Understanding the Positive Impact of GPS Fleet Management1 Aug, 2012 By: Darrell Leven, US Fleet Tracking imageSource
Considering the world we all live in, why should we not leverage technology wherever possible to lower expenses and increase profits? We learned long ago that gathering meter readings by phone or customer visit was not cost effective. We are also learning that using remote diagnostics to discover and correct problems is far more effective than going to the customer site if we do not have to. It is my belief that leveraging the technology of an integrated GPS Fleet Management solution can also make a significant contribution towards lowering expenses and increasing mobile employee profitability.
The first impact area to examine is Service Dispatch. Today we can use technology & data to elevate the dispatcher to a resource coordinator. A GPS data solution integrated with your ERP system would allow a dispatcher to view on a web browser, the location of not only your technicians but also local traffic and weather conditions; and most importantly, the location of your service calls.
This ability to visualize these four critical elements will allow them to make better informed service call assignments which will result in lower travel time and fewer miles driven between service calls, thereby lowering expenses. Pushing this travel time over to customer time will also contribute to increased calls per day as well as a lower burden rate.
The next impact area is Employee Productivity. The simple fact is that mobile employees behave differently when they’re aware that you know exactly where they are. Such things as Geo Fences can be used to determine when a technician leaves for their first call in the morning as well as when they return home that evening – or afternoon for that matter.
Of the over 200 office technology dealers that US Fleet Tracking has worked with, nearly all of them have experienced an increase in productive time amounting to nearly one hour per day per employee and in some cases an additional service call per day per technician.
The third major area is Vehicle Expense. This is either company or technician owned. With technician owned vehicles, a simple plug in device can be used to track vehicle position and miles driven to insure accuracy. The device can then be unplugged at the end of the day to insure privacy. For company owned vehicles, having a GPS tracking device on board will lower insurance rates and increase the possibility of recovery in the event of theft. After all, in some cases the value of the parts in the vehicle is nearly equal to the value of the vehicle itself.
Another critical area can be control of non-business use of the company vehicle. Alerts can be set-up to be sent when the vehicle is in use during off hours.
Certainly, most service managers and business owners would agree GPS data can add a very positive impact to productivity and the bottom line. Most often, however, the decision to utilize GPS Fleet Management tools to have a positive impact is too often delayed by the consideration of the perceived negative impact the utilization might have on employees.
When informing staff about installing GPS Fleet Management systems into your fleet, it is important that they understand the positive side of why you are embracing the technology. Their anxieties, feeling of mistrust and the general fear of being held accountable can be minimized if employees truly understand the value that GPS data can bring to your business resources. Taking the time to explain how GPS fleet tracking will benefit them and the company as a whole, will drive different results and attitudes about the decision.
There are many positive outcomes that can be gained from GPS Fleet Management including improved customer service and retention through real-time responsiveness, elimination of manually logging mileage, increased driver safety, lower insurance costs, providing more effective data communication to reduce dispatch routing errors & the ability to reward employees for positive performance.
Dealers today, more than ever, are challenged to improve their operational efficiencies, due in part to reduced margins, record fuel costs, increased business insurance costs, and competition. Improving the business is financially beneficial to the employees and the health of the company to provide raises, bonuses and incentives.
GPS Fleet Management technology and data has proven, in copy/print dealerships and countless other industries, to have a positive return on investment and a significant impact on business improvement.