Arbor Age

Green Media Technology and Software Special Edition - Aug'14

For more than 30 years, Arbor Age magazine has been covering new and innovative products, services, technology and research vital to tree care companies, municipal arborists and utility right-of-way maintenance companies

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Page 21 of 25

22 Green Media / August 2014 B y A d r i e n n e S a c h s In an industry fi lled with heavy competition, landscap- ing businesses face the tough challenge of standing out in the crowd. Strong pricing pressure pushes landscape contractors to fi nd new ways of keeping costs down and revenue streaming. Among the most successful are those who have discovered GPS fl eet management. Because landscape contractors work with clients more often than businesses like HVAC, plumbing and electrical, cus- tomer service is a top priority. By consistently making a posi- tive fi rst impression and delivering great service, businesses can increase customer loyalty, retention and referrals, ultimately boosting revenue. Utilizing a GPS fl eet tracking solution, landscaping compa- nies can transform the customer experience, and ensure crews are delivering top-notch service. When crews are driving to jobs, it's important that they are arriving on time. GPS fl eet tracking solutions provide crews with the most effi cient routes to any location, ensuring accurate ETAs for clients. If crews get lost or stuck in traffi c, dispatchers can simply log into the Cloud-based application to determine the best way around it. They can then send new routes to a vehicle's GPS navigation device, allowing drivers to follow voice- guided, turn-by-turn directions. In the event that delays occur, it's important to keep customers informed. Using a fl eet track- ing solution, dispatchers have the data available to let custom- ers know exactly when crews will arrive. Because crews have little supervision, it can be diffi cult to monitor their productivity. If they are working unauthorized jobs, that's money the company will never see. Fleet tracking solutions can provide a picture of a vehicle's activity for any time period selected. Business owners can see exactly where their crews have been, how long they were there and where they are headed in real time. This helps to ensure jobs are being completed on time and there is no unauthorized activity. Being able to monitor fi eld workers' activity also helps to validate employee hours. Employees can clock in and out using a mobile application that turns smartphones and tablets into virtual time clocks. This can save crews a lot of time as they won't have to drive to the offi ce each day to check in. Alerts can be set up to notify management via e-mail or SMS message when employees approach a certain amount of hours on the job each day and/or week, helping to reduce overtime hours and improve payroll accuracy. Landscaping businesses can also use GPS fl eet tracking solutions to resolve customer disputes and hold employees accountable. If a customer complaint comes in about a job that was done, whether it was about the length of time it took to complete a service or a missed appointment, busi- ness owners can simply log into the solution and pull up a detailed activity report to determine why there was an issue FLEET MANAGEMENT FLEET MANAGEMENT The Benefi ts of GPS Fleet Tracking Technology ▲

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