Four Ways GPS Technology and the Cloud Help Cut Costs and Keep Customers Happy

By Mike Karlskind

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is made up of 24 satellites orbiting the earth at speeds around 7,000 mph. At this speed, you could travel across the entire United States in about 30 minutes! Everyone from golfers to farmers rely on these systems to work and play. And what more can you say about “the Cloud?” Every day there are more innovative ways to leverage the Cloud to improve your business. Here are four ways GPS technology and Cloud-based applications can help your business cut costs and provide better service to customers.

  1. Reduce mileage and fuel costs: Today’s GPS systems automatically collect location data and transmit the information to any computer or device over the Internet. Managers can see where every field worker is, how long they spend on a job and their proximity to other workers and new job assignments. Using GPS jobs can be assigned to the nearest worker and GPS also ensures they arrive promptly at the next job. This dramatically improves worker efficiency, reduces mileage and fuel costs, and can mitigate overtime costs – savings no company can ignore.
  2. Streamline field communication and job dispatch: Your front office handles many calls every day related to worker arrival times, in-progress jobs, emergency service or sales calls. Frequently, field workers have the best answers to these inquiries. Being able to communicate quickly and effectively with staff in the field is a competitive edge. Dispatching detailed jobs to mobile devices is very efficient and requires less phone conversation. GPS allows the home office to tell customers ETAs without bothering the field worker. Short text messages can allow field workers to reply quickly to better serve the customer. Such prompt, accurate communication can be the difference between winning a contract and losing it, or keeping a satisfied customer happy.
  3. Ensure quality control and satisfied customers: By implementing easy-to-create mobile forms, you can create process checklists for your workers, and enforce best practices uniformly in the field. These forms can include sequential procedures that require checking off or adding comments. Or they can gather customer feedback when a job is complete. Embedded URLs can link directly help documentation, while workers can scan bar codes for warranty validation and record a client signature to acknowledge service approval right on-site. Customers notice these details and appreciate proficiency and superior service. And, of course, all this data can be instantly transmitted to the home office for faster processing and invoicing.
  4. Automate timekeeping and payroll processing: Clocking-in and clocking-out for workers and sub-contractors has traditionally been an error-prone, manual process using paper timesheets. And even as payroll hinges on accurate, complete timesheets, it is a tedious process for workers to fill-out and deliver to the office promptly.

      Mobile timesheets, however, allow workers to clock-in, record and submit their hours right from the mobile device with just a few clicks. This fast-tracks timesheet and payroll processing; by shaving minutes from an entire crew of workers, the savings adds up quickly from week-to-week. Moreover, the timesheets can sync with in-house accounting programs to make this a truly seamless process for both workers and administration. It all starts with GPS.

Mike Karlskind has more than 15 years of experience streamlining processes and optimizing decisions for service organizations in a wide variety of industries including computer services, utilities, telecommunications, capital equipment, home services, retail services, construction, insurance, and medical equipment.

Have an idea for a guest blog for Construction Today? Contact [email protected] or [email protected].



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