Optimising routing, reducing idling time and limiting unauthorised vehicle use were top of the agenda for fleet managers in the electrical contractors industry according to recent customer research by Fleetmatics. The findings have revealed that GPS vehicle tracking can provide vital support and tools to help address these concerns.


Electrician ContractorThe primary concerns with all contractors that spoke to Fleetmatics were increasing the productivity while reducing operating costs; common challenges across most industrial sectors. GPS vehicle tracking provides visibility into vehicle location, fuel usage, speed and mileage and other insights into driver behaviour, enabling electrical contractors to reduce operating and capital costs, while boosting revenues.

“Being a national company, our biggest challenge is maximising productivity in all areas of our work,” Simon Greene, Fleet Manager at ARH explains. “The system is great for utilising the nearest vehicle to a particular reactive job and this is further compounded by knowing exactly how long it took to arrive and how long the engineer was on site. Also this can be done by skill set, which also helps to enhance productivity.”

Having a fleet management system allows fleet managers to provide their drivers with directions and the most efficient route from one job to another. Also, by providing the exact location of each vehicle and technician at any given time, it allows the despatcher to send the closest vehicle. Unsurprisingly, a system that uses sophisticated GPS mapping (Google Maps including ‘Street View’) can be an immediate benefit when it comes to optimising routes and using the traffic monitoring feature to help avoid delays.

Jon Love, Commercial Director at P.A. Grant has seen significant savings since fitting the system to their fleet. “Employees now arrive on time to job sites consistently and productivity has increased,” he says. “Vehicle speeding has improved as speeds are now easily monitored. Personal vehicle use has been eliminated and fuel costs have decreased through minimising vehicle idling times. Since fitting Fleetmatics, we have seenyearly savings of over £26,000 through improved productivity and overall efficiencies.”

Ray Barratt, Resource Manager at Power On Connections is another electrical contractor that has experienced the cost savings benefits. “Since installing Fleetmatics we have saved thousands in petrol costs alone,” he says. “Fuel costs have decreased through improved routing procedures.” he says.

Excessive idling times were another concern for the electrical contractors industry. Every hour of idle time is equal to approximately 25 miles of driving. Contrary to popular belief, restarting an engine uses no more fuel than 30 seconds of idling and has very little harmful impact on vehicle components. When drivers use their vehicles as climate control, it costs businesses money.

The ‘Idling Report’ on the Fleetmatics GPS vehicle tracking system collates data, such as idle start and stop times, location of idling, and total idle time, which can be used for analysis – for example, the standard idling report can be used to help minimise idle times, reduce fuel waste and also decrease engine wear and tear. In addition, alerts can be set up whenever idle time exceeds a pre-defined threshold.

A testament to how GPS tracking can be used to help decrease idling times comes from Jamie Wake of Blom and Wake. “We have experienced great savings in petrol costs through reducing idling times and minimising out-of-route mileage,” he explains. “Employee accountability has increased through the reduction of unauthorised personal use of vehicles. Diverting efficiencies have improved as dispatchers have the visibility of each vehicle location in real time. Customer enquiries can be answered quickly and accurately which has improved customer service.

“Since installing Fleetmatics, we have saved over £50,000 in fuel costs through monitoring vehicle idling times and unauthorised use.”

Another concern expressed by those customers questioned was the control of employee working hours, which can further help electrical contractors reduce their operational costs. The ‘Hours Worked Report’ provides a summary of the actual hours worked for each driver and can be used as an electronic time sheet. This report includes details on daily actual start and finish times, hours worked, days worked, average daily hours and weekly totals - improving back office efficiencies and helping alleviate payroll discrepancies. “With a fleet tracking system installed on our fleet, payroll is now accurate as precise start and finish times are recorded,” Barratt adds. The features and potential benefits available to firms that use a GPS vehicle tracking system, as we’ve seen from the comments of surveyed Fleetmatics GPS tracking system users, are already helping them improve productivity and reduce fuel bills.