Ken Lyons, Operations Director at Emerald Facility Services said that when the fleet was smaller it was fairly simple to monitor it manually – as the fleet had grown it was becoming more difficult manage and to keep a clear view of every van in the fleet. “Our operatives were not as disciplined as they might have been, when it came to reporting their location or expected arrival times,” said Mr Lyons. “We used two-way radios to keep in contact with each other, a system that was becoming increasingly more difficult to effectively co-ordinate the fleet. The FleetMatics GPS tracking system has enabled us to cut down on supervision time, even though our fleet has expanded.”
A huge benefit for the window cleaning company is knowing the exact location of its vans in real time and this has helped it achieve a 15% improvement in productivity. “As each operative has regular clients, which run over a number of weeks or months, it has been possible to build up an accurate picture of how much time a particular job takes,” explains Mr Lyons. “With careful planning, the number, type and location of jobs have been optimised and this has led to an unexpected improvement in productivity.”
A further benefit to productivity and customer service has also arisen from the fact that now, should there be a need for specialist equipment, such as a cherry picker, the fleet controller can easily ascertain through the FleetMatics GPS tracking and tagging system which van is equipped with the right kit and which is the closest to the required location. The controller can then assign the most suitable operative to attend the site without impacting on other customers.
When the FleetMatics GPS Fleet Management system was first specified, the potential fuel saving was not viewed by Ken Lyons as being a major factor in the decision making process. “With escalating fuel prices, we now monitor fuel usage very closely,” he adds, and the benefits that GPS Monitoring has brought have contributed greatly to Emerald Facility Services’ return on investment. “As well as planning and optimising routes for our vans,” maintains Mr Lyons, “another issue that we hadn’t been aware of is the amount of unauthorised personal use of the vehicles, which has declined significantly. If one of our operatives needs to use a vehicle, they now give me a call to ask permission first, which is a complete sea change obviously!”
Ken gets his daily reports generated by the FleetMatics system emailed directly to his iPhone, so he’s able to investigate any unusual events immediately. Ken is able to access additional information from the FleetMatics GPS Fleet Tracking tool to benefit other aspects of the business, such as the ability to check time sheets; to correctly identify which van and driver is responsible should there be any speeding offences or motor accidents and, because the van has to idle for the wash and reach window cleaning equipment to operate, how long a specific job should take. One completely unexpected bonus cited by Ken Lyons was that when one of the vans was stolen, the FleetMatics system was able to track it down and he was able to inform the police to its position to attend in minutes – a benefit that saw the van returned with all its contents in one piece.
The benefits that Emerald Facility Services has received since installing the FleetMatics GPS Fleet Monitoring tool have far exceeded the expectations of the company, which initially just wanted to save itself from the further fixed costs involved with manual supervision. Mr Lyons is convinced that the system achieves the right balance for the company in terms of the monthly investment and the productivity improvements and cost savings that it now makes.
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FleetMatics is a leading global provider of fleet management solutions delivered as software-as-
The company’s world headquarters are in Ireland, with UK offices in Reading and Glasgow and U.S. headquarters in the Boston area. FleetMatics is the parent company of SageQuest.
For more information please visit: www.fleetmatics.co.uk
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