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Southwest HVAC News Guest Column

Increase Efficiency with Trucking GPS
By: Robert J. Hall
Some companies eschew global positioning systems (GPS) simply because they survived so long without them. Certainly many companies do just fine without using GPS for their trucks. Yet the fact is, no matter how efficient your company is, installing GPS in your trucks and using it to track those trucks are two steps that increase your efficiency, making your business more streamlined and improving profits.

Faster Trips
The most obvious way to increase efficiency with trucking GPS is simply by giving your drivers the ability to find locations more quickly. This is especially true during the training process, when drivers are learning the details of a particular area. Thus, adding GPS serves as an excellent training tool for new drivers.

In industries such as the heating-ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC) and plumbing industries, drivers are often instructed to go to addresses on small streets that are not well-known. While a driver might have no problem getting to the correct side of town, the time spent tracking down the exact street and address can easily add up. GPS makes up for these small gaps in knowledge, allowing your employees to save time searching for a specific location.

Better Customer Service
One of the best ways trucking GPS increases efficiency is by providing better customer service. With tracking on your trucks, companies are able to provide real-time information to customers on issues such as:
• Inventory
• When a service person should be arriving
• Which vehicles are closest to a client's location

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This up-to-date, immediate-gratification customer service distinguishes your company from your competitors. At the same time, this type of service is something that consumers are quickly growing to expect. From pizza companies to the postal service, consumers are accustomed to finding out exactly what's going on with the product or service they are expecting. GPS helps your company stay on top of this growing trend and giving your customers what they want.

More Efficient Employees
Intentionally or unintentionally, employees sometimes perform their jobs in ways that don’t support company profits, such as when they spend too much time with the engine idling and wasting gas or when they speed frequently, wasting gas and incurring driving tickets and causing higher insurance rates. GPS allows you to know exactly what your employees are doing at all times, giving you "eyes" everywhere your company goes.

GPS tracking also reduces liability and increases work productivity by staying on top of what's going on in the field. Being able to track changes in each vehicle’s speed means that you can identify and address dangerous driving behaviors before they cost your company money. Getting real-time updates means you ensure that your employees stay on track, get to locations on time, and avoid spending unauthorized time not working.

Efficiency Affects a Lot
GPS improves the efficiency in a variety of ways for trucking companies. What's more, each of these improvements has subcategories, so making small tweaks to your efficiency has a bigger impact than you might expect. For example, GPS increases trucking efficiency in the following ways:

• When your drivers spend less time searching for locations, they also save on gas.
• When drivers save time, they are able to take more calls or perform more deliveries in a day.
• When you're able to have the closest truck respond to each call, you save money on gas as well as employee time.
• When you provide great customer service, you retain more customers and build a stronger reputation.
• When you reduce your liability with safer driving, you save on liability insurance.
• When your drivers stick to a safe speed limit, their gas mileage improves.

The increased efficiency that GPS technology brings to your company goes far beyond getting drivers to destinations more quickly. Using GPS is a sensible business choice for any business that uses trucks to provide a product or service. Both customers and employees expect access to this technology, and businesses that provide it thrive. This increased efficiency is quantifiable -- many companies quickly see an improvement in their bottom line.

About the author:
Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leading provider of vehicle GPS tracking devices and software for small and midsized companies.




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