Fleet Management

GPS Trackers: Fixing a Hole in Trades & Services

The evolution of telematics and GPS tracking is changing the way the trades and services industry operates and the gains are too many to ignore lest you get swallowed by the competition. As part of a blog series that showcases real-life clients using Fleet Complete products in unexpected ways, we’ll look at how our IoT-powered tracking solutions help trades professionals streamline their productivity, lower their costs, and keep those 5-star ratings coming.

Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, landscapers, and other tradespeople of the world, raise your hand if any of these rings a bell:

“All this admin and paperwork cost me too many billable hours.”

“Some days I feel like I spend more time driving than doing my job.”

“I can’t afford to have a van break down, let alone lose any equipment.”

“If any of my workers make a bad impression, that’s a hit to my reputation.”

“If I don’t respond to customers fast enough, they’ll go to someone else.”

It’s nearly all of the above, right?

And if you’ve been in the trades business long enough, you know these are just some of the headaches that come with the territory. Right?

Well, not quite right – not anymore, at least. Thanks to advances in GPS tracking technology, many professionals in your field have put these annoyances in the past where they belong.

What Do GPS Trackers Have to Do With It?

Everything. Think prompt quoting and billing, on-the-fly scheduling, better-maintained vehicles and equipment, fuel savings, automated mileage logging. Or how about faster turnarounds and more time on your hands to take on more customers – or get some well-deserved rest?

You see, GPS trackers are no longer just about watching dots on a map. Powered by telematics and IoT, they form part of a digital ecosystem that connects your vehicles, your assets, and your remote workers in real-time – translating data into actionable insights for you to view on a single screen, wherever you are. Imagine being able to: 

  • Track staff and job status, and view progress updates on your smartphone or PC
  • Assign the closest available staff, give customers accurate ETAs, and bill automatically
  • Find and retrieve your tools and equipment fast if they’re lost, stolen, or left behind
  • Avoid unnecessary expenses or downtime with proactive maintenance scheduling
  • Pull up usage, performance, or productivity reports, to inform your business decisions

Can I See Some Real-Life Examples Please?

You bet! Contrary to what many business owners might think, telematics solutions can be both affordable and incredibly diverse. We serve a variety of trades professionals here at Fleet Complete, and these are just a few of the real-life scenarios we’ve worked with:

1. This Roll-Off Container Rental Company.

Roll-off bins can and do get misplaced – seen as they’re often spread out at various construction sites. Manually keeping track of their whereabouts can be tedious, but our client was also losing money due to missed or inaccurate invoicing.

That all changed with the AT1 Asset Tracker. All bins, outfitted with the device and connected to a dedicated Fleet Complete app, can be viewed on a map – complete with location history and usage stats. Digital fences (or Geofences) send a report once a bin leaves a client site. How many bins are rented out today? How long has this one been with the client? Is that one due for billing? What’s the nearest available bin to dispatch? The answers are right there on the screen.

2. This Commercial Cleaning Service.

Increasing employee safety and protecting their brand image are just two of the many wins for this company that chose to adopt telematics. Much-needed wins, no doubt: the client had been receiving a chorus of complaints about employees speeding or driving dangerously in company-branded vehicles. That’s a BIG no-no for any business that depends on word-of-mouth referrals.

Driver training was therefore of utmost importance. Thanks to a fleet tracking system, company drivers can now correct unsafe driving habits. What’s more, with the help of driver scorecards, managers can determine which drivers need additional training based on certain driving metrics – such as speeding, idling, or aggressive behaviour – and which ones should be rewarded for exemplary driving.

3. This Disaster Restoration Business.

To mitigate water damage, restoration specialists leave expensive drying equipment, like dehumidifiers or drier fans, running at the customers’ premises – sometimes for days on end. If you think this spells trouble, you’re spot on: customers often unplug these machines either because of the noise or because they’re worried about the utility bill. Some customers even move them outside where anyone can steal them! This forced our client to make several trips to the sites to keep track of their equipment and check on progress.

So they decided to kill both proverbial birds with one stone: GPS asset tracking. Hidden inside the machines, the devices prompt an alert when disconnected from power or moved from the specified location. As a result, our client is saving heaps of time and fuel – simply by avoiding all those unnecessary trips. If needed, they can trace lost or stolen equipment in a matter of minutes. Plus, they now have access to useful run-time stats for billing and maintenance purposes.

Why Should All That Matter to Me?

Because you know you’re good at what you do, and you deserve to stand out from the crowd. And this means arming your business with the best tools available in order to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that are bound to come your way.

In other words, because embracing telematics today can strengthen your professional standing for years to come – through a host of immediate benefits, such as:

Bigger Savings

There are the obvious savings from things like choosing faster routes to reduce fuel usage, and money saved from keeping all your equipment safe. Or from proactively scheduling maintenance to prevent unexpected repair costs.

But did you know that monitoring driver behaviour can save you money too?

It’s true. From breaking fuel-wasting habits like idling or harsh braking, to avoiding traffic tickets or negotiating better insurance premiums, fleet management software has more cost-cutting benefits than you might expect.

Less Paperwork

You don’t get paid to do paperwork – and it’s not like you aren’t busy enough as it is. So why spend all that time on mundane administrative tasks when you could be out there doing more billable work?

Fleet Complete’s automation helps you digitize everyday admin processes – invoicing, quoting, driver receipts, job tracking – so that you can get them out of the way in no time. Best of all, it stores everything safely in one place. So no more digging through huge piles of paper.

Better Service

Happy customers are your best advocates. But they’re a tough crowd to please these days.

If you’ve ever witnessed how a few negative reviews can harm a business, then you know why providing an excellent customer experience is essential. Fleet management software gives you the tools you need to reduce response times, communicate schedule changes, get quotes out in no time, and train your staff to inspire trust and loyalty to your company.

More Business

Add up all of the above – what do you get? More money to invest in the growth of your company, plus more time on your hands to win more business, plus more customers willing to do business with you!

With the trades industry growing at a faster rate, now is a great time to get ahead of the curve by investing in fleet management technology.

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