Today is National Plant a Flower Day, making it the perfect time to plan for seasonal gardening and looking ahead to warmer weather. Spring is just around the corner, and higher temperatures and longer days will also bring the most hectic time of year for florists, nurseries, and landscapers.
The stage is set for Spring 2018 to be one of the busiest, most profitable seasons in recent memory, and a forecasted increase in demand particularly will impact many small- to medium-sized businesses across the industry. With ecommerce giants entering the flora game (looking at you, Amazon), heightened competition can strain the already tight delivery resources of local businesses.
Winning the local delivery market
Though online operations may impress consumers with 2-day delivery of exotic blooms, there will always be room for the local nursery, florist, or landscaper. Small businesses, especially, can bring what big retailers often can’t – personalized service, seasoned expertise and truly local flora. But to succeed in such a competitive marketplace and provide their customers with these special touches, local businesses must find the right tools to ensure that operations run as efficiently as possible to compete in those areas where online retailers excel.
For any company working with a fleet of delivery trucks or landscaping vehicles, GPS tracking is a must-have. Understanding where deliveries, vehicles, and personnel are at all times not only improves operational efficiency, it keeps mobile businesses moving forward into the future. GPS fleet tracking solutions are proactive rather than reactive and instantly update based on road conditions, upcoming jobs or deliveries, and even weather alerts. These capabilities keep drivers and in-office management in the loop when it comes to optimal routes and delivery times.
In the midst of rising demand, let’s take a look at several ways GPS tracking can help set up small landscaping and delivery companies for springtime success.
Monitor trucks and drivers
What makes big-name ecommerce retailers successful in delivery is a well-oiled asset tracking system. Despite what many may believe, this kind of solution is not limited to companies with the luxuries of big budgets and staff dedicated to implementation. A scalable solution that fits the unique needs of your business goes a long way.
Managers must be able to monitor individual trucks throughout the day, as well as the associated drivers and crews. This kind of visibility helps to prevent confusion if there is an issue or roadblock at a stopping point. And with a streamlined tracking system in place, trucks can make more stops and crews can be more productive each and every day.
Eliminate unnecessary fuel and resource costs
One of the largest overhead costs landscape and delivery service providers face is high fuel consumption caused by idling trucks and inefficient route management. Fuel waste is often the result of drivers reaching their destinations early and idling while they wait for consumer contacts or driving well out of the way because they don’t know the most direct route from one delivery to the next.
With a GPS tracking solution in place, these drivers can save around $540 per vehicle per year just by reining in fuel costs through route optimization. And understanding exactly where trucks are and gleaning insight into their schedules can also enable in-office management to better direct their fleet, which in turn may help decrease the standard workday by up to 20%, on average from 10.6 hours to 8.5 hours.1 Extra hours in a day for a worker to return to his or her family or get more jobs completed could mean all the difference for job satisfaction.
Reconcile truck maintenance costs with data
Truck maintenance costs can really add up and hit a business hard, especially when those payments are unexpected. A connected, real-time fleet management solution can help ensure routine maintenance appointments are kept and prevent unexpected service costs in their tracks.
Verizon Connect’s GPS tracking solutions can send scheduled service notifications directly to managers and drivers as soon as certain mileage or engine hours thresholds are reached. This data is continuously gathered, tracked and monitored for long-term optimal servicing plans for the vehicle and workers’ schedules.
At this time of year, while consumers enjoy increased sunshine and holidays like National Plant a Flower Day, landscapers and florists are pulling out all the stops to prepare for the peak season for their industry, particularly when it comes to managing trucks, drivers and deliveries. But no matter the industry, the end goal is to drive revenue while delivering an amazing customer experience. With the right GPS fleet tracking solution, drivers can get where they need to be quickly and efficiently, all while increasing customer satisfaction.