By Ryan Driscoll
Fleet Managers across the country are quickly turning to Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) software-also known as global positioning system (GPS) tracking-but many of them don't know how to introduce the program to their employees. Many fear employee pushback or have big brother concerns and need tips on how to best approach employees about adopting the GPS technology. If you touch on these three main topics, the conversation should be relatively smooth.
Eliminate Big Brother Theory
The term Big Brother in the fleet management world is a term that is talked about far too often and not relevant once correctly explained.
The truth is, every business measures employee performance and coaches employees to be better at their jobs. Sales managers listen to calls to improve performance. Football coaches review tape with their team to make adjustments to improve for the next game. GPS tracking software for fleet management is no different if you think about it. If you want to be known for having reliable on-time arrivals, for example, how can you accomplish that goal if you don't know where you stand today and don't have the tools in place to monitor and measure how you stack up moving forward?
Sometimes it is as simple as making someone aware of what they are doing and explaining how it effects the business. Many times, people don't realize what they are doing is wrong, and simple coaching will go a long way to improve how your crews operate on a daily basis.
GPS tracking is not about getting people in trouble, it is about helping your company make improvements and cut costs. This is not Big Brother-this is good business.
Explain the Benefits for Your Employees
GPS tracking software can exonerate drivers from false traffic violations or customer complaints. Surely your company has taken calls from the public complaining about how one of your trucks almost ran them off the road or one of your trucks ran over their mailbox. The ability to have irrefutable evidence to exonerate your employees in any of these types of situations should be supported.
Dispatch will be able to see the entire fleet in real-time. That means fewer phone calls from dispatch and fewer distractions for drivers. GPS tracking technology allows crews and dispatch to communicate without having to pick up the phone.
Using GPS tracking software, your company is able to provide proof of completed jobs. This will eliminate the stress of trying to defend oneself in the case of he said/she said. Your employees are covered with the reports that show when they arrived, how long they were on site and when they left.
No one likes paperwork. Many of the administrative tasks that crews used to do on a regular basis will be eliminated with GPS tracking software. This includes recording mileage, hours worked, any notes taken about each job, etc.
It is not uncommon for businesses using GPS tracking to put incentive programs in place. Drivers that reduce fuel consumption by reducing idle time, reduce mileage by improving routing, reduce speeding violations, or save the company money in other ways are often rewarded in the form of bonuses or put into consideration during their yearly reviews.
Explain the Benefits for the Business:
As you may know, GPS fleet tracking will save the company money in fuel, labor, vehicle maintenance, accidents and insurance, and much more to improve your overall bottom line. When your company is prosperous, everyone benefits.
You will increase efficiencies across the board within your company from techs/crews, vehicles, dispatch, maintenance, payroll and customer service. Streamlining procedures throughout different departments will make everyone's lives easier. In addition, becoming more efficient will allow your business to focus on what it does best.
Besides eliminating the Big Brother theory and explaining the benefits for employees and your business, be upfront and honest with your employees about how you intend to use the technology. Don't keep it a secret; answer any questions they might have, but remember GPS tracking software is in place to help everyone, not to single anyone out.
GPS fleet tracking software is the tool used to oversee your crews, fix bad habits, become more effective and efficient, and ensure everyone has the company's bottom line at the forefront of their minds.
About the author: Ryan Driscoll is marketing director for GPS Insight. GPS Insight is a technology provider of AVL software for the utilities industry. Please visit www.gpsinsight.com for more information.