Archive | January, 2012

GPS Tracking – How will the employees feel?

27 Jan

I have found that in general, most of the employees will accept the implementation of GPS Tracking to be a part of a management strategy to improve their daily operation. Once the employees are notified (note: about half of our customers will have the units installed covertly for the initial period of a couple of weeks to acquire baseline data before informing their employees) it is important for management to have a frank discussion on why the decision was made and how the technology will be used.

The solution we represent is vehicle-based which simply means that an organization is monitoring its own property regardless of who happens to be driving.

We have found that most of the behavior of the field worker is not malicious, but rather actions that were not held accountable and the individual did not realize how all of the little things add up: Ten minutes late to a frantic residential heating service call because they stopped for coffee on the way. Going to a favorite restaurant for lunch miles away, when there were plenty of choices near the jobsite. The Aberdeen Group has found that organizations that deploy GPS Tracking find on average: a 32% decrease in daily mileage and a 23% increase in daily productivity.

Once there is enough GPS data – it would be a good time to have a company meeting. Using real examples of the actions without having to identify the offending party is a good way to identify behavior that needs to be modified.

A handbook stating policy is ideal so that there are no misconceptions.

Management can’t stress enough that the more efficient everyone is, the more prosperous it would be for all. Encourage two way dialog between the field worker and their supervisors…there might be a very valid reason for certain actions in the field.

It might be a good idea to reward individuals who perform their jobs well. Management will have all of the data to actually create an employee scorecard which takes the personality out of a rating and backs the ranking with facts. Everyone will know where they stand and can work on ways to improve so that, they too, can get the bonus.

Lastly, the one or two employees that push back the hardest and threaten to quit…in over 10 years of being in the GPS Tracking business, I do not know of a single case where that has happened. Everyone is nervous about change. Once they realize that their world is not going to end, they learn to accept and be responsible for making more intelligent decisions in the field. In the end, both the company and employee will prosper.

How important is local service when purchasing a GPS Tracking Solution?

20 Jan

A local Western Pennsylvania vitamin supplement-suppy house decided to order a GPS tracking solution from a company out of the market.  They were assured that the installations would be professionally performed by a local installation company who would work closely with their management to schedule and perform all of the work.

As it turned out, the installation was performed by an out of state company who had sent only one installer to do all 20 vehicles.  This created a hardship as a backlog of vehicles were stuck in the garage waiting to be completed instead of being out on their routes.

After the work was finally completed and the installer had left for home, the company was anxious to start using the tracking website.  They had made their purchase decision while doing a webinar, but found that the application was not as user friendly as when watching the sales presentation.  They fumbled around for several hours before calling customer care to help guide them.  They were put on hold and were told to sign up for the next scheduled new customer training webinar the following week.

While waiting for the new customer training – the little they were able to use the application, it became apparent that not all of their vehicles were showing.  Another call was made to customer care and again they were told to hold all questions until the scheduled webinar.

Not having immediate use of the website was frustrating, but management was willing to to do what ever was necessary to get fully operational.  The new customer webinar did answer most, but not all of their questions.  They were now able to be more fully engaged using the tracking solution for real-time data, setting up alerts and getting reports.  But, out of the 20 vehicles – 3 were intermittent – not showing all of the time and another 4 were nowhere to be seen.

Customer Care gave some instructions on how to troubleshoot the defective units, but they insisted on having a service call scheduled.  Another week went by before a technician showed up to troubleshoot the units.  While interrupting their vehicle schedules to have them available, it was management’s hope that this would be the last hurdle.

Their troubles continued – as the tracking application was never fully operational for any length of time.  Management grew tired of calling an 800 customer care number only to be on hold and then not have their issues resolved.  They are currently requesting a total refund and are not quite sure they will be doing GPS Tracking in the near future.

My company prides itself on local sales and customer support.  We do the installations and service, customer training in their office with one of our representitives on a per needed basis.  We have found that an initial training gets the customer engaged enough to use the application and when we return for a second training, in about a week – most, if not all of their questions are answered.  If another training is requested in the future, we schedule it in a timely manner.  One phone call: schedule installation, service, add-on units, training, website questions.

We are good at what we do and our many tri-state customers would agree – “one call for all” of their GPS tracking needs.

Tim Doyle