B C S Fence has provided expert fencing installation and repair services throughout southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana for over 40 years. Their offerings run the gamut from decorative wood fences to security gates and entry systems.
According to President Mike Beebe, quality installation and customer service combine for their primary focus, as they rely on referrals for the thousands of feet of custom fencing they complete every year. It was the spirit of referral that brought the Fleetmatics GPS fleet tracking solution to his attention.
“A friend of mine uses it for his business,” says Beebe. “I looked at what it could offer, and I felt like it would be something that would help us. We had a lot of people doing what they shouldn’t be.”
Simply tracking the whereabouts of the company’s 10 vehicles and their operators was a prime motivator. “That’s the highest priority – knowing where they’re at, the ability to spot-check. I’m five hours away from the office, and they know that I can see on my iPhone where they are. If they complete a job early and go back to the office, they know that I’ll call them and say, ‘If you’re done, go home.’ I’ve never been one to complain about overtime, but don’t let me catch you doing something on regular time that isn’t work so you get overtime pay.”
Since implementing the system, he says, “No question that has gone down. I’m not going to scrutinize every move they make, but it’s there. I told them, ‘Look, if you’re doing your job and what you’re supposed to be doing, we’ve got no problem.’ I did let a guy go because he was just goofing off. The honest people you want to keep and the dishonest people can go somewhere else. I try to take very good care of my employees and I expect them to take care of me.”
B C S Fence uses the Garmin Integration feature of the Fleetmatics system on select vehicles to help with dispatching. “We’re in some rural areas with poor or non-existent cell reception. The ability to message out to that vehicle and get a response has been a huge value to us.”
As might be expected, Beebe’s favorite feature is the Fleetmatics mobile app, which he uses on his iPhone. “From a manager/owner’s standpoint, that is the best feature,” he says. “I don’t have to go to a Wi-Fi area to see where my trucks are. I don’t have to be in the office to know where my people are. Any time of the day, regardless of where I am, I know where they are.”
The Fleetmatics mobile app allows the user to access several Fleetmatics features including the Dashboard, Live Map, Reports, Alerts and more. The user can find the closest vehicles for urgent dispatch, view animated vehicle journeys in Route Replay, and drill down with detailed views in Google Street View. Such convenience has helped B C S Fence improve their customer service, according to Beebe. “It gives us a better ability to respond when we get a call in because we can see who is close in the area. It’s certainly saved me in mileage.”
Besides keeping his drivers honest, Beebe says that Fleetmatics has prevented some customers from taking advantage of the company as well. “We have had a couple instances of customers arguing about a bill. We had a call saying our guy didn’t show up and I was able to go back and show the customer we had GPS on that vehicle, and showed exactly what time he pulled up, how many minutes he was there, and what time he was there. It is definitely an asset.”
Going forward, Beebe sees plenty of potential success with other aspects of the Fleetmatics system - one example is the geofencing capabilities. This feature helps the user designate important locations or areas where their vehicles should and should not go, such as customer locations, supply houses, gas stations and driver’s homes. “We are working to upload serious locations so we can use this with our routing more than we are now,” he says. “We’re also looking at tracking mileage on some of our vehicles on a week-to-week basis. Whether you run the reports or not, it’s nice to know from a managerial standpoint that they can be run and are available.”
Beebe also expects Fleet Maintenance Reports and Service Alerts to help his bottom line.
Fleetmatics customer service gets special praise from Beebe. “I have had great experiences with them. Any time we’ve called they have been able to answer our questions and resolve it right there on the spot. It’s not something you want to wait on.”
“I see different people in small business that have vehicles and I certainly mention and promote Fleetmatics. The cost per month is worth it. For you not to know what your person is doing in your vehicle… it’s foolish. Fleetmatics are my partners."