Times are difficult for small businesses. But small businesses with vehicle fleets have it even tougher than most.
Fleet costs continue to rise while business slows. In some cases, drivers don’t do all that they can to be most productive and mitigate costs. And time is always an issue. Two-thirds of small business owners work over 40 hours per week, with one in five working 80 or more hours per week according to a poll conducted by office-supply giant Staples.
Fleet owners also deal with a host of other daily issues that can wear down even the most hardened manager: billing disputes, driver whereabouts unknown,deliveries to the wrong address, drivers getting lost, drivers missing in action… the list goes on.
All of this while trying to handle service issues and run a profitable business. It’s no wonder that many small business owners feel they don’t have the time to get everything done and spend enough quality time with family.
However, the growth in the popularity of GPS tracking systems has heralded a new way for small businesses with vehicle fleets to do business. It’s a complete paradigm shift and early adopters are already realizing the significant cost savings and other benefits of installing GPS tracking in their fleets.
“A GPS tracking system is really a complete management tool,” said Robert Drucker, Owner of Boston Global Tracking,a leading GPS vehicle tracking provider. “In this economy, cash flow is king. GPS tracking helps business owners maintain enough liquidity to weather hard times by easily reducing costs and improving efficiency.”
Cutting Costs While Improving Business
Traditionally, cost-cutting measures tend to result in reduced service and decreased customer satisfaction. To cut costs business owners often have to cut customer reward programs, customer service initiatives, discount programs and marketing. This usually results in a self-defeating cycle that can further reduce sales.
With GPS fleet tracking, business owners not only cut costs, but they actually improve their business model.
“After installing GPS tracking from Boston Global Tracking, we saw an immediate ROI,” said Bill Douglas,owner of Echo Systems Pest Management in Hanover, MA. One vital way Boston Global Tracking GPS fleet tracking can help small businesses decrease costs is by reducing fuel consumption. Fleet owners have the ability to ensure drivers take the most direct routes to job sites, eliminate unauthorized journeys, reduce idle times and dispatch drivers nearest to a job site.
The Aberdeen Group, the leading research group focused on understanding the measurable results of technology in business, recently found that firms that utilize location intelligence (GPS tracking) have seen a 13.2 percent reduction in fuel costs and a 13.4 percent reduction in overtime costs.
In addition to reducing fuel consumption, GPS vehicle tracking can reduce billing disputes and provide accurate payroll. For example, the Boston Global Tracking solution provides fleet owners with accurate information on when a vehicle arrives and departs a job site and then compiles the data in managementreports.
These reports can be used to determine how long an employee worked at a job site and provide accurate invoicing, In addition, the management reports can serve as automated and accurate time sheets for employee payroll operations.
Choosing the Right GPS Solution
There are literally hundreds of GPS vehicle tracking suppliers on the market,making it difficult to choose which system will work best for your business. The key is to find a company that delivers a GPS solution that contains in-depth reporting, ease of use, reliable connectivity and excellent customer service.
In-depth reporting features provide small business owners with the data needed to make sound business and efficiency decisions regarding fleet vehicles and drivers. In addition, accurate reporting of speed, vehicle usage,idle times,and start up and shut down can be utilized as part of an employee reward program to encourage fuel-efficient and safe driving habits.
Many GPS tracking companies create their solutions from a technical viewpoint without considering theusability of the system. A GPS company must understand the needs of business owners and have extensive experience in serving the small business market to greatly enhance the positive results of GPS implementation.
Another consideration is system uptime. Be sure to ask any prospective GPS company how often their system is online and how often they experience disconnections.
Finally, customer service should be a major consideration when choosing a GPS solution. With the growth of demand in GPS tracking, flimsy companies have sprouted up offering discounted services with poor-quality systems and even poorer customer service.
Reputable GPS companies will be responsive to customer service, technical and training requests. In fact, the best GPS companies provide these services at no additional costs to their customers.