Fleet-management technology can give construction companies and fleet operators the peace of mind associated with ongoing visibility into their assets, including vehicles; building materials, tools, and equipment stored onboard; and in many cases, the employees themselves. With access to realtime data in the cloud, construction managers can make better business decisions.

A wide range of industries, including the construction industry, have experienced the value and ROI (return on investment) that can come as a result of connecting the fleet with technology.

In fact, a new study by GreenRoad, www.greenroad.com, Redwood Shores, Calif., suggests connected fleet-management technology is more widely adopted than ever before. GreenRoad’s Fleet Leaders Survey says 57% of respondents have deployed Web-based fleet-management solutions.

The study shows a trend among those adopting these solutions—mobile and cloud-based technologies are becoming more prevalent, replacing traditional telematics solutions. Among those surveyed, 28% of are currently using smartphones to manage their fleets, and 8% currently use tablets.

Web-based “connected” solutions will continue to grow at the expense of more traditional standalone telematics solutions and PC-based software that do not offer Web access. This is particularly key to the construction industry, which relies on remote workers and on-the-go access to data.

One company, Zonar Systems, www.zonarsystems.com, Seattle, Wash., offers a vehicle-telematics platform for industries such as construction that includes four-dimensional GPS reporting, including data on a vehicle’s latitude, longitude, time, and odometer.

Zonar recently added a fifth dimension to its solution—fuel consumption—which will provide owners and operators with an additional way to monitor fleets. Going beyond geographical data, the new component will help fleets determine accurate vehicle fuel efficiency.

The solution will allow decisionmakers to see in great detail which routes (and which drivers) are most cost efficient. The realtime data is sent to Zonar’s Web portal, where it can be viewed and stored for reporting purposes. The solution also allows for push alerts to mobile devices for realtime management.

With the ability to remotely diagnose vehicles, track driver metrics, follow vehicle routes, and calculate fuel consumption via fleet-management technology, construction companies can more directly manage the bottomline.

As smartphone and mobile-device adoption continues to become more common in construction, the trend toward connected fleet-management solutions that offer mobile components will also grow. Already, GreenRoad says one in every five fleet managers use smartphones or mobile apps to manage fleets. In the future, GreenRoad’s survey says 31% of fleet leaders will choose connected, Web-based solutions, while 22% will purchase additional smartphones and 25% will deploy tablets.