Do you own or manage a pest control company? Have you ever found one of your guys asleep in the company truck at a nearby park? Have you happened to spot one of your techs in a drive thru while he was scheduled to be on a job?
What’s it Costing You?
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) estimates that employee fraud costs a company 6% of an organization’s total revenue, or $600 billion annually. If your pest control company’s revenue was $250,000 last year you’ve potentially lost out on $15,000. That’s $15,000 that can be reinvested in your company, helping it grow.
Some of this employee fraud can be directly attributed your tech’s work efficiency. Simply stated, your employees may not be working where they say they are working for the amount of time they say they are.
GPS Tracking System—Vehicle or Software
One way to reduce employee fraud and improve work efficiency today is to track your technicians with a global positioning system (GPS). Systems can be installed in your fleet of vehicles, or enabled in your tech’s smart phones. Pest control software, like PestPac, ServPro, and Smart Service Enterprise also have GPS features that make tracking your techs easy.
GPS tracking systems will allow you to know where your techs are at all times. They can also improve your tech’s efficiency by allowing you to spot check the time on a job, calculate the percentage of time a tech spends driving, and evaluate your dispatching and routing.
With a GPS tracking system, you’ll be able to figure out the quickest routes from point A to point B, just in case your techs don’t know. Managing your route territories will save time and money because techs aren’t driving from one end of the city to the other for service calls frequently throughout the day.
The installation of GPS tracking systems in your fleet will likely lower your costs for your next insurance renewal as well. Don’t be surprised if you also see a significant reduction in traffic incidents. A GPS system will notify you in the event of speeding, sudden stopping, or acceleration.
Another added benefit a GPS system will provide is additional market research. As an owner or manager you’ll be able to see very easily what areas you are servicing most frequently and adjust your marketing and sales efforts accordingly.
There are a few alerts pest control companies are finding the most useful while tracking their techs. “Proof of Position” alerts will tell you exactly where your techs are while on the road. For systems installed in a fleet, an “Idle” alert will tell you how long a vehicle has been left running. Some techs will warm up their trucks for 30 minutes or longer on a chilly day, or even leave them running while on a service call. Monitoring this behavior can save money on gas. The “Speed Indicator,” “Sudden Stopping,” and “Exceeding Acceleration Threshold” alerts will notify you if driving issues need to be addressed with your techs. “Out of Area” and “After Hours” alerts help you see areas that might need improvement and training.
Benefits in Summary
- Track location of techs
- Manage route territories
- Savings on insurance premiums
- Monitor speed and idling to save on fuel
- Employee safety
- Market Research
If you decide to monitor your technicians through GPS tracking, expect some aversion and challenges at first. Some tech’s may feel like “big brother” is standing over them at all times, watching their every move. Some techs may feel that this monitoring is an invasion of their privacy. Others will feel like you do not trust them, and this can lead to some lower employee morale in the workplace. Another challenge to these GPS tracking systems is that they are not always 100% accurate on picking up the actual location.
As an owner or manager of a pest control company you will need to determine how you will inform your techs about your decision to use GPS tracking, or if you will inform them at all. If you do tell them, you’ll need to develop a training plan for proper use and implementation.
Challenges in Summary
- Technicians feeling like “big brother” is watching over them over them, and that they can’t be trusted
- Feelings of invasion of privacy
- Location accuracy
- Development of a training plan for proper use
- How and when to communicate it to the technicians
What’s Worked for You?
Many benefits can come from the use of GPS tracking systems for your pest control company, but they are not without some challenges. What have been your experiences, both positive and negative, using a GPS tracking system? Has it helped? What methods have worked best?