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Updated: August 20, 2019
In the fleet service industry, knowing the ins and outs of every facet of your field service operation is how you make your hours more productive and make your dollars work harder for you. It’s also how you proactively avoid snafus and problems that put the brakes on your business and damage valuable customer relationships.
For field service owners, managing your employees is a constant challenge of balancing workloads on a daily basis without reducing your own productivity level to zero by micromanaging instead of delegating responsibility. However, at the end of the day, you take ownership over how well your business runs and where efficiencies can be created within workflows, driver routes and customer schedules.
Dispatching drivers is an intricate tower of overlapping schedules, real-time breakdowns and limited availability all under heavy time constraints. Keeping your drivers on schedule and equipped with the right tools is priority number one for getting jobs completed on time and on budget, but without proper insight into the schedules of your drivers day in and day out you are putting yourself at an incredible disadvantage and risk.
In order to avoid confusion or crossing wires, owners and dispatchers can rely on GPS vehicle tracking solutions instead of manual processes to improve business efficiency. Having the ability to track, monitor and maintain your powered and non-powered assets is essential to keeping your business running smoothly, keeping customers satisfied and improving your reputation.
We’re taking a closer look at how implementing a GPS vehicle tracking solution can greatly improve your ability to improve scheduling and get the most out of your fleet.
The challenge of fleet scheduling
On any given day, managers and administrators are trying to schedule enough field technicians and drivers – not too few, not too many, but just enough – and at any moment last minute changes need to be accommodated for daily mishaps. As is the nature of the business, the work day can change in an instant – if several customers call in emergency orders, for example.
Even in instances where you have the right number of technicians on duty, without a comprehensive tracking solution in place, it’s difficult to have accurate visibility into when each tech will finish their current job. Additionally, how can dispatchers know who to send on emergency jobs – or whether its necessary to bring in an on-call tech?
Fortunately, GPS vehicle tracking can reduce this kind of confusion by helping managers and administrators understand how long jobs take on average by collecting data and creating benchmarks for average job completion time. This allows managers to schedule the right number of technicians for each day, and gives dispatchers a clear idea of who’s available should an emergency come up.
Benefits of GPS vehicle tracking solutions
A digital dashboard shows an interactive display of vehicle and driver activity in near real time, letting managers and dispatchers watch any trip from start up to shut down. Dispatchers can also monitor inactivity to ensure workers are only billing time for active hours on the job versus only on site.
If multiple customers phone in emergency job orders, dispatchers can easily reconfigure schedules using drag-and-drop options within the dashboard, letting them move technicians around based on availability and location. Technicians get an alert on their mobile device that their schedule has changed, and emergency job orders are filled instantaneously. This reduces the confusion of changing schedules and the amount of time managers need to spend micromanaging single assets in the field.
Furthermore, managers can easily compile and download digestible reports to gauge the average time a certain service takes, which lets them plan better for how many people to schedule on a given day. Read more about how a construction and demolition company partnered with its clients to provide customized solutions for numerous services including core drilling, flat sawing, wall sawing, wire sawing and demolition, while improving dispatches and boosting productivity.
Achieving the delicate balance between taking more job orders and ensuring you’re staffed enough to handle them alone is a difficult task. One more job can make a big impact on a company’s daily operations, but GPS vehicle tracking software gives the visibility and data to help make the important decisions on scheduling and dispatching. Utilizing GPS vehicle tracking solutions translates into less time micromanaging and more time growing your business.