Real Time Data

Game-Time Decision: Using Real-Time Data to Net Business Goals

Posted by Stacey Papp

Warmer weather is here, which means sunshine, ice cream, cold beverages, pollen allergies, flip-flops, camping…and hockey. 

June may seem like a strange time for Stanley Cup playoffs, when temperatures are rising and people’s thoughts skew more beach than ice rink, but it’s just how it is. Even some of the players might be thinking more about all the golf they’ll play this summer than what they should do when the puck comes flying at them at 95 miles an hour. 

It can be tough to keep eyes on the prize at all times, but what separates the winners from the losers – in hockey and in everything else – is the ability to effectively make the right decision at exactly the right time. 

Hockey players have this constantly demanded of them, and in less-than-ideal circumstances: men with deadly weapons strapped to their feet and wooden sticks in their hands are careening around a slippery surface at 25 miles an hour, chasing a small black disc and slamming into each other at every opportune moment. There’s a lot going on during every second of a hockey game, and players need to be able to make split-second decisions on which direction to move, who to pass to, who to hip-check – and even when the gloves should come off.

While fleet businesses don’t move at the literal speed of a hockey game (and they’re less violent), sometimes it can feel like it – especially during busy times. When phones never stop ringing, jobs orders never stop coming and everyone is rushing to get ‘er done, employees from the boss down to the newbie field worker are constantly being asked to make decisions about their next move. 

Without up-to-the-minute accurate information, the best anyone can do is make an educated guess. Fleet management software can benefit all employees’ decision-making by giving visibility via near real-time data:

•Being able to see where all the field workers, trucks and equipment are at any given time helps dispatchers decide who to send on an emergency job order. 
•Near real-time traffic info helps drivers choose which route to take to a jobsite
Alerts on who has been driving poorly show managers who needs extra coaching about safety. 
•Ops leaders are able to decide where costs can be cut and where upgrades might be needed based on the detailed reports the software can provide. 
•Service managers can use a mobile app to pull up job order information like time of arrival and time service was completed from anywhere if there is a dispute between a customer and a technician, handling the problem as it arises and not days later.
•Business owners are able to keep an eye on everything that goes on without having to be in the field or in 10 places at once – information like fuel costs, driver performance, job order notes and customer data is captured and stored digitally, and accessed with a few clicks. This helps make decisions on every facet of the business, whether it’s adding a new service, buying more equipment or hiring more people.

Lack of data affects not just daily operations – dispatches and job orders – but also long-term decisions about the business. And it’s not just employees who benefit from good decisions fueled by real-time data – the customer is able to reap benefits as well as, getting faster and better service.

It’s pretty cool to think about how technology can benefit every facet of our lives. Maybe in the hockey games of the future, players will be partially bionic and their movements will be controlled by a computer. Or maybe hockey games will only take place in virtual reality, and everybody gets a seat at center ice via VR goggles. 

While this future is probably a long way off, the good news is that businesses do have tech fixes available now to help with their important decisions – helping their goals become reality.

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