By Jenny Malcolm
Tree service companies widely have adopted GPS tracking technology to make their fleet operations more efficient and productive. GPS tracking solutions also can improve customer satisfaction, eliminate unauthorized usage of company vehicles and equipment, reduce fuel costs, improve driver behavior and more.
If a tree service fleet works with an electric co-op to clear right of way utility lines, reacts to emergency storm response, clears brush or provides just about any other service, GPS tracking can help manage crews in the most effective way.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Ensuring that customers are happy should be the focus of any business. Always knowing where vehicles are allows tree service fleets to improve how quickly they can respond to emergencies and provide accurate estimated times of arrival (ETAs) to customers. Knowing how long crews are at job sites helps expedite billing more efficiently. These are just a few ways tree service fleets can use GPS tracking to improve customer satisfaction.
Quick emergency response. During emergency storm response, tree service fleets must get to customer locations as quickly as possible. GPS tracking provides the insight needed to choose the best and closest storm responders to customer sites and dispatch those responders via the quickest routes. Quick storm response shows businesses are reliable when it counts most.
Provide accurate ETAs. Providing accurate ETAs to job sites also increases customer satisfaction. It’s important during major storms with potential to leave many people without essential services to provide accurate times when crews will be on-site and services will be restored. Having access to vehicles’ real-time locations allows for the most accurate ETAs for customers.
Improve billing accuracy. Determining when vehicles or equipment arrived and left job sites allows for quick, simple billing. Historical data also offers the ability to provide proof of service during customer disputes, even months back. Service providers can tell customers what dates they visited customer sites, how long they were there and which crews performed services.
Eliminate Unauthorized Usage
Employees often use their vehicles to run personal errands or complete side jobs. Eliminating unauthorized usage of company vehicles and equipment is important to reduce fuel costs, limit wear and tear and prevent the use of company resources to benefit competitors.
Eliminate off-hours usage. A great way to ensure vehicles and equipment are not being used for side jobs or personal use is to set notification alerts for any time vehicles or equipment are moving where or when they shouldn’t be. Management will be notified any time a vehicle or piece of equipment is moving during nonworking hours or if it moves inside or outside of a geofence, like an employee’s home or a company’s yard.
Prevent vehicle and equipment theft. GPS tracking can help tree service fleets prevent theft and recover stolen property before it’s too late. If the average bucket truck costs a tree service company $100,000, failing to monitor its whereabouts at all times of the day is a huge liability. If a company receives an alert that a bucket truck is leaving the yard in the middle of the night, the company can access its location quickly and report it to authorities.
Reduce Fuel Costs
Monitoring vehicle drive and idle time ensures a business is not spending money on fuel that isn’t needed. Many tree service fleets would be shocked at how often their vehicles idle or are being driven up and down streets to kill time between services.
GPS tracking gives tree service fleets the ability to view reports on vehicle drive and idle time to identify excessive fuel use. For example, a report that shows a vehicle had 34.5 hours of idle time in seven days should raise a red flag. GPS tracking software can be used to notify drivers to turn off their engines when vehicles surpass an acceptable amount of idle time.
Excessive idling is one of the biggest challenges for fleets across every industry, and it results in wasting valuable resources that could be allocated to other areas. Although fuel is cheaper than it has been during the past few years, it adds up. Using a tool to measure idling and proactively solving the problem can save significant money.
Improve Driver Behavior
One of the biggest challenges for tree service fleets is finding a way to monitor and control driver behavior. Speeding, harsh breaking and rapid acceleration are dangerous for drivers and the public and increase fleet expenses.
GPS tracking gives fleet managers tangible proof of speeding violations to hold employees accountable and ensure fleet safety standards are upheld. Speeding alerts let companies know every time a driver goes faster than he should so companies can take action during the violation. Companies also can set speeding alerts to be sent straight to drivers to remind them to slow down. Often, just knowing their speed is being monitored solves the problem and fleets see drastic decreases in speeding.
GPS tracking makes it possible for tree service fleets to do their jobs as efficiently as possible and improve customer satisfaction, eliminate unauthorized usage, reduce fuel costs, improve drive behavior and more. GPS tracking solves several problems so tree service companies can provide the best service to customers.
Jenny Malcolm is the content marketing specialist for GPS Insight. She graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and is responsible for external marketing communication for all business segments that GPS Insight targets.