|Robert J. Hall|
As an HVAC contracting business, you are regularly sending your team into the field to work on air conditioners and refrigeration units at your customers’ homes. This requires a high level of trust between you and your employees. You must trust that your employees are going where you send them, arriving in a timely manner, providing professional services, and heading straight to the next job — and you don’t have any guarantee that it is happening.
Fleet tracking gives you the ability to see exactly where your drivers are, whenever you need to. Here are four ways fleet tracking can help you keep your drivers honest and accountable.
Tracking Driving Behavior
When you send a technician out to a service call, you are trusting that the employee will go to and from the job without unnecessary, unapproved stops. You have to hope the employee will not take side trips in the company vehicle on company time, and then return telling you the job or drive took longer than expected.
Fleet tracking programs will tell you where your technicians go every time they take out a vehicle. You will be able to see if they took an unapproved side trip, and you can deal with the action accordingly. The knowledge that you can track their whereabouts will help keep your employees honest.
Improved Customer Service with On-Time Drivers
Nothing will frustrate your customers as quickly as a technician who does not arrive on time to a scheduled appointment. Yet if a customer calls and complains about a late technician, and the employee claims he was on time, it’s one person’s word against the other’s. Fleet tracking will allow you to determine who is telling the truth.
Accurate Clocking of Hours
Employees are often tempted to add a few minutes to their time sheets when they are out in the field. They may head home early and “clock out” later, padding their paychecks a little. Some may claim overtime when they are not actually working. Fleet tracking with GPS prevents this because you will always know where the vehicles are. If you notice the vehicle is sitting in your employee’s driveway during hours he is clocked in, then you can take the necessary actions.
Helping Employees Police Themselves
While it may seem that fleet tracking turns you into the bad guy, constantly checking your employees’ whereabouts and keeping tabs on their hours, it probably will not. Many HVAC contracting companies find that informing their employees that company vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking encourages them to work efficiently. The simple fact that they have accountability for their on-the-road actions helps them make better choices.
The key to seeing greater honesty with fleet tracking programs is proper implementation of the program. To maximize your use of fleet tracking, introduce the program by explaining what the system will do and why it is being installed before installing it.
While you may have some backlash initially, over time you will find that your drivers accept the responsibility, and some even appreciate it. You will also find that when drivers have a clear understanding about what the system will do and why you are using it, they will start policing their own actions. This makes your job easier and improves your customer service and, ultimately, your bottom line.