereabouts of its students and personnel, tracking systems can also trace the document trails of the institution. The University of the Philippines Information Technology Development Center developed a Document Tracking System (DTS) which is an information system capable of tracking the paper trail of documents is created within UP offices. The DTS includes information on the originating and receiving office and personnel, as well as the time elapsed between offices/units/departments. In this information system, document attachments, revisions, updates, and remarks are being supported.

Tracking systems used in academic institutions do not only increase the productivity of its faculty and personnel, it also secures the safety of its students.


Courier and Delivery Services

A tracking technology is also the key to ensure a high level of service in courier services. Customers today want to know when they should expect their package to arrive without needing to call a number or depend on rough estimations. The courier/delivery industry is a critical middle-man between the seller and buyer, with both parties depending on their efficiency.

With controls in place, everyone involved knows exactly where their package is in its journey from the central sorting office to their door.



Fleet managers are able to monitor their drivers’ speeds, routes, fuel consumption, and help plan journeys to avoid heavy traffic with the help of a tracking system. Logistics businesses can maximize their productivity and minimize delays significantly.

Logistics is an expensive business to run and inevitably have a significant impact on the economy specifically in the cost of goods due to the prices of fuel.  With a tracking and monitoring system in place, the fleet manager can significantly reduce fuel consumption and increase productivity through prevention and correction of driving behavior, identifying road conditions, and having an overview of remote activities.  Not only does monitoring vehicle and driver activities can give the insight to improve fuel and time efficiency, but safety as well. Fatigue driving can be comparable to drunk driving. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 20% of drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel. Preventing fatigue driving by making sure drivers get enough rest in long drives will not only improve safety but efficiency as well. Driving tired results in slowing down driver’s responsiveness that can be comparable to drunk driving.



Construction essentials such as trucks, power tools, and other construction materials are prone to theft. Equipping the vehicles with tracking units may prevent or reduce damages caused by stealing. Tracking in vehicles can also ensure drivers carrying loads from one site to another, are not wasting time or taking unsafe routes. The surveillance technology can provide workers with ample motivation to minimize wasted time and obey the proper safety regulations.

Tracking can be critical to invoice customers accurately, as data will support the number of hours a vehicle has been used for over time. To assess the activities throughout the employee’s shift and identify any performance-related issues that may arise individual workers on-site should be equipped with wearable GPS technology.


Public Transportation

The challenge on hailing cabs have been prominently addressed by technologies such as Uber and Grab. It is beyond the access to transportation that these new technologies have provided its customers. The tracking system that comes along with it allows business owners to stay connected with their drivers and prepare customers for any potential delays well ahead of time.


Bike, Motorcycle, or Fleet Rentals

For both tourism and transportation industry, vehicle rentals have been a good business. To monitor the location of the rented bikes, and to make sure that they are returned safely to the shops, rental owners have started equipping their bikes with tracking devices. It also helps prevent bike theft and monitor employee accountability.

There’s a lot of money involved in the insurance payment and car maintenance, thus, the use of trackers makes it easier to monitor fleets and maximize the potential of rental businesses. This also helps improve asset monitoring and inventory.


Oil and Gas Companies

As one of the biggest drivers in almost all industries, oil and gas should be handled and delivered in a safe and efficient manner. Thus, employee activity should be accessed in real time. This is not only for the benefit of operations, but for the analysis of product and employee safety, effectively lowering the cost and elevating the quality of customer service at the same time.


Takeaway/Take-out Services

With various delivery services popping around the metro today, there is no longer a hassle to bring and enjoy the food in the comfort of our houses. This can now be done through an app, browse the selection of dishes offered, and pay. A tracking system can keep the customer informed of their meal delivery time while allowing the business itself to monitor their drivers’ performance.

Takeaway companies using tracking system make sure they monitor their drivers’ patterns, choice of routes, and speeds to avoid costly mistakes. Any drivers who continue to underperform can be given additional training or perhaps easier areas to cover, to improve overall productivity and accuracy.

Investment on these technologies may seem to be just about collecting data to achieve efficiency and productivity, cut costs and eventually increase profit. However, intentions of business owners and organization leaders may go beyond the aforementioned. To understand circumstances without having to be physically present, to analyze data in discovering causes of problems, to keep the safety of all stakeholders, and to address numbers with numbers are the takeaways in investing on strategic control systems.

There is an understanding that traditional acquisition of information can be biased to various external factors and wrong assessment. It is not surprising when in the present industry, we still see executives of logistics company tailing their drivers only to secure efficiency. As information is the only data important in the business, it builds less credibility as well once controls happen to be from a total human input and intervention.

In business, profit does not only come from earnings, but also from cutting cost. And investing on tools that allow efficiency and productivity in the operations is equally important and deserving of priorities as sales and marketing. In logistics tracking system for example, it benefits lots of stakeholders including end customers, commercial vehicle owners for their moving assets, curtail unnecessary expenses on fuel, identify vehicle misuse, increase operational efficiency and automate its day to day operations.

Going back to a personal level, controls technologies benefit asset management, from locating keys to detecting where the dogs went. Notable as well how big the need is to have tracking systems for children in the present society. As of December 31, 2018, according to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File, there are 85,459 active missing person records, of which juveniles under the age of 18 account for 29,758 (34.8%) of the records. With this number in the United States, AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alerts, an emergency message broadcast is adopted for law enforcement agency to determine that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger. The broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions as well as information about the abductor’s vehicle – which could lead to the child’s recovery.

A factor to a man’s bondage to tradition may come from its nature. Although there’s a desire to take control, it is also innate to people to dislike being wrapped or celled. However, this idea is a whole lot different to the intention of controls which is meant for efficiency and productivity. The question remains though, how can these controls technologies be this acceptable in an organization? The answer highly depends on the objective and leadership communicated by the organization to its people. Anything with unclear motives or prompts violations will definitely negate the cooperation of the members to any of the control strategies and technologies deployed.

With businesses and organizations gearing toward international influence or starting to  operate on an international scale, today is the sensible time to take digital controls.

Angelo Kaufmann is a software engineer with 10 years of experience in security systems, software development, and strategic technical management. He is currently the Strategic Technical Manager of Satellite GPS Tracking and Asset Management System Corporation, the developer and owner of SafeSat and Findr.