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Southeast HVAC News Guest Column

How GPS Tracking Changes Your Company

by Robert J. Hall
Many companies have embraced using global positioning systems (GPS) in their trucks to improve travel time and cut down on driver inefficiency, but fewer have embraced the other side of GPS -- tracking. Companies of any size can use GPS tracking, but the benefits are especially striking for companies with a small fleet of trucks, such as those in the HVAC and plumbing industries. For these companies, GPS tracking offers many ways to make your company more efficient

How It Works
GPS tracking uses GPS technology to deliver real-time information about your trucks' whereabouts. The GPS software helps you examine and make decisions based on all the information coming in, including:

• Traffic conditions
• Arrival and departure times
• Routes
• The exact location of each driver

Modern tracking software is customizable and easy to use; for example, a good software program allows you to look at local traffic and terrain maps to help make route decisions. Note that your tracking software should be compatible with both desktop computers and mobile phones, giving management the option to track while in the office and while on the go.

GPS tracking gives information about what each of your employees is doing at any given time, which means that you can use it to improve the efficiency of your employees by reducing idle time, promoting safe driving speeds, and confirming that employees arrive and depart as scheduled. You can also cut down on unauthorized use of company trucks or equipment, which is a major problem for some companies. With GPS tracking you continue to monitor your employees' performance even when you aren’t on site with them.

Since you are able to see your employees' locations at all times, you can also address issues that contribute to loss of revenue and reduced efficiency. For example, by making your operation more efficient, you reduce the need for employee overtime.

GPS tracking also helps companies reduce costs on the other side of the personnel picture -- management. The capabilities of the software reduce the amount of route planning and personnel management required. Managers then have more time to focus on other responsibilities, or the company may be able to reduce management personnel, both of which save time and money.

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With GPS tracking, you can streamline your company's operations, making them more efficient overall. When you see exactly where each employee is at all times, you can make decisions based on that information. For example, when a customer calls, you can see which employees are closest to that location and send those employees to respond to the call.

Efficiency also increases because GPS tracking gives you the ability to make real-time decisions about routes, for example. If a typical route has an unusual amount of traffic, GPS tracking identifies that situation, allowing you to recommend a different route for your driver. What’s more, GPS also identifies new routes a part of that process.

Customer Service
One of the best ways GPS tracking changes your company is on the customer service side of the equation. When a customer calls, worried about the location of the service person en route to his or her home or needs to change the appointment, GPS tracking determines the customer's location so that you have the information to answer the questions or make any changes. With GPS tracking, you can also integrate information about traffic conditions, for example, into your time estimate.

Being able to respond to customers in this way isn't just useful -- it's expected by customers today. Since the number of companies using GPS tracking is growing continually, being able to find out detailed information about arrivals is becoming the standard in many industries.

Great fleet tracking software also monitors how your vehicles perform, and compares that information to how they performed in the past. This helps you stay on top of maintenance, thus reducing overall costs. More efficient maintenance is one of the biggest ways GPS tracking changes your company for the better.

If your business uses trucks or cars for service, delivery, or any other reason, GPS tracking can improve your company's operations on just about every level. Streamline all of your operations and improve customer service while saving on maintenance and personnel costs with a state-of-the-art GPS tracking system.

About the author:
Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leading provider of GPS vehicle tracker systems and software for small and midsized companies.




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