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.
The 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
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.