Tag Archives: Important

The Important Role of GPS in the Transportation Industry

The global positioning system, or GPS, is a solar-powered satellite navigation system consisting of 24 satellites located 11,000 nautical miles in space. The United States Department of Defense placed these satellites into orbit for military operations but in the 1980s, made the system available at no charge to the public. Since the system works anywhere in the world during any time of day and in any weather conditions, there is a place for GPS in the transportation industry.

The Workings of GPS in the Transportation Industry

Twice a day, GPS satellites circle Earth, moving in a precise orbit and transmitting signals. GPS receivers capture this information and calculate the exact location of a user through triangulation. An electronic map on the receiver displays this location in either 2D or 3D depending on the number of satellites in view from the receiver. After determining the position of the user, the unit can calculate distance to destination, speed, bearing, directions, and other information.

GPS tracking systems have been important to the development of the auto transportation industry. Reputable ground transportation companies use this technology to strengthen their businesses. GPS is used to constantly track the location of transportation vehicles so supervisors know where each member of the fleet is at all times. Customers may have access to this information, allowing them to monitor shipments.

Safety and Emergency Roles of GPS in the Transportation Industry

With major investments in fleets and expensive cargo on board, safety becomes a top priority for shipping companies. An accident or other emergency can occur at any time and GPS allows supervisors to quickly identify when something goes wrong during transport. They can see a vehicle veering away from the intended course or making unscheduled stops, allowing them to respond immediately.

When GPS is used for fleet tracking, data is transmitted in real-time. Emergency services also use GPS to locate and respond to vehicle accidents and other roadway emergencies. Drivers who encounter trouble rely on this technology to keep their cargo and themselves as safe as possible. Quick response to an emergency can mean the difference between intact and lost cargo and more important, life and death.

GPS is extremely accurate due to the parallel multi-channel design of current receivers. The newest receivers improve accuracy to an average of less than three meters. Signals can pass through glass, plastic, and clouds and satellites are built and launched to replace existing satellites, which have an approximately ten-year life span.

Important Factors to Consider in Competitive Analysis

To complete a comprehensive competitive analysis, you must know the competitive landscape. You must know who your competitors are. Prepare an overview of your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses. Position each competitor’s product against your products. Understand the customer needs and preferences that are you competing to meet.

When you consider your competitors, determine what are the similarities and differences between their products and yours. You must also consider how their prices compare to yours and how well they are doing. You must have a specific plan to compete. For example, you can offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, or easier access to services. You must address the following basic issues:

o Define your target market.

o Determine the size of the target market.

o Drill down to your specific segment within the target market.

o Define the size and the revenue opportunity that your segment represents.

o Determine how fast the overall market and your specific segment are growing.

o Learn what factors are most important to your customers such as price, technology, ease of use, or new uses.

o You must know the most important characteristics in your industry. Is is driven by high or low volume? Is it capital or labor intensive? Is it seasonal?

o Identify and profile your targeted customers by their consumer budgets and by how they make decisions to buy a product.

o Identify your direct and indirect competitors and understand their impact on you.

o Identify the features that differentiate your product from the competitors’.

In order to address the basic issues, you must know where to find competitive and industry information. Information is available from the Federal Commerce Department online or in the library. You can review Edgar Online and business websites to obtain required financial filings. Look for an industry trade association and industry publications. Go to Hoovers Online or Bacon’s to look for business publications in your industry. You can also check online for http://www.usdata.com or for North American Industry Classifications http://www.naics.com.

After all basic issues have been addressed and your competitive research is completed, you should be able to describe all of your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. You should be able to clearly articulate what is different about your product and why customers will choose your product rather than the competitors’. You should also be able to describe your target market and target customer and what will motivate them to purchase your product. Finally, your should be able to explain how you will gain and keep a sustainable competitive advantage.

Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. Indigo Business Solutions is a registered trade name.