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  • 10 November 2016

Geo Fencing – What does it do, where it’s headed?

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You have probably already come across terminology like Geo-Fencing, GPS, RFID, etc. They are fast becoming the new modus operandi of emerging business operations. While all the tech can be a little hard to wrap one’s head around, the applicability of it is much simpler to understand. One doesn’t need to be a pro-techie to benefit from the emerging possibilities.

Geo-Fencing, as the name suggests, is a location-based technology which creates a virtual boundary (or fence). It uses global positioning system (GPS) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for this purpose. It combines a user’s (or object’s) location with a map-based, specified area of interest. The technology uses latitude-longitude coordinates and radius to define an area. Using a user’s (or even an object’s) location, it becomes possible to tell when he/she enters and exits the specified area of interest. This allows an administrator or manager to set up triggers, which notify him/her through e-mail or text message.

The term ‘Geo-Fencing’ is becoming increasingly popular in news articles, manuals and posts on mobile technology – and for good reason, as the technology has been found to be particularly useful by many businesses and organizations. One of the earliest examples of the practical application of Geo-Fencing can be found in the livestock industry. A herd of cattle was equipped with GPS-units, allowing the rancher to monitor if and when his cattle moved outside the ranch boundaries.

You may be glad to know that Geo-Fencing is not as hard as equipping cattle with GPS systems anymore. For one, the ‘GPS Units’ are already ubiquitous in today’s world and will probably become even more so – smartphones!

Starting a geo-Fencing service is pretty simple – all you need is an app and GPS coordinates!

Owing to this single development, as well as to constant progress in GPS technologies, Geo-Fencing has an extremely wide-spectrum of practical and commercial applications today. If you’ve ever sent a push notification, or even received one, you’ve already been using it! But that is not all that can be done with this tech-solution. Here are some insights into its applicability for small businesses, supply chains and virtually any app-based activity:

 

  • Enhancement of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with Geo-Fencing: Using Geo-Fencing to send special offers has become a common business practice. When a customer who has your app walks into a particular area, which is being monitored by you, you can automate messages, offers and notifications to be sent. By combining your CRM with Geo-Fencing, you can sync the preferences of your customers with Geo-Fenced notifications. The possibilities with this feature are endless depending on your business. Geo-Fencing, if used strategically, can become an indispensable tool towards customer loyalty. It must be remembered that over-doing notifications can easily become counter-productive. Relevance and timing are key.

 

  • Tailoring CRM to Events, Holidays, Areas: The relevance of one’s business fluctuates in relation to the socio-cultural context. For instance, coffee-shops, flower delivery services, bakeries, etc. have a much higher probability of being used during occasions like Valentine’s Day. Similarly, retailers and mega e-commerce services will experience huge volumes of sales during the coming holiday season. To add to the variance of time, the relevance of a business also fluctuates with location – a festival may be particularly important in one region than another. This is where Geo-Fenced notifications really crack the market space. In accordance with the fluctuating relevance of one’s business, Geo-Fenced messages can notify potential customers at the right time and place, without transgressing into the realm of irritating spam.

 

  • Delivery Workforce Management: Managing an on-the-ground workforce is a complex task. With Route Optimization techniques and map-based real-time tracking, managing a delivery workforce can be streamlined. This process can be greatly enhanced with Geo-Fencing. Specifying delivery fences and ensuring the equipment of your workforce with smartphones means that you are notified every time a delivery goes off-track. Furthermore, if delivery packages are equipped with RFID tags, they too can be tracked throughout the delivery process! Managing the Last-Mile – the trickiest phase of the supply chain to crack – becomes all the more feasible with Geo-Fencing.

 

  • Communication with Local Businesses: If you are a business that relies on collaborating with other local businesses, a Geo-fenced app based interface will make it possible to be aware of and communicate with local retailers, delivery warehouses and local operators. Geo-Fencing is the perfect tech-solution to facilitate the spreading out of a centralized business.

 

  • Enhancing Analytics: Analytics work best when used in conjunction with behavioral models. Analytic Data with Location based information can greatly supplement these models. Using Geo-Fenced Metrics, you can gauge behaviors like the amount of time spent at different locations, preferences of purchase, preference of area, amount of time spent doing different kinds of shopping. Furthermore, you can more effectively gauge how effective your promotional messages are and accordingly tweak them.

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The Future of Geo-Fencing

The present possibilities of Geo-Fencing already present an extremely broad spectrum of possibilities. Today, Geo-Fencing is already being used in personal productivity management, Smarthome Control, Home Security, Family Tracking, ‘If This Then That’ systems and most widely in commercial businesses. While the present may seem bountiful already, the future of the technology promises even more prospects.

Tookan also has the Geo-Fencing feature that integrates the virtual environment with increasing accessibility of GPS technology, making headways into new possibilities. From applications in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for workstations to managing daily household chores, a novel paradigm of possibilities will soon become commonplace. The emerging reality is an undoubtedly an automated one, where trivial tasks will no longer require tiring human effort. Geo-Fencing is central to this novel paradigm.

We attempt to move in the same direction, as this paradigm takes us into an increasingly digital and virtual reality. The intention is to take care of the complex tech-work behind the scenes, which makes accessibility easy for application. Keeping up with the tide of innovation has proved to be fruitful, and the intention is to continue this ongoing pursuit.

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