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Businesses in the utilities industry owe it to their on-road staff and clients that their service is both safe and efficient. Whether your customers want plumbing maintained, internet connected, stereo systems set up or electrical wiring fixed, you can use telematics to gain visibility into day-to-day operations, help reduce costs and makes sure your staff get back to their families safely.

Keep Track Of Costs

As a business, maximising revenue where possible is a necessity. Telematics helps track costs, allowing you to see where you can minimise spend. Drivers can log in at the start and end of jobs – this information is sent back to the office for billing and time sheeting. As well as improving the accuracy of invoices and payroll, it frees up administration, who would otherwise spend hours collating data and making estimates. This can mean the difference between gaining or losing clients. When prospective customers get in touch, you’re also able to forecast, schedule and quote more efficiently as you have better information at your fingertips.

Vehicle tracking ensures employees don’t use their vehicle to moonlight for extra work or use their fuel cards on personal expenses. You’re able to cross-reference the vehicle’s location to fuel top-up times and time spent on-site.

Good Communication is Good Business

It’s easy for third parties to point the finger when you rely on word of mouth for your business. If an employee is stuck in traffic and running late, keeping everyone in the loop generally requires many phone calls. The driver needs to pull over and cause further delays or ignore it altogether, which leaves you stressed. GPS fleet tracking software allows businesses to assign jobs to drivers from the in-cabin device, as well as receive real-time updates of their location and estimated time of arrival. The two-way messaging system lets you know if a driver has seen your message or has sent a response. You and the client don’t need to be left in the dark about when the driver will arrive.

Safe And Sound

Changes to the Chain of Responsibility coming later this year means that employers with heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonne must ensure all parties that hold influence over the operation are doing all they can to run a compliant business – this includes everyone from the director to the driver and everyone in between. This includes fatigue management (when your vehicles are over 12 tonne) - using Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) automates the process of calculating work and rest periods and sending data back to base for real-time reporting & auditing.

Any other types of vehicles fall under Workplace Health & Safety legislation meaning you have an obligation to identify and control risks. Given that Safe Work Australia data over a 10-year period found that 65 per cent of workplace fatalities involved a vehicle, better insight into what’s really happening on the road will go a long way to improve driver safety.

While keeping your team safe is always a top priority, it’s hard to know exactly what is happening while they’re out on the job. Telematics allows you to keep an eye out on poor behaviours and address them before they become a bigger problem. Things such as sharp turning, harsh braking or speeding is detected and sent back to the head office, as well as alerting the driver so they can take immediate action.

Increase Productivity

With the ability to send routing information direct to the driver, they can get to the next job using the most efficient route, maximising the number of clients they can visit in a single shift. When a call comes into your operator, they can instantly see where the entire fleet is and direct the job to the closest driver. Add that to the reduced paperwork demands on both drivers and administration staff, then it frees everyone up to focus their energy on the type of work that brings value to the business. Finally, telematics allows you to set up maintenance schedules, so you can plan your services to minimise the time vehicles need to spend in the shop, especially during busy periods.

Why use a screw driver when a drill can do the job quicker, easier, and with much less effort? Using out-of-date or unnecessarily manual practices to service your clients and fleet just doesn’t make sense. Telematics makes it simple for your utility business to get a handle on operations, help employees to deliver better results to clients make better and more informed decisions, and see a better return on investment.

How to manage your SMB fleet more effectively

ON THE ROAD TO SUCCESS WITH GPS FLEET MANAGEMENT

Operating a fleet is typically the 3rd largest expense in a business. It's also the most addressable cost. This is where GPS fleet management can give your business a valuable competitive edge. 

EBOOK: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SMB FLEET MORE EFFECTIVELY

Chris L'Ecluse is a Solution Specialist - Enterprise at Teletrac Navman.

Chris L'Ecluse is Solution Specialist at Teletrac Navman and a Work, Health & Safety guardian angel. A qualified Master Driver Trainer, Chris has extensive experience, knowledge and background to educate industries on work, health & safety laws and safe driving behaviour.