Duty of care and working time issues
Every employer has a responsibility to show that employees are not being driven too hard – both in terms of the hours that they work and the amount of time that they spend on the road each day. Automated timesheet reports delivered in Microsoft Excel or other standard formats are the ideal way of monitoring and recording this. In addition to these, route and vehicle usage reports can identify if workers are driving dangerously or speeding in order to get to appointments on time.
A vehicle tracking system with real-time capability is not, however, just a tool for managing the workforce. It can be invaluable in delivering excellent service to clients as well as in proving that arrival times have been met and that contract costs are fully justified.
Meeting key performance indicators
Major public and private service contracts usually contain key performance indicators or service level agreements that are to be respected. A vehicle tracking system is the ideal tool for selecting the nearest vehicle to a service request – which can make the difference between meeting a contractual requirement and missing it. The daily vehicle log reports can then back that up by providing proof to the customer that the deadline was met. Where the client is responsible for a delay, either in making the employee wait before gaining access to site or being able to make a delivery, the tracking system can provide accurate justification for claims for additional costs.
Better job costing
Use of the tracking system to monitor the time spent at each job provides better estimates and more accurate quotations for future bids, which can lead to higher bid success rates and profitability.
The savings and profit improvement to be expected from introducing a vehicle tracking system may seem too good to be true, and they could be if it’s not implemented properly. Respecting employees’ rights and privacy, and maintaining their motivation throughout are obviously key – as well as keeping within the law.
The rest of these articles will look at how to avoid the potential pitfalls, and will include a practical case study of the introduction of vehicle tracking within a large fleet. We will also publish a cost-savings calculator, for use in assessing the financial benefits for your organisation.
Andy Walters founded Quartix in 2001 with three colleagues. All four founders are still associated with the company, which now has more than 6,000 fleet clients and operations in the UK, France and USA. Quartix has also carried out more than 70,000 installations for telematics-based insurance policies. Prior to Quartix, Andy held senior positions in technology and communications businesses within Schlumberger and Spectris.