Most utility businesses have heard of global positioning system (GPS) tracking or automatic vehicle locator (AVL), and the benefits of the technology. It has not yet been segmented out to who benefits in the back office. Following is a breakdown of the benefits different departments experience from GPS tracking.
The most obvious department that benefits from GPS tracking technology is fleet management. This is the department GPS tracking providers target the most because they are in charge of new vehicle technology. There are three primary areas that are improved: fuel, productivity and maintenance.
The primary reason fleets want to invest in a GPS tracking solution is to reduce fuel costs. This is typically one of the largest monthly expenses. Improving productivity is another reason. GPS tracking makes employees more efficient at each jobsite and boosts productivity from day to day-ultimately leading to increases in revenue.
GPS tracking platforms with maintenance modules will extend vehicle lifecycles. Management can schedule reminders for any maintenance needs and will be made aware of upcoming or overdue maintenance. Keeping up with this will eliminate unnecessary repair costs caused by not bringing in vehicles often enough. Extended lifecycles means management needs to buy new vehicles less often, saving money.
|Example of a vehicle maintenance schedule|
GPS tracking technology monitors data that will streamline accounting processes. This eliminates the amount of paperwork usually involved in payroll and billing.
GPS tracking will reduce labor costs by monitoring when employees start and end their days, as well as the frequency and length of their breaks. The reports provided will also reduce overtime pay because accounting will see attempts to pad hours. There is no need to sort through time cards for each pay period with GPS tracking software. Quickly pull a report to see how many hours each employee worked. The accounting team will know how long employees actually worked vs. what they claim they worked.
Using the same location data that is used to monitor employee hours worked, accounting can generate accurate customer billing. Reports can be run that show how long it took to complete a job, what equipment was used on site, and how many employees were used. When accounting sends the bill, the GPS report can be sent along with it as proof.
|Diagram showing how much a fleet of 50 vehicles could save by reducing accidents|
If your business has a risk management department, then employee and vehicle safety are the number one priority. Risk management wants to decrease liability from accidents and injury. GPS tracking technology will decrease both in several ways.
GPS tracking monitors driver behavior. This gives risk management the ability to see how the vehicles are being used and coach drivers on safer driving habits. This can dramatically reduce accidents and injuries.
The risk management team can also observe vehicle usage. To reduce risk, they want to ensure drivers are not using the vehicles after hours. Using the company vehicles to take the boat to the lake on the weekend is something they should know about because if anything happened, the company could be liable.
GPS tracking also aids in stolen vehicle recovery. Without GPS tracking in place, a business may never see the vehicle or the equipment inside again. This is a significant financial loss each time a vehicle is stolen. To prevent loss, management will be notified if a vehicle is being stolen and will be able to quickly report the real-time location to authorities before it is too late.
|Dispatcher using GPS Insight to monitor fleet|
GPS tracking completely changes the way dispatch teams work. They become better, faster and more efficient.
Dispatch teams no longer have to make endless phone calls to employees to find out job status or current location and then decide who is closest to send. GPS tracking software provides real-time location and status so that with a mere glance, a dispatcher can see who the best option is to send to the next job. There also are tools available in the software that will tell them who the closest option is for a job. This takes countless time out of the equation, making the dispatch team more knowledgeable about the employees in the field, making the company's response times faster.
Customer service teams see benefits from GPS tracking technology, as well. The team can give accurate estimated time of arrivals if customers call in to inquire about a crews' location. Customer service teams can also confirm job completion if a customer calls in to dispute a bill.
Many departments within a utility business benefit from GPS tracking. These benefits streamline operations, making everyone's life easier, while saving thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. This is a technology your business needs. Test drive a few solutions to find the best one and start reaping the benefits as soon as possible.