On: 09/05/2012 13:51 In: Experts Corner
At a time of continued economic uncertainty, it has never been more important for businesses to reduce costs and maximise efficiencies. And as companies within the roofing, cladding and insulation industry seek new ways to gain a competitive edge, many are turning to vehicle tracking technology to streamline processes and improve profits. Here tracking specialist Chris McClellan from Remote Asset Management Tracking considers the opportunities that the best of this highly functional technology has to offer contractors in our industry...
The benefits of tracking software as a vehicle management tool are well known. However recent advances in the technology mean that its uses now extend much further. In particular, it offers a number of applications for the roofing, cladding and insulation industry.
The software's versatility means it can be fitted to almost any vehicle. And with a wealth of features, it offers valuable cost and time-saving opportunities throughout all areas of the business from job scheduling to health and safety.
A particular challenge faced by the roofing, cladding and insulation industry is how to manage a workforce that is based predominantly 'on the road'. When staff need to be managed from a distance, it can cause real headaches for owners and managers. But by providing easily accessible data, available in real-time, the technology addresses this by allowing managers to easily monitor the workforce and allocate resources to where they are needed most.
In addition, the software underpins productivity, highlighting important information such as when employees are arriving at, or leaving a site and managers no longer need to telephone drivers to find out where they are. The intention of the technology is not to be a 'spy in the sky' but to provide managers with the knowledge about working patterns and daily schedules which will help reduce downtime and wasted man-hours.
The technology also supports efficient journey planning and helps reduce fuel consumption. Strategic data gives detailed information about journeys; mileage, excessive idling and fuel usage, helping companies run their vehicles more efficiently. Of course, this information also helps firms meet their environmental obligations by highlighting opportunities to cut carbon emissions. The benefits of tracking software are not just restricted to managers. The technology also helps safeguard the wellbeing of employees by monitoring working hours and providing security for loan workers. Furthermore, the system can help reduce the amount of paperwork staff are required to complete and can simplify many daily administrative processes. We've found that tracking software is helping to address another important concern within the roofing industry - the theft of salvaged materials such as lead. The reclamation yard can be set as a location on the tracking system's map facility, allowing managers to monitor any unauthorised activity. It is possible to search for details of vans that have visited the site, or the system can send an alert in real-time whenever a vehicle arrives at the site. Receipts will validate legitimate visits but if the driver cannot produce one, it provides the opportunity for further investigation.
As the roofing, cladding and insulation industry has begun to reap the rewards that vehicle tracking provides, we've seen our number of roofing clients steadily increase. Remote Asset Management now has around 50 roofing clients across the country. One of these clients, a Birmingham-based roofing contractor has installed Remote Asset Management tracking technology on a range of vehicles used by staff from various departments throughout the business.
Following the installation of the system, the company has been able to reduce fuel costs by identifying which driver is closest to a particular job. In addition, the technology has made it easy to verify time sheets, monitor when and where jobs have been completed and track private mileage. The system also protects employees who may be working alone, by tracking their location and providing the reassurance that they are safe.
Remote Asset Management's tracking has also played a key role in helping the company deliver excellent levels of customer service. As a contractor to several local authorities, schools and residential homes, this is particularly important as a quick response is expected when roofing emergencies arise.
By cutting fuel costs, improving scheduling and maximising productivity; vehicle tracking software with enhanced functionality such as Remote Asset Management's offers a provable return on investment to the roofing, cladding and insulation industry. And by streamlining administration and company processes, it brings efficiency and transparency to every area of the business.