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4 Surprising Problems Solved by GPS Tracking for Field Service Engineers

July 10, 2018 - Team Management - 5 minutes

You already know the basic benefits of engineer tracking with GPS:

  • You can see where your engineers are at all times,
  • You can call customers if you notice an engineer is running late,
  • You boost the chances of recovery if your vehicle is stolen.

But is that it?

Not by a long shot!

Real-time GPS tracking also has the surprising benefit of solving several other problems that field service businesses face every day.

Let’s explore four of them, all in more detail:

How GPS Tracking Helps Your Business

Real-time vehicle tracking will:

  1. Lower vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.
  2. Give you a better idea of how much to charge per job.
  3. Increase safety and reduce the risk of speeding tickets.
  4. Increase how engaged your engineers are. (Yes, you read that right!)

Below, we’ve taken a look at the problems you may be facing and explained how GPS tracking can help solve them. Ultimately, giving your business greater oversight over vans and vehicles means it’s much easier to improve the quality of service given and received by field service engineers, your customers, and your business overall!

Vehicle Fleet Problem #1:Vehicle maintenance costs are draining your wallet.

Your fuel costs are skyrocketing, and your service vans seem to need repairs more than they should…but you don’t know why.

GPS Solution: Van tracking software shows you where your money’s going.

It’s all about engineer management, and vehicle tracking software can help by giving you a handle on engineers’ driving habits that may be driving up fuel and repair costs.

For example, Commusoft’s Real-Time Vehicle Tracking feature not only lets you see the speeds your engineers are driving at, but it also logs the number of times an engineer speed above 100km/hr, or aggressively brakes, accelerates, or corners—all actions that increase the wear and tear on your service vans.

Once you have this data, you can provide extra training for the engineers who need it.

Using a GPS tracker will also help you cut down on unauthorised travelling—like when an engineer decides to drive a few kilometres out of their way to get a burger for lunch, or uses a van after hours to do jobs on the side—a practice that bumps up your fuel and maintenance costs.

Intelligent scheduling game

Vehicle Fleet Problem #2: You’re not making enough profit per job.

Your method for setting prices is to look at how much you’ve charged in the past for similar jobs. So why are your profits tanking?

GPS Solution: Vehicle tracking software gives you profit-building insights.

The data you get from real-time GPS tracking is invaluable in helping you set prices that let you turn a nice profit—every time.

When you know exactly how long jobs take, including drive time, you have a better idea of what to charge so you can accurately list the cost on the invoice to your customer.

Do some minor calculations regarding fuel consumption and vehicle depreciation per job, and you can fine-tune your fees even further.

For more help, download our free pricing calculator template for field service engineers.

You may also want to take a look below at The Customer Communication Toolkit!

It contains free templates to help improve the invoicing emails you send, making it more likely customers will respond quickly, too!

Invoice template

Vehicle Fleet Problem #3: Your safety record is less than impressive.

Safety is key for field service businesses; we don’t need to tell you why traffic tickets, poor driving, and accidents are bad for everyone involved.

GPS Solution: Engineer tracking software keeps their eyes on the road—and on safety.

The same benefits that reduce your fleet maintenance costs also increase the safety of your engineers, other people on the road, and your fleet. Again, you can pinpoint which engineers are driving unsafely and take action as needed.

To turn the fear of punishment into the motivation of a reward, try offering incentives for engineers who have the best safety records. When money or other goodies are on the line, your engineers are sure to slow down and take it easy. FleetNews has a good article on what to include in a driver safety incentive program, plus the pros and cons.

Just be sure to stress to your engineers that while on-time arrival is important, it’s even more important to drive cautiously. Remember: With vehicle tracking, if an engineer is running late you’ll see it and be able to give the customer a courtesy call as well.

Vehicle Fleet Problem #4: Your engineers are unmotivated and unengaged.

Engineers working in the field can feel isolated and disconnected from the rest of your business. Disengaged engineers care less about their work and your customers than engaged ones—and they sometimes quit.

GPS Solution: Engineer tracking software makes them part of the solution.

Tracking your engineers makes them accountable for the success of the business. It’s not just them rolling around town on their own—they can see that the way they drive, the routes they take, and their on-time record impacts the entire business.

And the better the business does, the more they might get paid!

When you explain the reasons for implementing the GPS system and the importance of your engineers’ safety, they’ll also feel more like a part of the business than like a lone worker. This article in Entrepreneur explains why transparency fosters trust.

The Takeaway on engineer tracking.

Now that we’ve shown you how GPS tracking for field service engineers can solve some of your biggest problems, it’s time to solve even more. And what better way to solve problems than by communicating clearly and accurately with your customers?

For assistance with all sorts of communications, click below check out our free Toolkit:

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Linda is a long-time journalist and content writer in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.