Not Your Problem: Letting Technology Do the Dirty Work

Posted by Stacey Papp

“Snitches get stitches.” Omertà. “Nobody likes a rat.”

The idea of a “code of silence” in the light of wrongdoing and the presumed honor behind it is engrained in many cultures, including ours – ever heard the phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”? 

While “omertà” generally only applies to organized crime (“The Godfather” brought the term into pop culture), the idea of a “snitch” has existed for quite a while, and carries with it a negative connotation – even though the “snitch” is actually doing the right thing by reporting a crime. 

Every kid probably faced this kind of dilemma – do you tattle on your sibling or friend and not get grounded, or do you take the punishment and remain “cool” in your peers’ eyes? – and many of us likely face it still every now and then, even at the workplace. You might see someone taking a soda from the communal fridge that doesn’t belong to them, or know someone who always takes a long lunch but only logs 30 minutes – you get the idea.

But for a fleet dispatcher, the difference between seeing something and not saying something might not just be “letting something slide” – it might actually affect the dispatcher’s job. 

For example, if you call a driver to send him an emergency job and he responds, “Call someone else – I’m busy” (even though you didn’t think he wasn’t scheduled for anything at that time), then you have to scramble to find another driver – and meanwhile, the customer is waiting impatiently for service, and maybe taking out their frustrations on you when they call to ask where the heck the field tech is. 

Or if a driver drops the truck off at 5 p.m. and you later find out he logged the job as actually finishing at 6 p.m. so that he could get some overtime, you know that it costs the company money, but do you really want to be the one who goes to the boss on it? Who wants to become known as the workplace tattletale? (Just for starters, how would you ever find out the latest office gossip?)

Life would be much easier if this problem was eliminated – and it can be, with the help of technology.

Businesses that use field service management software have the ability to see what field techs are where at any given time – meaning, when you call someone up with an emergency order and they say that they’re busy, you can say, “Dave, I can SEE you’re parked at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Summer Street and 5th, and the customer really needs someone there now.” Who can argue with that? 

That feature also helps with scheduling in general, not just making sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing – when you can always see where someone is and who’s on a job, you can pick the closest person to schedule for an emergency job instead of desperately calling around to see who can take it.

It also logs driver in/out times and times on jobs, so nobody can pull a fast one with their hours – and there’s no messing with data, so it becomes the boss’s problem, not yours, if there’s ever a discrepancy with time sheets or overtime. 

The boss might be interested to know there are a lot of other benefits to fleet management software for the business in general, too – and it never hurts to be the one to suggest something that helps save time and money and create efficiencies.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go binge-watch “The Godfather” trilogy. 

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And what exactly are those benefits? Check out our eBook on how field service management can benefit you.