The hard work of managing a successful plumbing business is about to get much easier. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about getting GPS for your plumbing fleet, now is the time to move on over to the greener side. The benefits of GPS fleet tracking for your business are simply too good to pass up, beginning with these.
No one has to tell you how impatient plumbing customers can be. Whether it’s frozen pipes, toilet cracks, or leaks spread throughout the house when plumbing emergencies occur, homeowners want relief right away.
The ability to provide spot-on estimates when it comes to arrival times provides instant peace of mind to customers and the ability to track the driver’s location as he approaches the home saves your dispatchers the chore of answering endless calls asking “Is he coming sometime this century?”
GPS fleet tracking allows you to provide accurate timetables while also providing you with the ability to let customers track your trucks as they are on the way. It’s a great way to make them happy and keep them satisfied with your service.
Lower Labor Costs for Your Business
An unintended consequence for many plumbing companies is that using GPS fleet tracking services reduces the number of hours drivers spend on the road. This allows them to finish their workdays faster and saves you a pretty penny on overtime payments when jobs run over due to long driving distances, circuitous routes, or time stuck in traffic. Over the course of a year, those savings can really add up.
Reduction in Fuel Costs
Fuel costs are no laughing matter to the average plumbing company. Depending on how many vehicles you have on the road, you understand the value of saving pennies on fuel whenever possible. GPS tracking allows you to work around slow and stalled traffic while still finding fuel saving routes to take from one job to the next saving your business time and money – everyone wins!
Improve Dispatching Ease
Dispatchers have a tough job most of the time. It’s not only a balance between which jobs are the biggest priority, but also knowing where all your trucks are at a given time and which ones are actually closer in time and distance to the next emergency on the list.
It takes time to sort out all the detail and make the decision for mere mortals. Something GPS tracking systems can do with only a few clicks of the mouse. This frees up personnel to take care of other important business on behalf of your plumbing company while ensuring your drivers and customers are still being properly taken care of.
With so many wonderful benefits and reasons to bring GPS fleet tracking into your plumbing business, the big question on everyone’s mind is “what’s stopping you?” Now is the perfect time to bring your business into the modern era and incorporate GPS fleet tracking and other new technologies designed to improve efficiency and help your plumbing company serve your community even better.
If you own or manage a plumbing company that uses one or more fleet vehicles, give LiveView GPS a call at 1.888.502.3636 to discuss your GPS fleet tracking and management needs.
Homeland Security wants to find out where immigrants go after crossing the Mexico-United States border, and will do so by tracking them with GPS tracking devices.
The Homeland Security Department in the United States decided to choose people who were caught attempting to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. after being released from their custody. They informed them that they would not force them back into Mexico, but in exchange for their release, would need to wear GPS tracking ankle bracelets and report back to them regularly.
The border being tracked is between Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. It began in September when there was a meeting between a group of immigrant advocates and the Homeland Security Department. The advocates informed the government agency that approximately 70 percent of immigrants who travel as families failed to report to immigration after they were released at the border.
Due to the high rate of no-sows, the Obama Administration tried opening up a temporary family jail in New Mexico at the Border Patrol’s training school. They want to help families, especially mothers who have young children with them, to avoid the poor and dangerous conditions of typical jails. They are hoping to house families who have been caught illegally crossing the border into the U.S. At the same time, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), was looking for other ways to track them, instead of forcing them into jails.
This is how they got the idea to use GPS tracking devices. The pilot program, being nicknamed RGV 250, began on December 1st. They are tracking the head of household for each family that is caught trying to cross the border, instead of asking the family to remain in jail. They will track them to be sure they return to the immigration office as requested. About 250 people are going to be tracked with this program. If the immigrants report to the ICE office on the date requested, their GPS device will then be removed.
This is currently a pilot program to see how it all works and how effective it is. If they notice a significant increase in immigrants that voluntarily go to the ICE office and report to them, they may expand the program. According to Jennifer Elzea, a spokeswoman for ICE, each immigrant family is carefully screened to decide if they should be released or detained. They want to be sure they are not releasing anyone who might be a threat to other citizens. Those who are deemed safe to be released will have the tracking device.
Time is indeed money, which is why fleet managers need to use effective methods to protect them from time theft by drivers. Without oversight, you are at the mercy of drivers taking long lunches, running personal errands and moonlighting.
Types of Time Theft
Taking a long lunch and doing personal errands are at the minor end of the scale when it comes to time theft. That isn’t to say it doesn’t add up, especially if you have a large number of drivers in your fleet.
But more serious is moonlighting, using your trucks and gear to perform jobs on the side. This is especially troublesome because it sets your company up for liability issues, which is potentially more costly than the theft involved.
The dangers come from several elements:
- If injuries occur during the moonlighting, they quite possibly will get reported as having happened on the job.
- If the worker is tired from working all weekend or part of the night, he can be so exhausted that he can easily cause an accident at work and get injured.
- You can suffer damage to your reputation if the worker does a substandard job.
- You can be liable for warranty costs if the worker wrongly convinces the customer that he is doing the job officially for your company.
- If an accident happens using the company vehicle, the company insurance rates might be affected and it must pay for uncovered repair costs.
How to Stop Time Theft
On the motivational front, educating drivers can help them understand how time theft hurts everyone because it makes such a hit on the company’s bottom line. When money is wasted, it can’t go to higher pay, better vehicles, timely repairs and worker benefits.
Some businesses have decided to work with the desire of those employees who want to start a side business. They have initiated accounting programs that discuss how to read a profit and loss statement, the difference between markup and profit margin, how to calculate the true cost of overhead and other business information.
In addition, they offer to help employees to openly establish a business. This sometimes takes the form of offering help with call taking, accounting and purchasing, in return for a stake in the new business. The idea is to set up the business outside of the service territory you have already claimed.
On a practical level, to stop time theft you need to get an accurate reporting of how actual hours worked by your drivers. Checking this takes the time, effort and money involved to watch your drivers throughout the day.
A better method is using a GPS fleet tracker management system. This gives you accurate time reporting, without requiring hours out of your day.
With a GPS fleet monitoring system, you are assured that your drivers are getting paid strictly for the time they work. It logs hours automatically, sending the data directly to payroll. They can track a range of data, including arrivals, departures, invoicing and schedules.
Oversight is how you tackle the problem of time theft. Driver education and GPS tracking can both be a part of the solution.