14/04/2016 - Posted by Emily Healey
As businesses start to embrace the use of mobile technology and offer their employees more flexibility and freedom in how they work, many larger companies turn to GPS tracking technology to stay connected with their employees. Now, with the cost of GPS tracking technology coming down, it is becoming increasingly affordable for even small businesses to start using it. More than simply just a geographical locater, well designed GPS software can also access traffic information to map out the best route for your driver, monitor and report on driving patterns including speeding and other risky behaviours, as well as let you know if your staff are making any unauthorised stops or routes.
If you’re tracking a company delivery or service vehicle, knowing where your employees are while they’re out on the road can provide you with a lot of insight. With the information tracked through your GPS software you can see how long jobs are taking, how far away employees are from their next destination, if they are following the correct routes and any other information you need to determine whether they are where they should be without having to take their word for it. This means you can feel confident that they’re taking the quickest, most fuel efficient and direct route available, and that they’re not making any unnecessary stops along the way.
Knowing where your employees are allows you to provide customers with accurate information and updates regarding how far away they are. You won’t have to rely on vague promises that might not be kept, instead you can simply look up which job they are on or where along the way they are to the customer’s house and give them an estimated time of arrival based on that. With the right software you can even make this live information accessible directly to the customers allowing them to personally track their food order, package delivery or service person straight from an app on their mobile device or from your company website.
There are many factors that can affect scheduling when you have employees out on the road. Using a sophisticated GPS tracking system will keep you better informed and better equipped to handle any delays. Common causes of delays that can be tracked and monitored include crashes, scheduled road works, and any other road blockages or closures. Knowing if there is something that would delay your employee’s route allows you to assign them an alternative one to avoid the problem or if something has happened while they are already driving you can find out faster to let the customer know that the driver is running late, why and when they can expect them.
Having timestamped and geolocated records of your employee’s comings and goings provides you with a great tool for dispute resolution. You will no longer have to rely on one person’s word against another as your GPS tracking software provides accurate, reliable information as evidence. This is helpful if a delivery or service failed to take place as your employee can prove that they did go to the job’s location and how long they waited for the customer to arrive or open the door. It will also show you whether the employee arrived earlier or later than they were expected to be there by the customer.
Accountability is a big reason companies rely on GPS tracking software. When you have expensive equipment or vehicles in the hands of your employees, GPS tracking is one of the only ways you can be guaranteed that they are using the equipment responsibly and that no out of hours use of company property is taking place. This is very important for businesses to know, as the equipment or vehicle in the care of the employee is unlikely to insured for unauthorised use. This misuse can result in damage to company property, if the equipment or vehicle is branded it can negatively impact the company’s reputation, and it may cost the company money on things such as extra fuel, more frequent maintenance and otherwise unnecessary repairs.
With information gained from GPS tracking software you will also be able to better ensure your employees are using safe practices. If your employees drive a company vehicle with GPS tracking you can monitor their speed to see if they are following speed limits as well as whether their braking and acceleration speeds are safe or reckless. For employees who spend a long time on the road you can encourage them to take breaks when necessary as well as show them possible rest stops along their route which encourages safe and responsible driving. The aim in using this feature is to keep your employees performing at their best as well as keeping the driver, the other people on the road and your company property as safe as possible.
If you don’t have the resources to closely monitor your staff while they are out in the field GPS tracking offers a great solution. As with any surveillance there are restrictions to what you can and can’t do as well as what you need to make your staff aware of. At first the idea of GPS tracking may be met with resistance from employees but if you explain to them the advantages of using it such as providing them with the best routes, encouraging rest breaks on long trips, easier dispute resolution, and keeping customers happier while they’re waiting by providing them with a more accurate estimated time of arrival, they should begin to understand why it is a necessary and positive change for the business in order for it to perform at its best.