Is you fleet safe? Equipment theft can be an expensive blow to the bottomline, which is why more construction companies are turning to technology to manage assets. This can provide alerts when a vehicle leaves a certain parameter and track equipment maintenance in order to let a user know when an asset needs servicing. Overall, being able to keep an eye on mobile resources can improve the bottomline.

Last week, Wireless Matrix Corp., www.wirelessmatrix.com, Herndon, Va., a provider of GPS fleet-tracking services, announced the acquisition of SkyGuard, www.skyguard.com, Flowood, Miss. This will open the door for Wireless Matrix to deliver asset-tracking capabilities to the construction industry.

Richard Carlson, president and CEO, Wireless Matrix, says the mobile-resource management market is seeing competition that will require companies to continually innovate and grow both organically and through acquisition. Through this particular acquisition, the company is able to tap into the construction vertical, which it has been planning to enter for several years.

SkyGuard is a provider of fleet-management services for industries such as construction and utilities. The Web-based application from SkyGuard has asset-tracking capabilities, which Wireless Matrix plans to replicate in its technology, FleetOutlook.

FleetOutlook 7.1, which will be available approximately 90 days from now, will include asset tracking with theft alerts, state fuel tax reports, and adherence to posted speed limits.

In the world of asset management, there is a ‘new batch of needs emerging around driver behaviors,’ according to Carlson. The upcoming release will include capabilities that will require drivers to adhere to posted speed limits. Carlson says there will be other capabilities in the future to meet driver behaviors.

For the construction industry, being able to keep an eye on equipment and other assets is a big priority. More companies are using asset-tracking technology to manage and monitor equipment health.

Another company recently announced a new work-order management platform. With Telogis Progression, www.telogis.com, Aliso Viejo, Calif., companies can change the way they manage their mobile resources. The SaaS (software-as-a-service) platform offers job creation, tracking, routing, dispatching, customer-service notifications, route-compliance reporting, job-completion reporting, traffic conditions, and an interface to existing ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems.

The solution gives business owners visibility into the workings of the field staff. The technology integrates with Telogis Route, Telogis Fleet GPS, and Telogis Mobile.

For construction companies that have not considered ‘connecting’ equipment, this might be something to keep in mind. Connected equipment allows firms to monitor vehicles to prevent theft; manage workers for the purposes of helping them complete their job mot efficiently; and keep an eye on the equipment to know when it needs to be serviced.