How LiveViewGPS Vehicle Tracking System Helps Squeegee Pro Clean Up its Bottom Line
Squeegee Pro is an Orange County, Calif. based residential and commercial window cleaning company that also offers power washing, gutter cleaning and mini-blind cleaning.
Like many small companies with a fleet of remote mobile workers, Squeegee Pro was unable to track vital information such as vehicle location; the amount of time spent on a job, travelling between jobs and idling; the best route to take; whether vehicles were being driven safely; and when they would show up at a job.
"We simply had no effective way to track crews," explains Elizabeth Meehan, Squeegee Pro manager. "Our only direct link was to telephone our crews, which isn't the wisest decision when they are in the field washing windows and working with water. And of course we didn't want them fumbling for their cell phone when they were up on a ladder."
When customers asked when a cleaning crew would arrive, Meehan was put in an embarrassing position.
"The only way to locate a crew was to call them, but we hesitated to do this for safety reasons. Also, California has strict laws about talking on cell phones without hands-free devices, so if I called a crew in their vehicle they often didn't answer."
The inability to track its crews also affected Squeegee Pro's bottom line. With gasoline priced between $3 and $4 a gallon, fuel costs are a major expense. Adding to this expense are factors such as speeding, idling, poor route choice and unauthorized use of company vehicles.
For example, if a fleet of five vehicles idles one hour a day-whether in traffic or driver behavior-the yearly idling cost is $7,200 based on gas costing $4 a gallon.
Speeding increases maintenance costs, fleet insurance premiums, fuel expenses and liability if there is an accident. Speeding, combined with rapid starts and stops, also burns more fuel and wastes money. Research shows driving at lower speeds can save up to 14% in gasoline consumption.
One proven method for increasing fleet efficiency and productivity while lowering operating costs is a fleet GPS tracking system. In the past, these systems were so expensive only large companies could afford them.
Fortunately, several companies now offer such systems for smaller companies.
The LiveViewGPS vehicle tracking solution
When Squeegee Pro made the commitment to install a GPS fleet tracking system, Elizabeth Meehan spent considerable time carefully evaluating different systems from different companies.
After comparing features, benefits, ease of use, price and potential return on investment, she selected LiveViewGPS' Live Trac G5 Vehicle Tracking System. This next-generation live vehicle tracking system features 10-second vehicle tracking along with a highly sensitive GPS receiver that works where other GPS trackers fail.
Equally important is how easy it was to install and use the system. The state-of-the-art web-based Live Trac GPS Vehicle Tracking System is integrated with Microsoft's Virtual Earth Mapping system, permitting Squeegee Pro to locate all vehicles 24/7 from a GPS-enabled computer screen, cell phone or iPad. Now the company can:
- Watch vehicles turn-by-turn live, including current speed, direction and location
- Grouped vehicles by region
- Receive speed and boundary alerts, which are automatically text messaged to any e-mail address or cell phone
- Obtain over a dozen reports suh as start/stop reports, vapor trail reports, route alerts, ignition alerts, aggressve driving, excessive idling and more
We've been using the G5 tracking system for over a year, and I wish we'd gotten it sooner," Meehan says. "Now we can monitor our entire fleet with just the click of a mouse. It's such a valuable tool, I can't imagine operating our business without it.
"The system has definitely helped improve our business efficiency in a variety of ways, from saving fuel to customer service. It's also a great tool for us to make sure our guys are safe while they're driving and on the job."
GPS Vehicle Tracking Benefits
Squeegee Pro routinely makes use of the GPS vehicle trackers' live data and reports to increase their fleet's efficiency. By monitoring fuel usage, job costing and overtime, they've improved the company's operation efficiency. Determining the best routes also helps Squeegee Pro maximize productivity, which means they can often add another job or two during the day, which adds to their bottom line.
Equally important, customer satisfaction has also increased.
"Customers often call, wanting to know when our crew will arrive," Meehan notes. "While the customer is on the phone I can look at the screen, watch the vehicle live and tell the customer our crew's exact location and when to expect them. We were never able to do that before."
When drivers are aware their company uses GPS tracking, they are less likely to deviate from their planned route. As a result, moonlighting, personal or unauthorized vehicle use, false or exaggerated time sheets, late workday starts and excessive lunch breaks are significantly reduced or eliminated. In fact, studies show that drivers are nearly 100 times less likely to break the rules when they know they're being tracked and held accountable.
"We went 10 years without something like this, but I can't imagine running the business without it now," asserts Paul Slaney, Squeegee Pro operations manager. "I like the system because it shows how long a crew spends on a particular job, which helps me with pricing and scheduling.
"The system is surprisingly cost effective and definitely pays for itself. It also improves the quality of our customer service, makes office and labor management much easier and keeps drivers from speeding, which reduces our insurance rates.
Many companies report they recoup the cost of the Live Trac G5 GPS Vehicle Tracking system and monthly fee in just a few months. The return on investment (ROI) is fast.
"LiveViewGPS' G5 Vehicle Tracking System is absolutely worth every penny, and the monthly fee is not expensive at all," Meehan concludes. "It basically keeps everybody happy: management, crews and especially our customers."