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06-18-20 | News

Increasing Profitability through Driver Accountability

All Businesses Can Benefit
by Del Williams

GPS tracking devices can provide real-time location updates every 10 seconds, via satellite and cellular networks to a smartphone or PC, on a 24/7 basis. Other information transmitted include vehicle speed and idle time alerts.

When company employees drive vehicles from job to job throughout the day, how much can unauthorized long lunches, side trips, and other breaks cost the company?

The answer can be surprisingly high. However, improving driver accountability via GPS tracking devices can dramatically improve not only productivity, but also profitability.

Greg Hamman is owner of Prime Landscape Services, whose company provides landscape design and is based in Dallas-Fort Worth. He estimates that unauthorized employee breaks, which he first discovered at his firm years ago, would cost over $150,000 annually just on one aspect of his business if they went unchecked.

He reported employees taking longer lunches than they claimed, stopping by their homes, going to stores or hanging out at a buddy's house after a job.

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Hamman has turned that all around with the installation of GPS tracking devices on his company vehicles. "We have really great guys. However, I believe in trust but also in verification," he says. "Today, we're probably realizing a net positive of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually company-wide in greater productivity, safety, and efficiency with the GPS trackers."

Better Accountability Enhances Profitability
When the landscape company first installed GPS tracking devices from Advanced Tracking Technologies (ATTI), a Houston, Texas-based designer and manufacturer of GPS tracking products on a few vehicles about 15 years ago, the technology was not as sophisticated as it is today. However, even back then, the effect was still dramatic. Once the company vehicles had trackers on, "and everyone knew it, the shenanigans stopped," says Hamman. "The system was clear, unbiased, and provided accountability."

Recently, Hamman began using an advanced GPS vehicle-mounted tracking device, the Shadow Tracker Vision III. He has found a range of valuable uses, including improving driver safety, emergency dispatch, and of course better driver accountability and managerial oversight.

Compared with typical GPS tracking devices that may only update every few minutes, the device provides real-time location updates every 10-seconds, as well as location, speed and idle time alerts if something is amiss. This data is transmitted via satellite and cellular networks to a smartphone or PC on a 24/7 basis. The system has access to nationwide speed limits in its database.

Still, the main benefit of the tracking system is in how it makes employees more accountable to the company and themselves, while streamlining management, says Hamman. And the systems can also improve drive route efficiency.

Despite using GPS trackers for over a decade, Hamman and his staff are still learning new ways to enhance productivity, safety, and profit with the devices, which he notes cost him about $20 a month per vehicle.

"The advanced units are the best yet, and we are really just scratching the surface of what we can do with them," he concludes. "Any company not using GPS trackers today is really throwing money out the window and setting themselves up for a disaster."

Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, California. He writes about health, business, technology, and educational issues, and has an M.A. in English from C.S.U. Dominguez Hills.

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