SkyBitz Local Fleets tracking solution helps Sam Wexler Plumbing move from outdated paper maps to state-of-the-art GPS technology.
Ross Wexler, IT manager for Sam Wexler Plumbing, can remember a time when his drivers would rely on map books of the greater Philadelphia area to get from job to job. Back at the main office, the dispatchers would consult a map of their own—a large one tacked up on the wall—to decide which plumber in the field should handle which service call.
To hear Wexler tell it now, that seems like an inefficient way of doing things. That’s because Sam Wexler Plumbing now uses the SkyBitz Local Fleets tracking solution to manage their fleet of service vehicles. “I couldn’t imagine doing without it,” Wexler says.
By using a tamper-proof communicator that’s roughly the size of a credit card (and which can be installed covertly or with the driver’s knowledge), SkyBitz Local Fleets provides state-of-the-art GPS tracking capabilities to small businesses like Sam Wexler Plumbing. The days of drivers pulling onto the shoulder of the road to thumb through their maps are over. The same goes for dispatchers trying to discern the best route without knowing anything about current traffic conditions.
“Before, it was all just a guessing game,” Wexler remembers. “Sometimes it was based on employees’ recall of zip codes and where those were located.”
Sam Wexler Plumbing now has SkyBitz Local Fleets installed in 17 company trucks. Considering they have a sizeable service area—about a 25-mile radius around Philadelphia—efficient routing provides major cost-savings in the form of fewer trips to the gas pump, fewer miles on the vehicle fleet, and fewer man hours.
The system also allows Sam Wexler Plumbing to provide the best possible customer service, largely by being able to respond more quickly to service calls, particularly emergency situations. Of course, the SkyBitz Local Fleets GPS device is more than “just” a tracker. Improving routing practices is only one of the many ways that the targeted data stream and business intelligence capabilities of SkyBitz can save you money.
Regardless of the fleet size, staying on top of maintenance schedules—especially when you have different makes and models in the same fleet—can be onerous and, if not strictly adhered to, costly. Not only do regular maintenance tasks, like oil changes, fluid-level checks, and tire rotations, make more expensive future repairs less likely, they’re also necessary to keep vehicle warranties in force.
That’s where SkyBitz Local Fleets comes in. The fleet management solution from SkyBitz Local Fleets sends out maintenance reminders, and those reminders are tailored to the vehicle make and model, so the hazards of a “one size fits all” maintenance schedule are avoided. You save time, and you save money.
The tracker activates whenever the vehicle is turned on, so it also monitors idle time. That feature helps it provide the most accurate information when it comes to knowing how long a worker is at a service appointment. By extension, you can monitor personal use of vehicles. Sam Wexler Plumbing quickly learned the value of such oversight. “It was surprising to see how much the trucks were being used when they shouldn’t be,” Wexler says.
You can also know how fast the driver is going and compare the vehicle speed to both the posted speed limit and the “road speed”—i.e., the average speed of the other drivers on the same stretch of road at that same time. Such oversight capabilities, in Wexler’s words, “create better behavior” on the part of the driver. Safer drivers, of course, reflect well on the company and decrease the odds of costly and dangerous accidents.
The bottom line for Sam Wexler Plumbing? “We’re saving thousands every month,” Wexler says. “Between gas usage, wear and tear on vehicles, employee hours—it’s been a huge difference.” He goes on to note that the return on investment was “almost immediate.”
Speaking of the investment, it’s exceedingly modest on the part of the business. SkyBitz Local Fleets owns the commercial-grade GPS trackers that it installs and charges a monthly fee for use of the equipment and for the multitude of real-time data and reports those trackers provide to fleet operators. That means no upfront capital costs for SkyBitz Local Fleets clients like Sam Wexler Plumbing, and that means no maintenance fees—ever. That, in turn, means cost certainty. “The cost is very reasonable,” Wexler says.
In the end, it’s about more than the money-saving benefits of the SkyBitz Local Fleets solution and the modest outlay required to obtain them. It’s also that SkyBitz Local Fleets is committed to partnering with you to ensure you get the most out of your system, not merely provide you with a product. The decision to use SkyBitz Local Fleets is just the start of the relationship. “When you have a company that works with you,” Wexler says, “it makes a big difference.”
For Sam Wexler Plumbing, SkyBitz Local Fleets has indeed made a big difference in how they do business and in their bottom line.
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