We understand that operating a landscaping or lawn care company is a lot of work. There are many things to keep track of and monitor throughout the day, all while trying to ensure that you and your team provide the best possible service to your clients. We work with lawn care companies and municipalities around the country to provide solutions to make their operations more efficient and to make the lives of their owners/operators easier.
We’re here to convey how it can also help yours. Here is a list of the top four reasons why lawn care companies need to implement an asset tracking solution this season (or any season). We will also share a story of one of our clients, a landscaping company owner who described a few examples of how asset tracking solutions helped his business.
Top 4 Reasons Lawn Care Companies Need Asset Tracking
1. Increase Employee Accountability
Whether you’re running a business from your home office, or if you’re out working with one team yet have other teams operating at other locations, it can be hard to make sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
While having vehicles that are equipped with GPS asset tracking devices, you can know exactly where your vehicles are at any given time. Using your mobile device or computer and Rastrac’s live tracking software, you can see where your employees are and call them if there is an issue. Additionally, you can monitor when vehicles enter or leave specific geographic locations through the use of geofences.
Rastrac’s geofencing technology allows users to create virtual perimeters that correspond to real-world locations. This tool can be used to create boundaries of practically any size and a series of set or customizable shapes. An added benefit is that you can set alerts to text or email you whenever one of your tagged assets leaves one of your specified areas.
2. Reduce Payroll and Overhead Costs
Using an efficient and reliable asset tracking solution can save your business money. Using asset management software, you can know when employees report to work sites, such as a client’s house for a private lawn service, or a specific area for a municipal public works department team. Armed with GPS tracking software that can automatically generate reports, you can effortlessly enjoy the data that is at your disposal and help you stay informed to make better decisions.
Many Rastrac GPS tracking devices integrate with your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics system. This enables the device to tap into and monitor a variety of factors, including:
- Vehicle location
- Engine performance
- Driver behaviors
- The condition of your asset
Another advantage of using a GPS asset management software is that you can ensure that your payroll is accurate. By knowing exactly when teams reach and leave assigned job sites, you experience more accurate timecard tracking. This can reduce excess hours that otherwise result from human error or from being intentionally misreported, thereby decreasing your organization’s overhead costs.
3. Increase Your Organization’s Productivity and Efficiency
By knowing where your fleet vehicles are during the day, and how well your vehicles are performing, you can make better and informed decisions each day. This can enable you to make changes or address inefficiencies within your organization that can help you to achieve operational excellence.
For example, if you realize that your employees are spending too long at one location, you can reach out to them to get an update or see if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Or, if you realize that you need to create some standardized practices, asset tracking can help you make sure that everyone is on the same page and enforce them. With an agile and reliable asset management system at your service, the possibilities (and benefits) are virtually endless.
4. Provide a Higher Level of Service to Customers
When you combine all these different benefits that result from an efficient and effective asset management and tracking solution, it can place your company at an incredible advantage over your competitors. This combined benefit will be felt in other areas — especially the quality of service your company offers to your customers each day.
When scheduling new customers, you’ll have a better idea of how much of a workload your team(s) can handle in a day, week, or month. And, by making your business more efficient and reducing overhead costs, the benefits can translate to a better price to your customers.
A Client Story: How an Asset Tracking Solution Helped his Lawn Care Business
This post is based on a true story, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent:
When Trust is Abused — What GPS Tracking Data Can Reveal
Larry was the owner of a landscaping company who trusted his employees. He had a successful business serving customers—so much so that he needed roughly two dozen vehicles just to serve all of his existing customers. And, every day, his employees reported how much work they did for his customers at each jobsite and how they’d work until 6 o’clock every evening to get everything done.
One day, Larry decided to add GPS tracking to his fleet of lawn care vehicles. He’d heard about how GPS tracking could help companies like his save money, and was curious to see what it could do.
He was shocked by what his GPS tracking data revealed.
While some of Larry’s crews were working diligently and acting responsibly, others were not. There were drivers who, although reporting that they were on the job until 6:00 pm, were actually back in the shop as early as 3:00 or 4:00 pm. Others were found to be taking extended trips to the local park or other random locations far away from where they were supposed to be working.
Some drivers weren’t returning their vehicles to the company shop overnight like they were told to. One driver was even parking at an automotive store near his house and walking home instead of taking his own vehicle. Also, on weekends, some drivers would take company trucks off the lot for personal use without permission.
Worse yet, some drivers were speeding by a significant margin in company vehicles. This was a huge problem because it not only wasted gas, it could be extremely dangerous—especially since these vehicles carried landscaping tools and equipment in a trailer dragging behind the vehicle. One sudden stop could jackknife the trailer, or a pothole could make it detach.
These abuses of trust were costing Larry’s business thousands of dollars each month. It was also impacting his ability to serve his paying customers. With that money, he could hire more people, with that lost labor, he could be serving more customers.
Improving Service, Reducing Costs, and Being More Productive with GPS Tracking
Larry found that he couldn’t sit by. He was losing money, and his customers weren’t getting the level of service he wanted to provide. So, he started putting that shocking GPS data he’d collected to use.
He started by not only correcting the drivers that were engaging in bad behavior, but by rewarding the drivers that were being responsible. This helped Larry keep his best crews while improving or weeding out the bad eggs.
Another benefit of this was that it helped keep Larry’s drivers on-task during work hours, so more customers could be helped with fewer vehicles. Also, if one truck fell behind schedule because of an unexpected issue, Larry could quickly identify another nearby truck that could take over the route or at least notify the next customer that had an appointment—which helped keep customers happy.
Using remote starter disable, Larry was able to keep his trucks from simply being driven off the lot during non-work hours—meaning less fuel consumed and less maintenance required for his fleet of vehicles. This also helped to prevent his trucks from being stolen.
Engine start/stop, vehicle speed, and idle time reports further helped Larry identify and correct inefficient vehicle use. This reduced fuel costs significantly—giving Larry more room in his budget for employee raises or adding more landscaping crews.
Finally, Larry was able to program maintenance reminders into his GPS solution—providing him with alerts whenever a vehicle was starting to reach a maintenance milestone such as 250 engine hours or 6,000 miles since last maintenance. This would help to prevent costly roadside breakdowns that could strand work crews (not to mention help compliance with state-level vehicle inspection & maintenance requirements).
Ultimately, GPS tracking proved to be the perfect tool for helping Larry stay on top of his fleet so he could improve productivity, save money, and keep his customers happy.
To learn more about how you can improve your asset tracking capabilities with Rastrac, request a demo.
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