Are Lowered Costs and Safer Driving on Your Holiday Wish List?

Posted by Stacey Papp

If variety is the spice of life, then friendly competition must be the salt. Or the sugar. Or maybe the cheese puffs. (Yes, we’re craving snacks right now.)

Point is, making something a contest makes it more fun. Human beings are naturally competitive, which dates back from our caveman days when men and women vied for shelter, food and mates. The idea of beating worthy opponents continues to motivate us, even though the stakes might not be life and death anymore.

Our primal competitive streak is most obviously seen in sports (if you’ve ever been in the stands during a particularly intense football game, you might think we’re not that removed from our cave-people ancestors after all), but really, any aspect of life can be a competition: whose house is bigger, whose kids are smarter, whose car is nicer, who plays a meaner game of Ultimate Frisbee and who has the most radical air guitar skills

Smart companies have figured out that we love to be the best at something, and try to cash in on this to get people to use their product more. Fitness trackers let you share with friends how many steps you walked or how much iron you pumped, Yelp awards badges and makes you “elite” when you write a lot of reviews (no matter how many spelling errors you make), Foursquare makes you a “mayor” if you check in to a certain location enough times, and so on. 

There’s even a term for it now: gamification. It means using game-like procedures for non-game applications, which can help engage audiences, solve problems and basically make life more fun – wouldn’t you rather be playing a game doing all the normal, boring stuff that makes up most days?

So would everyone. Savvy fleet managers and operations leaders can capitalize on this by instilling the idea of a friendly competition among drivers and field techs – who fills the most job orders in a given period of time, who has the most positive customer comment cards, who cut their idle time the most, who has the fewest harsh driving violations, and so on.

The kicker, of course, is that you need a way to actually measure this stuff. Incentive programs and rewards are all fine and dandy until someone has to sit down and shuffle through pages of printed out data and driver logs to figure out the lucky winners … and there’s no way to make sorting through stacks of paper a fun game. (If you can think of one, you’ll be rich.)

So what you need is a way to measure driver performance that automatically tracks metrics and keeps everything in a searchable, sortable place, making it easy to see who’s ahead. 

That’s where GPS tracking software comes in. It measures every driver’s behavior in every company vehicle and keeps track of all this info digitally. With near real-time fleet monitoring, you have a way to track metrics like fuel usage, idle time, driving behaviors, time of jobsite arrival and departure – anything you might use in a game-like competition to get your drivers motivated. 

And then, instead of having to dredge through all this info on paper when it’s reward time, you simply run a report. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can pull up all historical data and see who’s been driving the safest, who has the lowest idle time, who’s used the least fuel based on total miles driven, etc. Rewarding your guys becomes easy when you have a way to track, store and sort all the data you need to measure their performance rankings. 

Oh, and all this isn’t just good for figuring out who’s getting a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card – it also helps maintain safety, track and lower costs, and ensure great customer service.

So bring some fun to the business by tracking driver performance and giving out prizes – and your own prize is the peace of mind that comes from knowing how every driver and vehicle is performing.

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