Top 10 Irish Industries That Can Benefit from GPS Tracking and Location Sharing

by Thomas Walk - Sep 01, 2017 Category: Business
GPS Tracking for Employees and Business

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Irish industry leaders agree with their counterparts worldwide that location-sharing and GPS (Global Positioning System) analytics can transform the way we do business, but few understand exactly how this will happen.

To understand how location-sharing can help Ireland, read on:

In this article, we will explain exactly how GPS tracking and location-sharing can benefit the 10 most important sectors of the Irish economy.

1. Tourism & Entertainment

Ireland’s tourism industry is going through some major changes. The numbers of British tourists, who in the past have made up the largest segment of Ireland’s tourist market, have declined in 2017, partly due to a drop in the value of the British pound after BREXIT. 

At the same time, spending by American tourists is going up, and is likely to surpass spending by the Brits in 2017. American tourists are in large part switching to Ireland instead of Britain because of a perception that the UK is dangerous after a spate of terrorist attacks.

Total tourism numbers in 2017 have increased 4.2 percent since the same period in 2016.

Overall tourist arrivals up
Overall tourist arrivals up

Obviously, the tourism market is huge. But how can small businesses capture the imagination of visiting tourists:

Location sharing.

Take one aspect of tourism that is catching people’s imaginations — Game of Thrones.

Much of the hit HBO TV show was filmed on location in Northern Ireland, and businesses in these locations want to capitalize on the popularity of the program.

One way to do so is to share their locations on interactive public maps and location-sharing apps.

They can set up a Game of Thrones-themed attraction map on location-sharing apps. A tourist interested in the land of Westeros could access an app like Turtler on their smartphone, search from shared locations related to Game of Thrones near them, and then have a treasure map of the best places to visit.

Wanna visit Dragonstone? Check the location coordinates online.

Want to see the castle of Winterfell or the King’s Road? Turtler can get you there.

"Game of Thrones" locations
"Game of Thrones" locations

Game of Thrones is not the only story filmed on the emerald isle. Star Wars fans can also find plenty of interesting scenery from their favorite movies.

That’s not all Ireland have to offer:

How about pubs?

Pub owners can share the locations of their pubs across location-sharing platforms, share events at the pubs, share drinks specials to anybody nearby. Tourists walking by can be alerted to a buy 1, get 1 free happy hour for Guinness.

Or my favorite: Irish music.

Where to go in Ireland?
Where to go in Ireland?

Rather than take your chance and hope you're lucky enough to find good Irish music at a pub when touring the island, you can check their location live with your phone. Musicians can share their locations so that fans can find them, increasing the number of people who show up for an event.

2. Farming

Ireland is blessed with rich soil, abundant rain and a perfect climate for many types of agriculture. Up until the economic boom that took off in the mid-1980s, the primary sector of the Irish economy was still agri-business.

The percentage of farming to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has changed dramatically, but agri-food still employs 8.6% of the Irish population.

And what is the bulk of the food grown in Ireland?

Beef and milk.

Cows and their products make up nearly 60% of agricultural output, with nearly 90% of this output exported to the EU and worldwide.

How can location sharing and GPS tracking devices benefit this industry.

Cows need to be tracked, especially if they are allowed to roam free in paddock land. Because cows can't be trained to use smartphones to share their locations, farmers can use small GPS tracker devices attached to a cow's collar, near where the cowbell goes.

This tracking device accessed GPS signals can then sends messages over a cellular connection to a company server that connects to the company's location sharing app, telling the user where the cows are at all times.

This has a lot of benefits for dairy farmers of beef ranchers:

  • GPS devices make it easy to find missing livestock. If a cow wanders from the herd and gets lost in a field or paddock, rather than spend the day looking for it, a herder can check its location in an instant using location-sharing software.
  • If a farmer has more cows than space to put them out to pasture, he or she can use location sharing to determine just how many cows should be in any one field at a given time, removing cows when the number is too high.
  • When cows stick to one field for too long, a simple look at the app will let a rancher know when it is time to rotate the cows to another field to avoid damage and erosion.
  • With live tracking, farmers can better understand the behavior of their animals and this will help them better manage the herd both in the short-term and the long-term.

Geo-fencing is another feature that can help in the agricultural sector.

In New Zealand, a country not very unlike Ireland, sheep and cattle herders are abuzz with the potential of using geo-fences and collars that emit beeps and buzzes to herd their animals without the need for any actual wire fences

The way it works is a farmer creates a virtual fence around a paddock just by tapping on a smartphone.

The GPS collars alert the program to the whereabouts of cows, and if they stray out of the geo-fenced areas, a small light electric shock warns them back. Audible buzzers and beeps act like a farm dog and guide the cows to where they are supposed to be.

The cost savings would be massive. Erecting and maintaining actual wire fences cost hundred of millions of Euros per year in purchases of durable goods and the manpower to maintain them. Worldwide, billions of Euros are spent on fences each year.

Herding cattle with GPS
Herding cattle with GPS

Virtual fences would save farmers from having to pay this cost.

The environment would benefit as well. The prevalence of fences in farmland has made it difficult for wildlife to survive in modern times. By reducing the use of fences, ecosystems could rebound.

3. Fishing

Along with agriculture, the fisheries industry has long been a bulwark of the Irish economy. Up until the 1970s, Ireland was predominately an agricultural nation, with fishing and aquaculture making up a large portion of its GDP

The Irish fishing industry employs more than 11,000 people and contributes over 890 million, with roughly two-thirds of fisheries products exported.

How can GPS tracking improve this industry?

GPS connects far-flung fishing operations
GPS connects far-flung fishing operations

With nearly 2,000 registered fishing vessels, that’s a lot of boats to track. Fishing boats often have to brave perilous seas, and sometimes get lost.

A GPS tracking system would be invaluable to managers of fishing fleets. The GPS devices can be as simple as a small handheld device that the captain keeps on his person or a large piece of hardware wired into the engine or control panel of the ship.

Location-tracking systems can increase the efficiency of a fishing fleet, with command-and-control systems able to use GPS data to get their ships to schools of fish at the right time and with the least waste of resources.

This efficiency in dispatching the nearest vessels helps save in fuel costs, one of the major costs for fishing fleets.

When disaster strikes, and a vessel is lost, personal GPS tracking devices can dramatically increase the chances of survival for those caught in the lurch. Emergency responders can get to victims faster with GPS coordinates.

Another great use of GPS tracking for fishing fleets is to pin locations in the ocean where schools of fish cluster. There are no landmarks out to see, and GPS makes it a lot easier to find specific locations, and increase profitability.

Then there are the fleets of land automobiles used to transport the fish once they make it back to shore and must be carried to processing factories.

Apps like Turtler can be used to analyze the GPS data and get a detailed picture of the real-time location of all the land vehicles, sea vessels, and other assets in a modern fisheries operations. 

This location data will make logistics of the processing and delivery chain more efficient, reduce fuel costs, save time and improve customer satisfaction.

4. Pharmaceutical

The Irish pharmaceutical industry is an international success story. From its humble roots in 1959 when Leo Laboratories set up a manufacturing base in Dublin, the sector has become the dominant export leader.

The pharmaceutical sector now accounts for 56% of Irish exports, employs 31,000 people directly and another 25,000 in support staff, creates up to 15% of all manufacturing jobs, and has propelled the tiny island nation to fifth place in the world in terms of medicine exports. 

It's safe to say that this sector is one of the primary movers behind the term the Celtic Tiger.

In 2014, export values totaled €64 billion, contributed more than €1 billion in corporation taxes and attracted billions in foreign direct investment, with an increasing number of many more billions of euros coming in for the related industries of biotech.

Recent trends have seen an increase in value-added research and development and a shift to bio-pharmaceutical plants as older chemical drugs come off patent, reducing their value to the sector, while developing countries like China and India compete for lower cost production.

This is a big money industry, with extremely expensive shipments of valuable precursor chemicals, biologic agents, fermented bio-chemicals and patented drugs.

GPS Tracking for Pharmaceutical Industry
GPS Tracking for Pharmaceutical Industry

Imagine losing a shipment: It could bankrupt a subsidiary.

Sound far-fetched? Imagine this:

A container full of a time-sensitive biologic agent valued at €10 million is being shipped from a fermentation plant to a processing plant, and the shipment gets re-routed incorrectly to a warehouse where it sits for two days before it is found and routed back to the correct place. But those two days were enough to completely destroy the agent which has gone past its prime and is no longer valuable to anybody. That’s a €10 million loss.

Or imagine a €50 million shipment of thyroid-drug Synthroid gets stolen. Try writing that off your books.

Losses like this would be devastating to a local Irish company, and would impact negatively Irish subsidiaries of large multinational pharmaceutical corporations to the point that heads would roll and jobs would be lost.

But there is an easy fix… the GPS constellation of satellites makes it easy to track these shipments and ensure that they are always located where you want them, when you want them. All you need is a good tracker and a good location-sharing app and a GPS tracker.

With an app like Turtler and an accompanying tracker, logistics managers at pharmaceutical companies can get detailed control over all shipments, and establish real-time monitoring on all unattended shipments and equipment.

With an app like Turtler and an accompanying tracker, logistics managers at pharmaceutical companies can get detailed control over all shipments, and establish real-time monitoring on all unattended shipments and equipment.

This way they can record prolonged or unreasonable standby times… decreasing the chances that time-sensitive chemicals will go bad in transit and reducing fuel costs.

Because managers will be able to track the exact location of their assets, they can shut down unauthorized use at any time, before that unauthorized use turns into an unacceptable theft or loss.

Due to the high value of the products produced in the pharmaceutical, medicines and bio-chemicals industries… it is imperative that nothing goes missing.

This makes tracking and efficient asset management essential to the value of all companies in this sphere.

5. Sports

Ireland has a number of sports that are unique to the island — Gaelic football, hurling, camogie, to name a few. Gaelic football looks like rugby, but has a goal like that used in regular football (soccer in the US) and a high-kick field goal like that used in American football.

It is by far the most popular sport in Ireland, drawing the largest spectator crowds, and is entirely amateur, with players, coaches and managers strictly prohibited from receiving any form of payment.

Location-sharing apps and GPS tracking devices would be of particular help to an extremely popular amateur sport like Gaelic football.

Without the huge amounts of money that flow around in professional sporting events like rugby or football (soccer), the cost-effective marketing of location-sharing would be particularly helpful.

Marketing a major event costs hundreds of thousands — or millions — of euros. With location-based marketing, the same impact can be had for a fraction of the cost.

Event marketers can send out messages to potential spectators in precise locations through their tablets or smartphones. For example, individuals who visit sports merchandise shops can receive event promotions via their cellphone about a match that is happening in the next few days.

A geo-fence can be placed around the location of the event, and when spectators arrive in the geo-fence, they can receive discounted promotions for the concession stands with a map direction that will lead them to the location to redeem their value.

These highly targeted location-based strategies can convert impulses into sales, attract new customers, and reward loyalty from old customers.

Besides the potential savings in marketing costs, GPS trackers and location-based software would be essential for organizing and keeping track of all the people and assets involved in a massive undertaking like a sporting event with 25,000 spectators in a huge stadium.

Cars and delivery vans need to be tracked to make sure they are where they need to be and at the time they need to be there.

GPS trackers make it possible to track mobile vendors who move about the stands.

Employees can be clocked in and out of work simply by crossing into a virtual geo-fence created by the managers.

Spectators can benefit too.

Imagine losing your friend or child in a crowd of 30,000 people. With an App like Turtler, people can find each other quickly even in the most overcrowded environment.

6. Food and Beverage Industry

The food and beverage industry has fully recovered from the economic downturn that started almost a decade ago. By 2014, robust growth was fueling a nearly 9 percent increase in exports to €10 billion a year. And it looks like expectations that the industry will continue to expand to €12 billion a year by 2020 will be easily met.

Like other industries that require timely delivery of goods, the food and beverage industry would benefit from GPS tracking and location sharing.

Food products are time sensitive goods. Even with refrigerated trucks, the clock is ticking to get food items to market as quick as possible to maintain their freshness.

With GPS and location apps, fleet managers in the food and beverage industry have more control over their products and can make sure that as little food spoils en route as possible.

Nobody wants to buy spoiled fruit. With GPS and location apps, fleet managers in the food and beverage industry have more control over their products and can make sure that as little food spoils en route as possible.

Although canned and bottled beverages have a longer shelf life and are not as sensitive to spoilage as fresh food items, fleet managers will also benefit from the controls offered by live tracking.

They can decrease fuel costs, increase turnover time and have more control over logistics.

Theft is a major issue for alcoholic beverage producers. 

Fleet operators can stop theft before it happens simply by letting all drivers know that their products are tracked live using GPS coordinates and cellular technology. And if a theft does happen, they can track the goods right to the thieves, and put them in jail.

7. Mining

Ireland has a long history with mining. Archeological sites show that mining existed in Ireland during the Bronze Age, nearly 2,000 years before the birth of Christ.

Back then, miners were interested in copper and gold. Although mining took a backseat to agriculture for the next few thousands years, it again flourished when Ireland became a source of iron in the 16th and 17th Centuries.

Then, the industry really flourished during and after the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s an continued to be a major sector of the Irish economy until today.

Copper, iron, gold, lead and other minerals were all mined intensively during this era.

Boom and bust, bust and boom.

The modern mining era is dominated by lead-zinc extraction. Ireland is the largest zinc producer in Europe and the second-largest producer of lead in the world.

Zinc and lead are both used extensively in batteries for the automotive and electronics industries; are turned into alloys for a wide range of industrial uses; and zinc is also turned into an important supplement for the medical industrial, another booming sector in Ireland.

Mining operations combine fixed office work where engineers plan and organize their operations with remote locations where the mining takes place.

Assets and staff of mining operations are usually spread out over a wide geographical area.

GPS trackers can be placed on all major mining equipment. The cost of this equipment is often in the millions of euros, so it is necessary to keep tabs on it at all times. With assets so widespread, a quick electronic means of locating people and equipment would be an essential service.

This is where GPS tracking can come in handy. With assets so widespread, a quick electronic means of locating people and equipment would be an essential service.

GPS trackers can be placed on all major mining equipment. The cost of this equipment is often in the millions of euros, so it is necessary to keep tabs on it at all times.

Staff and engineers could have apps in the phones or tablets, or trackers in their pockets. At any one time, a manager at the office will have a virtual picture of the location of all staff and assets in the company at any given time.

Delays are very costly, especially when mining millions of euros worth of deposits each day. With GPS tracking, there would be no delay in starting daily operations due to not knowing where essential staff are located.

The benefit to the bottom line cannot be overstated.

8. Service sector

The Celtic Tiger era followed by the economic recovery after the 2008 economic crash has created a robust service sector in Ireland, with food delivery, taxi services and others flourishing.

Uber has really popularized location sharing in the service sector. Before location sharing was introduced to the taxi industry, customers who called or ordered a taxi had to wait patiently with no idea where their car was until it arrived.

Uber has really popularized location sharing in the service sector. Before location sharing was introduced to the taxi industry, customers who called or ordered a taxi had to wait patiently with no idea where their car was until it arrived.

Now, with location sharing, customers just look at their cellphones after ordering a taxi and always know exactly where their car is and how much time it will take to reach their location.

Hungry diners who order a pizza would benefit from location services — when feeling impatient, they can look up the exact location of their pizza just by tapping a phone. Any food delivery business can use the same location-sharing services for similar benefits.

Catering businesses have to manage even larger groups of deliveries, with different food items coming from different kitchens for delivery to various venues throughout their geographic location at any given time.

They cannot deliver late.

With location sharing and GPS tracking, caterers will improve their services.

Or how about fixed-location services?

A barber shop can put out its location and a special offer to be sent to the smartphones of anybody nearby who searches for a place to get their hair cut.

The opportunities are endless.

Any service provider that delivers or manages a fleet would benefit; any service provider in a fixed location can attract more customers using location-based marketing.

9. Logistics

GPS tracking and location-sharing apps offer immeasurable benefits to the logistics industry. In fact, of all the industries that stand to benefit from live tracking, logistics companies will be the biggest beneficiaries.

Logistics providers must manage large fleets of vehicles that are constantly moving around a wide geographical range.

The key to success for any logistics provider is efficient fleet management, quick and effective deliveries, and geo-spatial awareness of the entire picture.

With GPS trackers and related apps, logistics managers will be able to know at all times if their drivers have completed deliveries, how long it will take to make a delivery, the location and speed of all vehicles being managed, the movements of the entire fleet including the routes drivers are taking.

With GPS trackers and related apps, logistics managers will be able to know at all times if their drivers have completed deliveries, how long it will take to make a delivery, the location and speed of all vehicles being managed, the movements of the entire fleet including the routes drivers are taking.

With this information at your disposal, managers will be able to reduce fuel costs (one of the major costs in this industry), speed up delivery times, cut down on lost packages, and generally do a better job of managing a complex system.

The information managers will obtain from GPS location-sharing devices will allow them to make detailed assessments of cost versus benefits.

With tracking, bosses can reduce fuel costs by making sure that vehicles are used only for company-related purposes. They can also watch how drivers operate the vehicles… if they drive too fast, more fuel is used… if they drive at the optimum speed, they save fuel.

Operators will be able to pinpoint which vehicles are gas guzzlers and which are fuel efficient, and get rid of the old hogs in favor of more fuel efficient newer vehicles.

Because the entire fleet is plugged into a GPS location-sharing network, all data are generated automatically, cutting down on the time it takes to record fuel costs, usage, routes, etc.

Not only will managers know the exact location of the entire fleet, but they will also know the exact cost of operating that fleet in a real-time basis.

Less paper clutter and more time to focus on necessary tasks… will create a better work environment as well as a more efficient business.

An efficient, cost-effective logistics company where employees are happy to work is ultimately a successful company that can provide good customer service at a competitive price.

10. Transport

Where is the bus? When will it get here?

In the future, nobody will ever have to ask this question.

Bus riders waiting at a bus stop will just look at their phones, and the questions will be answered before they even have to ask it.

The same goes for taxis and car delivery services of any kind. Live tracking will tell all customers where the vehicle is at any given time and how long it will take to reach them.

Live tracking will increasingly work for flights as well now that many major airlines provide onboard Wi-Fi services to passengers. If the plane is delayed, friends or family can check an app to know when is the best time to make their way to the airport.

Even when family or friends are driving their personal cars to pick up a friend or a loved one, they can use a location-sharing app in their phone to share their location with the person waiting curbside. Because that person would know to the minute that his or her friend would arrive, he or she can explore the area, not having to wait indefinitely next to the curb.