Bring Your Business Back to Life: Getting Different Roles to Utilize the Same Software
Posted 08 August 2016 by Stacey Papp
It’s natural that every role in a fleet business has different needs and wants, and every employee has a different style of working. But sometimes, there is a greater good to be had when everyone uses the same strategy.
Think about the popular zombie gorefest “The Walking Dead.” As Rick Grimes and his ragtag group of survivors travel through the Southeast, they meet a startling cross section of humanity – people of varying ages, races, and genders; families and loners; cold-blooded killers and priests; cannibals and aikido masters; housewives and Congresswomen.
While a few core characters have survived undead and human threats over the course of six seasons, plenty of others have come and gone (read: bought the farm). As Rick and his group skate out of one sticky situation, only to get mired in another, something that Rick emphasizes is the importance of teamwork: If he comes up with a strategy or idea, everyone has to be on board with it – no matter their own needs and wants, and no matter who they are – in the name of the greater goal: survival.
While the stakes aren’t quite as high in the workplace (and usually there is less biting), there is something to be said for rallying the team around using a tool like fleet management software for all different parts of the business – and while getting the business to survive and thrive is the ultimate goal, there are other positive, tangible effects that each employee can experience for himself or herself.
For example, a small business owner using fleet management software will have greater visibility about all goings-on in the business, even without being present at every jobsite (because that’s pretty much not possible). Detailed, easy-to-read reports that software can whip up in seconds give an owner the knowledge to better control things like operating costs, making the business more financially stable and helping to better allocate the budget.
Fleet managers are often juggling several duties at once – maintenance, compliance, safety, efficiency – and fleet management software can help streamline operations by keeping track of all the information this involves. There’s no need to keep all this data in someone’s head or buried in stacks of files – a few clicks of the mouse can bring up info like what trucks need oil changes and which drivers have been running late to job sites.
Operations leaders also have a lot of information to keep track of in order to improve the company’s performance and reduce costs – and sometimes there are problems buried beneath the surface that make it hard to optimize efficiency. Fleet management software uses technology to parse out the details of the business, giving ops leaders the data to back up their decisions on how to solve problems and what practices can bring more efficiency to the business.
Service managers pride themselves on getting jobs done right the first time, resulting in customer satisfaction, but to achieve that, they need to be able to set and maintain customer expectations by providing them with accurate information while on the job. Access to near real-time data empowers service managers to make better day-to-day decisions, and the ability to pull up information about every job – even from the field, on a mobile app – means any dispute between customers and techs, or any problem raised by leadership, is able to be handled factually – based on data, not guesswork.
Dispatchers have a big part in the customer service aspect of the business – their voice is the first one a customer hears, and they are often the ones giving updates on when a field crew is expected to arrive at a job. Fleet tracking software gives a dashboard
view of where each and every driver is, meaning the dispatcher can quote an up-to-the minute-correct arrival time to the waiting customer. And with the software’s automation capabilities, parts of the job that used to be an annoyance – such as invoices – can be handled with a few clicks of a mouse.
Rick Grimes knows the way to get a lot of very different people on board with the same idea is to show them how they personally will benefit from it. And while running a business generally isn’t literally a life-and-death situation like practically every episode of “The Walking Dead” is, fleet management software can let everyone on the staff get something out of the same strategy.
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