How GPS Tracking Improves Fleet Productivity
Fleet management is a hectic profession. When fleet managers aren’t spending time tackling day-to-day issues that are specific to their operations, they are likely addressing broader fleet problems, such as safety, maintenance, or any number of other perennial issues.
One common concern among fleet managers is ensuring drivers are staying productive. Consistently monitoring driver routes and road behavior is easily one of the best ways to keep track of productivity, and telematics and GPS tracking technologies have enabled fleet managers to do just that.
What Fleet Managers Love about Telematics
Elizabeth Donald, fleet manager for Superior Pool Service, operates a fleet that services over 500 customers a week. Her fleet started initially with one driver and one truck, but she now manages a larger operation of service technicians and their fleet vehicles, which are expected to operate smoothly each day.
Because the size of her fleet has significantly increased from its more humble beginning, Donald has incorporated telematics solutions into the fleet operations to better keep track of driver activity.
This has included tools that now allow her to see where drivers currently are, easily monitor for excessive idling, and review driver behavior reports.
“The behaviors report, I use that a lot. Since I’ve been on my drivers about driving performance, they’ve gotten better because they know I’m watching it,” she said.
Keeping Drivers Accountable
Fleets are also using telematics to keep track of driver behaviors in ways that don’t particularly fall under broader concerns like safety, maintenance, etc.
Bill Rodgers, fleet manager for Service Source, which provides organizations with custodial and other maintenance services, found telematics assisted with payroll concerns, particularly with what it discovered in how drivers are reporting when they are on the road for work.
“I work with our HR department when there may be other problems with the manager or with the employee. These reports are helpful because there could be a suspicion that there was some time not being reported correctly,” he said. “Where an employee was saying, they were starting at a certain time in the day. I can go back and find out that ‘No, the guy didn’t start work at 5:30 in the morning and the vehicle didn’t even start until 7:15.’”
Thompson Trading’s fleet, a food and beverage operation, also experienced issues of driver accountability, trust, and transparency. However, once the company implemented a telematics solution, they immediately saw improvements.
“The first week paid for itself,” said Scott Thompson, fleet manager at Thompson Trading. “We found that our staff was doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing while they were at work. We were extremely happy within the first week because we cut all of that out.”
Thompson detailed that he was also able to review the specific details of his fleet’s activity to address wasteful driver behavior.
“We have merchandisers that go out to all the grocery stores and they restock the shelves,” said Thompson. “When we tracked them we found out that they were going home at 12:30 pm and coming back to work at 3:00 pm. Once again, it paid for itself in no time.”
Solving Miscellaneous Fleet Issues
Fleet managers have found telematics technology has been able to help solve other unique company problems related to driver accountability. For example, simply helping to locate a missing vehicle.
Rodgers of Service Source, unfortunately, found himself in a scenario where one of his drivers ended up getting arrested during a work shift. Following the driver’s arrest, the location of his fleet vehicle went into question.
“We knew the truck was taken someplace, but we didn’t know where it was taken to,” he said. “So the manager of that person calls and asks, ‘Where’s my truck?’ Since I wasn’t near a computer, I used the GPS Trackit mobile app and gave him the coordinates where it was. So, he went and got the truck.”
Supporting Customers through Telematics
Telematics has also helped Donald of Superior Pool Service efficiently and in real-time answer customer questions with the help of the tools available, including verifying that a customer’s pool was cleaned, or informing a customer when a pool technician is set to arrive at their location.
Indeed, it’s the improvements in operational efficiency that are a large reason why companies are drawn to telematics solutions, as this will lead to happier customers.
Thompson of Thompson Trading said that his businesses activity was slower and less efficient before the fleet incorporated telematics into the organization.
“We were doing about 2 to 3 stores per day before and with GPS Trackit we were able to do better routes. So we are doing more stores in the same area and increased to 5 to 6 stores,” said Thompson.
Keeping the Public in Mind
Through telematics, Donald of Superior Pool Services has also been able to more effectively field complaints levied against company drivers.
“There are people on the roads that’ll call all the time and say, your guy cut me off,” Donald said, to which she is able to confirm these claims via telematics data. “To be able to look and see, okay, this person calling in is probably correct. This is their behavior recently. So, it just gives us actual data, not just a person’s opinion of their driving, but your truck actually did say you accelerated quickly.”
Telematics has also helped fleets defend themselves against claims that are not accurate, which can resolve accident, insurance, and liability issues.
“One of our drivers got into an accident. The person he got into the accident with called us to inquire about it,” said Thompson. “When we looked back and looked at the tracking we figured out that they were in that area, and after further questioning, we found out what actually happened.”
If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.
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