Your service technicians are arguably the most important element in building your company’s success. As the front-line employees who work with your customers, their quality of work and handling of challenges can build your reputation and create more leads as your status grows.
According to a study by the International Data Corporation, new business models resulting from the implementation of new technology will generate almost 50% of revenues for businesses by the end of 2019. Utilizing technology to manage your field personnel (e.g., telematics or GPS fleet tracking, mobile resource management) can ensure your business keeps on top of this trend and builds a competitive edge within your market.
Make Decisions with Up-to-Date Data
One of the greatest advantages telematics and mobile resource management technology offers for today’s business is the ability for managers to make decisions using near real-time data. By automating the process of monitoring crew activity and location, you’re in a great position to make adjustments on the fly to improve productivity and responsiveness. When an emergency or urgent job arises, you can use this data to move resources around in the most efficient manner possible.
By directing crews using near real- time data, you ensure one issue is being addressed without creating another challenge down the line by minimizing disruptions to the entire business. Technicians finishing up at one site can be redirected to assist others. Service personnel running ahead of schedule can be deployed to new jobs that pop up during the day. Quick and efficient response times can go a long way in building trust with your clients by demonstrating your business can meet their needs when they arise.
Provide Valuable Answers Fast
These solutions give your field crews the power to help customers immediately. Making access to this kind of technology available through user-friendly apps on their mobile devices allows your technicians to address questions and keep records on the spot. If there’s a question about price or availability of a part, your crew can get answers immediately.
Questions about logistics and work orders are easily addressed or even prevented altogether when your crews can access information easily and any time. You can even set up automated alerts to notify you about new work orders or challenges in real time, so you can address needs as soon as they come up.
Build Optimized Processes
Building an effective and proactive process for employees is one of the most powerful tools in creating a high- profit company. Mobile resource management and GPS fleet tracking solutions help businesses establish helpful processes for field personnel by giving them a simple and accessible database to log their daily activities. Building a customized process for your business allows you to track specific metrics that are helpful for your unique goals and challenges. This capability not only allows you to intervene when a technician is failing to meet those processes, but it also allows you the opportunity to find out where the process could be improved to help the service crews be more efficient.
This technology provides an accurate view of where and with whom improvements can be made. By addressing challenges quickly and effectively using data, you can reduce waste while increasing profits.
Cut Unnecessary Costs
Telematics helps businesses optimize driving routes possible for their service crews, providing the opportunity to save money on fuel costs and improve the productivity of service personnel.
Using technology to optimize driving routes has saved some businesses more than $500 per year per vehicle on fuel costs. It also decreased workdays by up to 20%, allowing for significant savings on labor costs.
With the power to track their job progress at their fingertips, technicians can log their own work hours. This makes for a smoother tracking process back in the home office. Eliminating paper timecards reduces errors or lost documents in the field and automates a time-consuming process that often creates headaches for office staff. Allowing workers to check in using a mobile device keeps tabs on labor and accurate depictions of how long it takes to complete a job.
A study found 70% of businesses utilizing technology integrated time and attendance data with their web scheduling and payroll systems. This not only allowed those businesses to cut down on time card errors, but also helped them find ways to improve service crew efficiency.
Streamlining these payroll processes takes the labor out of labor costs while protecting crews and the company. A centralized database allows you to track service crew information to make sure you’re in compliance with any federal rules and allows quick access to information in the event of an audit.
Protect Your Assets
A key challenge for any business is making sure its assets are being used properly. Fleet tracking technology can be used to address, errant routes or unscheduled stops and provide coaching points to avoid long-term bad habits.
Telematics also allows you to monitor aggressive driving of vehicles that can lead to extra wear and tear. Addressing these poor driving habits can cut down on maintenance costs and protect your business from additional costs incurred by an accident caused by aggressive driving tactics.
This technology also can keep an up-to-date inventory of all your assets. By tracking mobile devices, tools vehicles and other equipment, you can discover theft in a timely manner and report it to police. Vehicle tracking software also assists authorities in locating stolen vehicles so you can get your equipment back as fast as possible.
Encourage Safe Driving
Traditional driver training generally involves education on safety initiatives when an employee is first hired. Using technology to track driving habits lets you see where safety improvements can be made to prevent accidents before they happen.
A database of near-real time driver information can spot areas where more training may be needed. The ability to identify trends of unsafe driving behavior means you can address bad habits across the system and confront them both on a team and individual basis.
Rich data of driving habits allows you to implement comprehensive ongoing safety program while tracking their progress. Incentives or contests can be set up for employees as part of the ongoing initiative to further encourage development of safer driving habits.