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For plumbing businesses, being efficient typically refers to how quickly technicians perform jobs in the field. While this is certainly a big part of the equation, efficiency also refers to what happens inside the walls of the business.
In order to reach the highest level of productivity, it’s imperative to do away with manual process back at the office, as well as with being effective out in the field. Using GPS-tracking technology to automate processes and implement new fleet management methods allows plumbing businesses to work more effectively than ever before.
So how exactly does GPS-tracking software offer a smarter, more efficient approach to fleet management? Not only does it replace inefficient processes, it allows plumbing businesses to proactively manage their fleets. By selecting an intuitive and user-friendly platform, it takes the manual work out of fleet management altogether.
While there is no doubt the trend of automation makes life easier in many ways, it also provides the ability to take a smarter approach to tracking cost for plumbing businesses. Using GPS tracking eliminates the paperwork and manual processes associated with tracking payroll, fuel expenses, labor costs, billable hours and job costing, which saves countless hours that would have otherwise been spent quantifying this data.
Tracking costs with GPS tracking reduces the time required to complete this task, which allows fleet managers to analyze the results in-depth. It is important for fleet managers to analyze expenses to ensure the business is not spending more than necessary on fuel, labor, maintenance or any other overhead costs.
Monitoring all fleet expenses with a GPS-tracking solution allows fleet managers to effortlessly identify unnecessary costs and take action right away.
Bridge the gap
For any business with a mobile workforce continuously on the move, there is a need to streamline communication from the office to technicians in the field.
Without a GPS-tracking system in place, back-office personnel can spend several hours a day making phone calls and sending texts to drivers for location updates and ETAs for upcoming stops. Gaining fleet visibility with GPS tracking eliminates this wasted time, allowing plumbing businesses to complete more jobs per day.
Plumbing & A/C Medic, a residential and commercial plumbing businesses providing 24-hour emergency plumbing and HVAC services to customers in Phoenix, Arizona, had its dispatcher making 150 phone calls to drivers per day on average for location and ETA updates.
Since implementing GPS tracking, it has reduced these phone calls to virtually zero. When the need to find out technician locations, ETAs, or even add in a new job for a technician, it can all be done within the platform.
Along with eliminating phone calls, plumbing businesses use GPS tracking to dispatch resources more efficiency, send information from the job site to the office instantly, automatically track time onsite and the number of visits for billing and more.
With GPS tracking in place, processes are streamlined and information becomes immediately actionable. There is no lag period that can increase the chance of error, which can make a significant impact in areas such as billing, inventory and payroll.
It’s common for plumbing businesses to require several types of software to get a full picture of what’s happening with their fleet operations, daily workflow and finances.
Whether it be accounting, field service management or plumbing service software, it saves time and allows plumbing businesses to use the information most effectively by sharing data between platforms.
As integration becomes standard in fleet operations, so much so that many users are not aware an integration is implemented on the backend, plumbing businesses are realizing how sharing data between platforms simplifies data management considerably and helps to make better business decisions.
Integrating GPS-tracking data with other data platforms provides a complete view into fleet operations without the need to log in to multiple interfaces. Most software should be able to send data back and forth to streamline daily workflow. Businesses that integrate GPS-tracking data with other backend systems can verify payroll accuracy at the click of a button, improve dispatch efficiency and much more.
One of the most time-consuming practices for fleet managers is heading into the yard to manually log odometer readings and runtimes for every vehicle in the fleet.
That’s why many plumbing businesses are recognizing the benefit in automating maintenance management with GPS tracking. Manually tracking odometer readings and services is not only an inefficient use of time, it often results in critical maintenance oversights. With electronic odometer readings, there will be no need to manually check vehicle mileage; fleet managers will already know this information.
The most important use for automating maintenance is ensuring important services are never missed. Setting automated maintenance reminders for services like oil changes, tire rotations, emission testing and registration renewals will notify fleet managers and/or drivers via email or SMS when their vehicles are due for service.
Using GPS tracking to automate maintenance ensures all services are up-to-date, which may prevent expensive repairs and extend the life of the fleet.
To obtain even better results and best serve their customers, plumbing businesses are using GPS-tracking technology to work smarter than ever before.
While focusing on technician productivity is often the primary crux point for businesses looking to increase efficiency, examining current processes in the back office can be greatly impactful when implementing more efficient workflows. By automating manual processes and using fleet data more strategically, plumbing businesses can save time, increase productivity, and ultimately increase revenue.
Jenny Shiner is the marketing communications manager for GPS Insight. She is responsible for external marketing communication for all business segments that GPS Insight targets.