“If a GPS system helped you take on one extra job per week, and if overtime payments could be reduced by a couple of hours per week, what would your return be per employee?”
Landscape contracting is labour intensive. With many vehicles, drivers and sites to manage, and customers spanning a wide radius, a popular tool for improving workforce productivity is GPS tracking. A good tracking system doesn’t just tell you where your vehicles are, it provides information that is directly relevant to your business operations. The following points will help you choose a system with the strongest reporting capabilities:
- Which reports will I need to improve productivity and operating costs?
Accurate timesheets teamed with late arrival and early departure alerts will reduce undue overtime claims and ensure your customers get the hours of service that they pay for. Matt O’Conner, Managing Director of John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance advises “Quartix vehicle tracking lets you take control of your fleet, improve operational efficiency and manage costs, safety and time.”
Tracking reports also provide proof of attendance on-site, and the data is useful in response to customer queries.
- Which reports can identify actions needed to lower fuel costs?
To help your drivers become more fuel efficient, you must know how your vehicles are being driven. Reports that include daily route logs, driving style reports with acceleration and braking metrics and geofencing alerts to flag unauthorised journeys and unwarranted use of company fuel can help. “It doesn’t happen often, but if a driver does use our vehicle at a non-agreed time, we will see that on the system,” says Julie Renshaw of John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance. Helping a driver to improve their driving style can lower fuel costs significantly, in fact by up to 25% (Frost and Sullivan 2015).
- What other fleet insights can help reduce costly overheads?
Real-time vehicle utilisation reports, often extending to ride-on equipment, ensure fewer vehicles are out of action and reduce unnecessary costs. Keeping all your fleet on the road will help to increase your capacity to service and charge customers. Some tracking systems also allow you to set up vehicle MOT, service and maintenance reminders.
One of the reasons that Worcestershire-based Whiting Landscape opted for Quartix vehicle tracking was to monitor staff remotely. With most work completed on customer premises, the company could unknowingly lose a lot of money if staff were to leave early or arrivie late.
Quartix also offers the ability to identify your nearest vehicle to a postcode, so that you can best deal with requests in real-time. In one instance a John O’Conner driver had unintentionally parked a company van in an unsafe place. With this feature of the system, staff were able to quickly identify the driver and contact him about the issue.
- How will a GPS tracking system support and help my drivers?
The contracting market is competitive, and it’s critical to keep operational costs low and ensure quotes are competitive to help the business grow. Share these motivations with your workforce and encourage them to embrace GPS tracking by introducing incentives for exemplary driving behaviour, e.g. most improved driving style or most jobs completed on time. John O’Conner runs a staff incentive scheme, whereby the two best scoring drivers receive cash prizes each month, provided all drivers meet a certain standard.
Your drivers are also well covered when it comes to false claims about their driving or punctuality. “Quartix vehicle tracking actually works in our drivers’ defence, it’s their personal protection in case of unfair claims”, Matt O’Conner explains.
Drivers can be given access to their own tracking data and driving scores via the Quartix mobile app. This provides immediate feedback on their daily trips and lets them take control of their own progress.
With Quartix, short-term and rolling contracts offer you optimum flexibility – should your number of vehicles change, you aren’t tied in for several years. If you have a fleet of 40+ vehicles, special rates and longer-term contracts are optional.