If you’re running a small business in the United States, you likely rely on multiple vehicles (and drivers) to get the job done. Those vehicles—whether cars, vans or pick-ups— are not only critical to how you operate your company and engage with your customers, but they’re also one of the largest sources of cost, risk, and frustration.
For you to run a more efficient and profitable business today—and pave the way for growth—you need to effectively monitor, manage and maintain your small fleet. That’s easier said than done. Keeping your vehicles running smoothly, holding your drivers accountable, and controlling your costs are heavy burdens for busy small businesses.
If you’re a small business owner and are considering a fleet management or GPS fleet tracking solution, but are unsure about the potential costs, or how this technology can truly impact your company, read on.
To help you streamline your evaluation process, we’ve outlined the top five reasons your business needs a connected vehicle tracking system like Force Fleet Tracking:
- Track Your Vehicles (and Your Drivers)
- Avoid Breakdowns and Unexpected Repairs
- Improve Your Customer Service
- Increase Road Safety and Vehicle Security
- Reduce Your Operating Costs
But First…What Exactly Is GPS Fleet Tracking and How Does It Work?
Force Fleet Tracking’s vehicle tracking for small business fleets uses GPS tracking devices that are plugged into each fleet vehicle. The GPS devices work silently in the background to gather data about location, engine health, driver behavior, and more. Updating every 10 seconds, data is up to date, giving small business owners real-time visibility into the whereabouts of their vehicles and drivers. Through a mobile and web app, fleet managers or owners can easily access data to inform business decisions.
Reason #1: Track Your Vehicles (and Your Drivers)
Do you remember the day you hired your first employee?
That was probably the first time someone other than yourself represented your company. It’s a big step, trusting someone enough to let them serve your customers – let alone giving them control of your company’s vehicles. But it’s a necessary step for any small business to grow.
As your small business grows, so does your fleet of vehicles – and new challenges surface around keeping your team happy, holding them accountable for the way they treat your equipment, your vehicles, and most importantly, your customers. Doing that without making your people feel like you’re breathing down their neck is a challenge. Nobody wants to work for a micromanager.
The most successful business owners have a philosophy of trust but verify. Savvy owners give their employees the freedom to work independently, but put modern systems and technologies in place to gain visibility into what’s actually happening on a day-to-day basis. If issues do arise, the information needed for a resolution is readily available.
And that’s where fleet tracking comes in. For many small businesses, vehicle tracking is a no-brainer. In fact, businesses without GPS tracking software will find themselves at a disadvantage versus the competition. Simply being able to view the live status and location of your vehicles in real-time is a huge win.
The best vehicle GPS fleet tracking solutions will help you answer questions like:
- Which of my operators is closest, and how fast can he or she get to the customer’s location? I’ve got a customer on the phone with an urgent service request.
- Why is my driver not getting back to me? I need to know if he’s still in the neighborhood.
- Where is my Ford F-250 right now? It needs to go in for service today.
- Did my technician really skip the appointment? One of my customers is claiming she was a ‘no-show’.
- Are my employees using my vehicles after hours? Or doing unauthorized side jobs? It seems like my vehicles are logging more miles than necessary.
- How long is my crew actually spending with the customer? We tell our customers that they will receive 75 minutes of service, but some have claimed we didn’t get the job done.
Force Fleet Tracking shows you the real-time GPS location of your vehicles on a live map, whether they’re parked or on a trip. You’ll also get a complete history of every trip taken, including starting and ending address, trip duration, stop time, a detailed route map, and more.
By setting custom virtual boundaries (called geofences) around specific areas, you can also be notified when a company vehicle enters and exits these areas – giving you more visibility into unauthorized trips.
What our clients say about our small business fleet tracking system
“Force Fleet Tracking helps me give better customer service, and it improves contact and communication. When I get an urgent call-out, I need to know if my techs can get there within the next hour. My techs all have cell phones, but sometimes they don’t answer, and I don’t want to interrupt their work for a simple status check. Force lets me see exactly where they are, and how fast they can get to the customer’s location. Pretty cool stuff, actually.”Rick Deitsch
Owner, American Pest Control
Las Vegas, NV
6 Vehicles, 10 Employees
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Reason #2: Avoid Breakdowns & Unexpected Repairs
Do you treat a rental car with the same care as your own vehicle? Probably not. Now, apply that same thinking to your crew.
While they may do a great job, your drivers aren’t exactly incentivized to worry about maximizing fuel efficiency, minimizing wear and tear, or dealing with the Check Engine Light. As far as they’re concerned, those are your vehicles and your problems, not theirs.
Unless you’re getting behind the wheel of each vehicle on a regular basis, you’re flying blind and you won’t know the actual health and performance status for some of the biggest assets on your balance sheet.
All too often, employees don’t report mechanical issues to fleet managers because they either don’t notice, don’t care, or forget. Or, they simply wait too long to report the problem, and what could have been a simple fix quickly grows into a major repair, costing you thousands and limiting your ability to serve your customers.
As a business owner, that’s enough to keep you up at night. You need a way to monitor the health and performance of your vehicles without relying on anecdotes, opinions, and delayed information from your crew. That’s where connected vehicle diagnostics technology comes in.
By plugging directly into your vehicle’s OBD-II port, the GPS tracking device can access the same information that mechanics use to diagnose and repair. In fact, many mechanics and repair shops will charge you $100 just for the diagnostic test. Keep that cash in your bank account.
With Force Fleet Tracking installed on your fleet, you’ll get alerts if any of your vehicles are showing the dreaded Check Engine Light or are experiencing a specific DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code). That’s step 1, knowing there’s a problem. Step 2 is knowing what the problem is. You’ll now know what the code is, including the severity of the issue in a plain-English description.
You’ll also get notified of any manufacturer’s recalls right in the app, before you receive a notice in the mail. Finally, Force Fleet Tracking can also predict when consumable parts like air filters and batteries are nearly ready for replacement, based on your vehicle’s make, model, and usage pattern. This allows you to take preventative action when it’s most convenient for you and before it’s a bigger problem.
What our clients say about our vehicle diagnostics
Force Fleet Tracking has made it easier to manage my vehicles. When I see a check engine light, I can find out what it means, so if it’s not too serious I can save money by fixing the problem myself instead of going to a mechanic.
Force Fleet Tracking also has great safety features, it helps me know if my people are driving the trucks decently and not destroying them!“Brad Allison
Owner, Poseidon Pool Service
Las Vegas, NV
5 Vehicles, 4 Employees
Reason #3: Improve Your Customer Service
Your customers have short memories. If you operate a home service or delivery business, your reputation is only as good as your last visit. That’s the painful reality of a service-based business.
Now add social media, where consumer reviews on sites like Yelp, Twitter, and Facebook can make or break your business. It’s never been more important to do everything you can to ensure that your customers are consistently satisfied.
Here are three ways that Force Fleet Tracking can directly boost the quality of your service.
- Dispatch more efficiently: Because you’ll know where your drivers are at all times, you’ll be able to send the right person and the right vehicles to the right jobs, every single time.
- Provide your customers with accurate arrival times: On time? Great! Early? Not a problem. Late? No show? 1 star review coming your way. Give your customers an accurate ETA based on the true status of your vehicle’s location, helping you keep your promises and build trust.
- Allow your customers to track their service vehicles en route: Everyone loves Uber because it takes the guesswork out of where their ride is and how long they’ll be. Give your customers the same experience while they wait for yur driver by providing a unique vehicle tracking lnk. They’ll rest assured that their service pro is on their way and receive alerts if their driver is delayed – eliminating the need to call your driver for updates.
- Improve route planning and travel efficiency: With a detailed history of trips, including a map of the route taken, start and end locations, trip duration and more, you can identify inefficiencies in regularly-used routes, enabling you to revise and optimize common routes, saving you time and money.
What our clients say about our real-time fleet tracking system
READ MORE TESTIMONIALS
“Force Fleet Tracking gives me peace of mind knowing where my trucks and technicians are, in real time.
In Window Cleaning we can travel up to 5 locations a day, and while managing the day I can check in to ensure the crews will arrive at the next location on time. The data provided by the trip tracking feature, has improved our travel efficiency.”Nick Milosevic
Owner, Blue Truck Window Cleaning
Las Vegas, NV
2 Vehicles, 2 Employees
Reason #4: Improve Driver Safety and Vehicle Security
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers: “How’s my driving? Call 1-800-888-8888.”
While that was an innovative idea in the 1990s, today’s connected vehicle technology can do everything these bumper stickers were meant to do, and so much more.
Without visibility into how your vehicles are actually being used, you (and your reputation) are at the mercy of your crew and their driving style. Not only could their careless driving damage your company’s public image, it will surely result in you spending more than you should on fuel (up to 40% more!) – not to mention the extra wear and tear that comes with using “company vehicles.”
Plus, unsafe driving behavior like speeding and harsh braking can lead to fines and safety violations – in addition to taking a major toll on vehicle health. That’s bad enough, but roadside emergencies and accidents are much worse, often ending with tragic consequences.
In order to improve driver safety, you first need driver data. Here’s how Force Fleet Tracking helps you keep your drivers (and your vehicles) safer on the road:
- RoadScoreTM: This is our exclusive safe driving algorithm that lets you monitor and influence driver behavior using an easy-to-understand score between 0 and 100, based on factors like harsh braking, speeding, and more. Review the average driver performance scores of individual drivers, dive deep into specific trips, or rank your drivers from top to bottom with these useful reports.
- Speeding alerts: If your people are operating at unsafe speeds, you’ll want to know right away. Force can alert you if your vehicles exceed a speed limit that you specify, putting you in the driver’s seat when it comes to enforcement or additional driver coaching.
- Unplugged device notifications: The only reason any of your devices should ever be unplugged is if a mechanic needs access to your OBD-II port. So, if one of your crew members decides to go rogue and unplug the device, you’ll be the first to know, enabling you to handle the situation with urgency.
- Crash detection features: If your fleet vehicle is in an accident, you’ll want to know right away so you can take action imediately. Force Fleet Tracking uses an advanced crash detection algorithm to alert you immediately, including information on where the crash occurred, and which vehicle, and driver has been affected.
Keeping your fleet safe while on the road is a top priority, but what about when they’re parked, or sitting for extended periods overnight on weekends and holidays. How will you know that your vehicles are secure?
- Disturbance alerts: Get alerted instantly if any of your vehicles are being tampered with, whether it’s a small bump in the parking lot, a break-in attempt or if they’re being towed.
- Stolen vehicle tracking: If the worst case scenario actually happens, you’ll be able to track your stolen vehicle in real-time and provide location information to the authorities to speed up recovery and minimize the potential damage. We’ve used the same technology to help people across the United States find, track and recover stolen vehicles. Even for one of our own employees!
What our clients say about our driver safety reports & vehicle security alerts
“Force Fleet Tracking has created accountability for our drivers; has increased safe driving practices, and has aided the way we dispatch and direct our employees.“Ryan Beene, HR Manager & Controller
Energy Concepts Solar
21 Vehicles, 45 Employees
Reason #5: Reduce Your Operating Costs
To profit, grow your revenue or decrease your costs. That’s straight from Business 101.
In the real world, things aren’t quite that simple, especially when the economy is in turmoil. There’s no magic pill or silver bullet. But there are tools that provide you with the data, information, and insights needed to make your business a leaner, more cost-efficient operation. Vehicle tracking and management solutions like Force Fleet Tracking are in that camp.
Here are some of the ways that this technology can save you money:
Save on vehicle maintenance
When you’re managing a small fleet, every vehicle in the shop has a big impact on your bottom line. Keeping every vehicle running smoothly is imperative to maintaining productivity and avoiding costly downtime. Our predictive alerts will tell you when it’s time to replace an air filter or a failing battery—before it becomes a more expensive problem. If an unexpected engine issue occurs, you can skip the diagnostic test at the shop (already saving you $100), as you’ll have the ability to know what the Check Engine Light actually means, including a helpful description of the problem and the severity.
Save on fuel consumption
Knowledge is power; or, in this case, it’s savings at the pump. Know your fuel efficiency trends over time, as well as for each trip, and know which drivers are the most inefficient. Combined, you’ll have the information to take control of your fuel consumption and cut down on wasteful driving habits like excessive idling, inefficient routes, and aggressive driving.
Save on insurance costs
Many commercial insurance carriers will provide a policy discount for the use of tracking devices to aid in the recovery of stolen vehicles. Plus, with a vehicle tracking solution in place, you’ll be able to provide the precise location information that the authorities need to recover stolen vehicles. This is particularly important for vehicles that carry highly-regulated goods like cannabis, or expensive equipment.
Save time and increase productivity
Time is money. Stop interrupting your team’s work for distracting check-ins and location updates. Smart notifications and alerts will get you the information you need without even having to ask for it. That way, you can stay focused on what truly matters and get back more of your most scarce resource – your time.
Vehicle Tracking For Small Business
Hold your drivers accountable, control your costs, increase efficiency and productivity, and keep your fleet safe and secure.
There’s never been a better time to enhance your fleet with an affordable, high-performance, and easy-to-use GPS fleet tracking and management solution like Force Fleet Tracking. This is the same automotive-grade technology that powers connected car services for major consumer brands like T-Mobile and Vivint, but has been specifically designed from the ground up with guidance and feedback from real small business owners like you. And it’s versatile enough to serve any industry, including construction, plumbing, catering/food delivery, courier services, pest control, landscaping, cleaning services, waste management—the list goes on.
Start using Force Fleet Tracking with our free trial and experience the benefits for yourself.START FREE TRIAL