Vehicle tracking systems offer a lot of benefits for field service businesses: They let you know where your field service engineers are at all times, make scheduling more efficient, and even help you save on fuel and maintenance costs for your vans.
But standalone vehicle tracking software isn’t for everyone. Here’s how to know if you shouldn’t use a GPS fleet tracking system for your HVAC, plumbing, gas, electrical, or fire and security business.
Reason #1: You’re in the market for a free vehicle tracking system.
If you’re a smaller field service company, you may be tempted to save cash using a free vehicle tracking system. This results in what’s called false economy, where you try to save money…but end up spending even more in your quest for the cheapest solution. The NI Business Info website agrees that free software isn’t always good software.
First, even if you find a free vehicle tracker online, you still need to purchase a vehicle tracking device. These are not cheap, especially if you need to equip multiple vans!
Then, you’ll end up spending more money to get the functionalities you need to run and grow your business. These free vehicle tracking systems are meant for personal use, not business use, and they often set a limit on how many vehicles you can track. If your field service fleet grows beyond that number, you’ll have to start from scratch with a new system.
Not only that, but free apps aren’t known for their stellar customer support. This is a serious issue: Problems with a vehicle tracking system can cause your field service business to lose jobs and money—and if you use a free one you’ll have no one to turn to for help.
In the end, it may be better to not have a vehicle tracking system at all, as the costs of a free one can quickly outweigh the benefits.
Reason #2: You already use field service management (FSM) software.
The costs of using vehicle tracking systems add up pretty fast: You have to buy or rent the GPS fleet tracking devices, have them installed in each van, and pay a monthly fee.
Don’t get us wrong, for many field service businesses it’s worth the cost. However, if you’re already using—and paying for—field service management software, it may come with a GPS fleet tracking feature at no extra cost. Why pay twice?
If your GPS tracking system is integrated into your FSM software, not only will you save money—you’ll also be able to do way more with it than simply track your service vans. For example, depending on the software, you may also be able to:
- Offer your customers an Uber-style link so they can track the engineer’s journey.
- Use the GPS fleet tracking feature along with the software’s scheduling feature to optimise routes.
- Cost out each route, in terms of mileage and fuel, to make sure you earn a profit on every job.
Don’t pay more for a vehicle tracking system that does less. Ask your FSM software provider if their solution integrates GPS fleet tracking so you can save money and get more done. If it doesn’t, check out Commusoft’s Real-Time Vehicle Tracking feature, which does all of the above and more.
Reason #3: You want a vehicle tracking system mainly so you can micromanage your field service engineers.
Implementing a vehicle tracking system for the wrong reasons can hurt your business.
When you implement a GPS fleet tracking system, the idea of trust comes into play: Your engineers may feel that you’re tracking them because you’re worried they’ll slack off instead of working, run away with your van, or break driving laws.
We all know how hard it is to attract, recruit, and keep skilled field service engineers: According to an article in Field Service News, ‘Many of the UK’s engineering employers are suffering from skills gaps, shortages and an aging workforce.’ If your only reason for using a vehicle tracking system is to watch over and manage your engineers’ every move, you could end up with a lot fewer engineers; no one wants to work for an employer who doesn’t trust them.
Don’t make micromanagement your number one reason when there are so many good reasons to implement a vehicle tracking system! If you’re not interested in any of the benefits besides keeping tabs on lazy engineers, better to skip the GPS fleet tracking altogether, work on building trust with your employees, and focus on optimising other parts of your business.
(On the flip side, if a vehicle tracking system is right for you, ensure your engineers that it’s to help streamline your business and improve customer service, and not to spy on them as they work. And be sure to take a look at Commusoft’s Real-Time Vehicle Tracking feature, too.)
Is a vehicle tracking system in your future?
Want to implement GPS fleet tracking, streamline your business, and manage your workflow—all at the same time? Consider FSM software that comes with a vehicle tracking feature.
Commusoft, the cloud-based, all-in-one job management system for field service companies, offers a Real-Time Vehicle Tracking feature that does everything you need it to, and that can grow with your business as well. If you’re interested in learning how Commusoft can help your business, take a tour, watch the demo, and get in touch if you’d like more information.