Field Service Management Software Saves Plumbers Time and Money

This content is sponsored by GPS Trackit. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of COLE Publishing. View our privacy policy.
Field Service Management Software Saves Plumbers Time and Money

Interested in Vans, Trucks & Fleet?

Get Vans, Trucks & Fleet articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Vans, Trucks & Fleet + Get Alerts

The best plumbing contractors cement their reputations by being timely problem solvers. To do that for your customers, it’s crucial to have the right tools for the job, when you need them.

With the right vehicle tracking and analysis technology, plumbing contractors can save money and time, improve customer satisfaction, retain valuable employees, and reduce trucks’ environmental footprint. A system like GPS Trackit’s installs in minutes, requires no long-term contracts, and generates a positive return on investment for most users within 30 days.

Here’s how a system like that works: A GPS-enabled transponder attaches to the engine management system in each truck and provides real-time, all-the-time data about location, vehicle health and performance. With a fully customizable central data dashboard, supervisors can see crucial information about vehicles and crews at a glance.

Want to know how close a truck is to its next assignment so you can provide a more accurate time window for a customer? Interested in the average time each truck spends at a given job for more accurate price quoting? How about seeing a “driver scorecard” for each crew and being able to analyze how safely and efficiently each is using a truck? 

Top fleet management platforms can do all of that and more — including integrating seamlessly with back-office billing solutions many plumbing contractors are already using. 

Save time

No matter how many trucks and crews you manage, routing can be a thorny problem. Instead of sending crews ping-ponging across your service area, a GPS-based fleet management system can give you the predictive information you need to plot more efficient routes and service more clients with the same number of crews. For example, a GPS Trackit field service client added fleet management systems to his 10 trucks and within 60 days was able to consolidate routes to the point he could service 20% more clients with the same staffing.

How much more could you make if you had room to see 20% more customers without adding crews? 

Save money

Fuel is the single biggest variable cost most plumbing contractors face when it comes to managing their vehicles. Simply encouraging — and monitoring — driver performance can reduce fuel expenses by up to 35%.

One prime example? Idling trucks consume approximately a half gallon of fuel per hour. If your fleet isn’t measuring idle time, it could be costing you hundreds of dollars per month. A truck idling two hours a day consumes more than $3,000 in wasted fuel per year. It doesn’t take much math to see how much that can cost a fleet with 10 or 20 trucks.  

Aggressive driving — hard starts, stops and turns — is another fuel budget killer. Driving a medium-duty truck aggressively in stop-and-go traffic reduces fuel economy by up to 40% — and can reduce the effective life of tires and brakes by 20%. 

Insurance costs and accident claims can also cut into a plumbing contractor’s bottom line. GPS Trackit’s VidFleet system uses a driver-facing camera and sophisticated artificial intelligence to pick up potentially distracted behavior and provide an audible warning. Not only does the system reduce accident costs by 30%, but installing the system triggers an insurance rate deduction for many carriers. 

Keep customers 

Whether you’re getting ready to take a flight, fight traffic during rush hour

— or waiting for a plumber — up-to-date information is worth its weight in gold. When you can tell a customer what he or she can expect and when, you’re setting yourself up for a positive experience and positive feedback.

With the technology behind a vehicle tracking platform, managers can monitor crew location and progress and provide much more accurate time windows for customers’ service calls. That means far fewer customers waiting impatiently for a plumber they expected hours before — and far fewer customers dinging your online reputation with poor reviews.

Retain employees

The job market in 2022 is almost without precedent. Talented, experienced employees are at a premium, and have their choice of assignments. With GPS-enabled vehicle tracking technology, you can measure the key performance indicators that separate great employees from the average ones — and reward the great ones appropriately. 

A plumbing contractor with a fleet of 12 crews established a driver scorecard that measured average time to job, fuel efficiency and safe driving metrics. She published the results weekly, and offered financial rewards for the crews with the best metrics. The average performance for all crews rose, and the bonus system has been an attractive carrot for retaining her best crews — which have been able to supplement their hourly income by 5% in a typical year. Considering the average employee costs more than $4,000 to onboard, those bonuses are “cheap” dollars to spend on your most experienced crews.

Tread lightly

In many parts of the country, customers are becoming much more sensitive to the environmental impact of the businesses they patronize. A plumbing contractor’s — or any field service business’ — carbon footprint comes mostly in the form of its fleet. You don’t need a degree in the environmental sciences to see that increased idling and reduced fuel efficiency aren’t the best representation of an environmentally sensitive organization.

Fleet management tools can help promote the kinds of behaviors that reduce fuel consumption, and can also help you monitor your vehicles and track maintenance in a way that lets you stay in front of potential issues. Simply tracking and proactively maintaining a truck’s tires, suspension and fluids can increase average fleet fuel mileage by 10%. You can show customers you mean it when you say being green matters to you.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.