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How fleet technology can help boost labour productivity

By Verizon Connect Team May 5, 2022

Before we explain about the concept of labour productivity and how to increase it by using fleet technology, we first need to delve into the present situation of labour productivity and find out why intervention is needed in the first place. Here is the situation in Australia at the moment:

Current situation of labour productivity

Although Australia wasn’t as hard hit as other OECD countries, the COVID-19 pandemic was severe enough to cause a recession in the country, despite being recession-free for 28 years. 1 million Australians lost their jobs in March 2020 as the country was put under lockdown. According to ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) records, the country has survived the most critical part, but sadly didn’t emerge unscathed. The pandemic led to many long-term structural changes regarding labour productivity. These include consumers and businesses resorting to experimental methods to keep afloat such as working from home, increased online shopping, and offering services (i.e.medical) via video chat. Many new policies were either introduced or changed such as the JobKeeper and Cashflow Booster program so the government could subsidise those in need. Insolvency laws were also changed to help people cope.

Despite this disastrous setback, labour productivity in Australia actually increased by 2.98 % YoY in Jun 2021, which is quite an achievement when compared to the growth of 1.37 % in the previous quarter.

Labour productivity prior to COVID-19

In the 2000s, the diffusion of digital technologies escalated and was expected to result in a new wave of productivity growth, like similar ones in the past, e.g. as a result of electrification (from the mid-1880s) and, to a smaller extent, ICT investments (in the 1990s). However, this is not what happened, which has left many people still wondering whether the effects of these new technologies will be obvious later as well as pondering structural factors as well as measurement.

Before the COVID-19 crisis came about, a significant amount of attention was being focused on the decreasing long-term productivity being reported across countries. It was known as the productivity paradox because the productivity slowdown took place at a time of notable technological change. The importance of labour productivity is well known, therefore attention should once again be focused on productivity to help it gain importance once recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic fully commences.

The 2022 outlook for labour productivity 

In many countries, a fat tail of companies with low productivity (composed mostly of small companies) co-exists with large companies that are, on the other hand, very productive and even compete with international businesses. Since large companies find it easier to exploit increasing returns to scale, productivity tends to increase the bigger the company.

Smaller companies need not worry as many are able to trigger productivity growth by implementing new technologies. The pandemic led many companies to adopt digital technologies as shown by the evidence from multiple business surveys conducted worldwide during 2020. The results revealed that most companies, including smaller ones, increased their use of digital technologies during the COVID-19 crisis. This can also be seen in the 2022 Fleet Technology Trends Report in US.

Nevertheless, among smaller companies there is often a concern about costs and lack of skills and awareness of digital tools, which prevents them from investing in digital technologies. 

A solution to this could be to diffuse digital technologies across companies to prevent the productivity gap within economies increasing even further and to ensure that a rebound of aggregate productivity is maintained after the pandemic.

How to help improve labour productivity with fleet technology

GPS tracking systems can help improve your team’s labour productivity through accurate time management by:

  • Scheduling jobs in an efficient order to fit more customer appointments into the working day.
  • Creating optimised routes and updating them quickly for ever-changing traffic conditions.
  • Knowing the location of each vehicle in near real time in order to send the nearest one to carry out a service.
  • Tracking timings, eradicating time-wasting and unauthorised use.

In fact, according to the 2022 Fleet Technology Trends Report in US,  46 % of businesses in US have improved their productivity since implementing a fleet tracking solution.

How improving labour productivity can benefit the customer experience

Customers are imperative to any business and keeping them happy is more important than ever especially in this modern-age of on-demand service. One way to improve your customer service is to implement fleet technology. This enables you to:

  • Respond faster: Use near real-time location data to respond quicker and more accurately to customer queries and to proactively manage delays.
  • Keep customers in the know: Provide your customers with accurate ETAs and allow them to track drivers to their doorsteps in near real-time.

By improving customer service, you can quickly make a difference that helps with customer retention and boosts customer satisfaction. 

In fact, 48 % of businesses in US reported improved customer service since they implemented a fleet tracking solution according to the 2022 Fleet Technology Trends Report in US.

1. https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/productivity-insights/long-term/productivity-insights-2020-long-term.pdf
2. https://www.pc.gov.au/research/ongoing/productivity-insights/recent-developments-2021/productivity-insights-2021-recent-developments.pdf
3. https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/australia/labour-productivity-growth
4.  https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/f25cdb25-en/1/3/2/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/f25cdb25-en&_csp_=f3624e8b770eac8d5dc12a37d86e806e&itemIGO=oecd&itemContentType=issue

Verizon Connect Team

The telematics industry is moving at a fast pace. With new developments, use cases and feature sets emerging every day, it can be challenging to make the right decision for your fleet business. Verizon Connect Staff is conceptualized to be a partner for your business and help you make smart choices based on useful content.

Tags: Customer Service, Productivity & Efficiency, Team Management