Best Practices for Plumbing Fleet Management

July 29, 2020

Labor industries, such as plumbing, have largely remained unchanged over the decades, at least to the eye of the customer. In many regards, industries like plumbing haven’t changed a bit. The job can often be completed with the same tools used decades ago. Plumbing vans still look the same, perform the same- albeit they’re newer models. While the job of a plumber hasn’t changed much, there have been fundamental changes behind the scenes of plumbing fleet management.

Any plumbing fleet can operate as they have for decades, with paper files and time cards, a doling out of service schedules and routes at the start of the day, regular check ins via phone, etc. However, to operate at full efficiency, maximize capital, reduce costs and liability, and improve customer satisfaction to compete in the market today, your fleet needs tech solutions. Many fleets have already caught on to this and have begun to implement tech and improve their fleet management. But tech is ever-changing, and many fleets aren’t aware of some of the newest features they can benefit from.

That being said, let’s take a look at the best practices for fleet management in today’s tech age.

Technology for Plumbing Fleet Management

To survive as a business, you must be competitive. That much has always been true. But today, in the market we operate in, being competitive means implementing the right technology to boost your business. You can provide the fastest on-the-job service, with the friendliest and most helpful professionals, and the greatest customer service to back it all up, but you may find your costs are too high, as well as your accident rate. You may find that your vehicles aren’t very efficient, or that your customers aren’t happy because you told them you’d be there at 8 am but don’t arrive until 8 pm. Maybe the issues are even further on the backend. Your failing inspections, or your timecards got lost, or you spend way too much on repairs and administrative work.

Technology, such as fleet telematics, aims to alleviate a lot of the pains of fleet management, in any industry. For instance, a GPS tracking system makes it possible to know where your fleet vehicles are at all times. This eliminates the need to call them to check-in, which reduces the number of distractions to your driver and also the sense of micromanagement they might feel. When mixed with route planning and route optimization, you can dispatch your drivers with the fastest and most efficient routes possible. You’ll send the driver, with the right tools, to the job sites closest to them, speeding up their response times and allowing your team to take on more in a day. You’ll also be able to provide customers with a report on who their plumber will be- their name, picture, and a bit of work history if you please- along with an ETA for their job. Drivers will be able to see information for the job, such as job site history and problem recorded, to ensure they have the right tools. Getting to the job site faster, with less runaround, also reduces fuel consumption.

In other words, with just GPS tracking and route optimization, your fleet can:

  • Improve customer service and response times
  • Reduce administrative labor costs and oversight of drivers
  • Reduce fuel costs and mileage- leading to lower repair costs
  • Improve dispatch efficiency
  • Get accurate ETAs for both yourself and your customers

When you mix in tools like idle time reporting and geofencing, you’ll even be able to see how long your fleet stays at a job site and how much fuel they consume at each stop. You’ll be able to provide your customers with the most accurate bill possible, boost productivity, and reduce wastage.

As you can see, just a little bit of the right tech can go a long way to improving multiple functions in your fleet.

Best Practices for Plumbing Fleet Management 

Many plumbing fleet management best practices tips relate to fleet vehicles. This is because fleets in industries like plumbing rely on their vehicles to get their jobs done. It’s one of the most vital tools, and one that costs the most, and requires a near-constant vigilance with maintenance. Below, we share the best practices for fleet management in the plumbing industry.

Employ the Right Tools for the Job

This is speaking largely to the type of vehicles you employ in your fleet. If you don’t have efficient vehicles, then all of your other efforts are fairly mute. Even if you install fleet telematics in your vehicles, you’re going to get continuous alerts for fuel consumption, maintenance, idling, and other vehicle issues. If you’re looking to tune up your fleet management, start with your vehicles. Consider purchasing through factory order. If that isn’t an option that works for you, consider leasing. You want to implement a policy of fleet vehicle replacement- a good vehicle lifecycle is anywhere from 3-5 years, which works well with many leases.

Work on predictive maintenance

Maintenance is a huge cost for any fleet, which is why you should focus on predictive maintenance along with preventative maintenance. Predictive maintenance requires tech like engine diagnostics monitoring through telematics. It will monitor diagnostic trouble codes and alert you to potential issues long before the DTCs set off. Preventative maintenance is the performance of regular maintenance, using a checklist and schedule to ensure things like filters, spark plugs, and batteries are replaced regularly before they become an issue.

Put safety first

A single fleet vehicle accident can cost your company around $74,000. The costs rise even higher in the event of a fatality. You’ll face lawsuits, employee compensation, vehicle and property damage, and so much more. You can avoid much of these costs by focusing on safety and implementing the right safety tools. Improvements to safety:

  • Reduce accidents and resulting costs
  • Improve customer and employee retention
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Reduce insurance costs

The right tech isn’t simply fleet tracking, it’s a comprehensive system that takes safety seriously. It employs tools like driver scoring and score sharing, incentive programs for better driving, driver behavior monitoring and training tools, and much more.

Focus on Retention

Every time you lose an employee and hire a new one, it costs around $15,000. Finding new customers rather than retaining existing customers costs you even more (approximately 5 times more). You can improve the retention of drivers by improving their working environment through additional safety measures, digitizing and automating time cards and other paperwork, and adding an incentive program. Retain customers by improving response time, providing ETAs and driver profiles, keeping accurate history of the job site, and improving the efficiency of dispatching.

Finding Tech Solutions For Your Plumbing Fleet

There are tech solutions out there that aim to solve all fleet problems, but there are few solutions that can do it all in one software solution. Azuga focuses on making your fleet both efficient and safe, with features like geofencing, route optimization, fuel card integration, DriveSafe, and Azuga Coach. Learn more about how you can solve all of your plumbing fleet management problems, with Azuga Fleet.

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Best Practices for Plumbing Fleet Management

July 29, 2020

Labor industries, such as plumbing, have largely remained unchanged over the decades, at least to the eye of the customer. In many regards, industries like plumbing haven’t changed a bit. The job can often be completed with the same tools used decades ago. Plumbing vans still look the same, perform the same- albeit they’re newer models. While the job of a plumber hasn’t changed much, there have been fundamental changes behind the scenes of plumbing fleet management.

Any plumbing fleet can operate as they have for decades, with paper files and time cards, a doling out of service schedules and routes at the start of the day, regular check ins via phone, etc. However, to operate at full efficiency, maximize capital, reduce costs and liability, and improve customer satisfaction to compete in the market today, your fleet needs tech solutions. Many fleets have already caught on to this and have begun to implement tech and improve their fleet management. But tech is ever-changing, and many fleets aren’t aware of some of the newest features they can benefit from.

That being said, let’s take a look at the best practices for fleet management in today’s tech age.

Technology for Plumbing Fleet Management

To survive as a business, you must be competitive. That much has always been true. But today, in the market we operate in, being competitive means implementing the right technology to boost your business. You can provide the fastest on-the-job service, with the friendliest and most helpful professionals, and the greatest customer service to back it all up, but you may find your costs are too high, as well as your accident rate. You may find that your vehicles aren’t very efficient, or that your customers aren’t happy because you told them you’d be there at 8 am but don’t arrive until 8 pm. Maybe the issues are even further on the backend. Your failing inspections, or your timecards got lost, or you spend way too much on repairs and administrative work.

Technology, such as fleet telematics, aims to alleviate a lot of the pains of fleet management, in any industry. For instance, a GPS tracking system makes it possible to know where your fleet vehicles are at all times. This eliminates the need to call them to check-in, which reduces the number of distractions to your driver and also the sense of micromanagement they might feel. When mixed with route planning and route optimization, you can dispatch your drivers with the fastest and most efficient routes possible. You’ll send the driver, with the right tools, to the job sites closest to them, speeding up their response times and allowing your team to take on more in a day. You’ll also be able to provide customers with a report on who their plumber will be- their name, picture, and a bit of work history if you please- along with an ETA for their job. Drivers will be able to see information for the job, such as job site history and problem recorded, to ensure they have the right tools. Getting to the job site faster, with less runaround, also reduces fuel consumption.

In other words, with just GPS tracking and route optimization, your fleet can:

When you mix in tools like idle time reporting and geofencing, you’ll even be able to see how long your fleet stays at a job site and how much fuel they consume at each stop. You’ll be able to provide your customers with the most accurate bill possible, boost productivity, and reduce wastage.

As you can see, just a little bit of the right tech can go a long way to improving multiple functions in your fleet.

Best Practices for Plumbing Fleet Management 

Many plumbing fleet management best practices tips relate to fleet vehicles. This is because fleets in industries like plumbing rely on their vehicles to get their jobs done. It’s one of the most vital tools, and one that costs the most, and requires a near-constant vigilance with maintenance. Below, we share the best practices for fleet management in the plumbing industry.

Employ the Right Tools for the Job

This is speaking largely to the type of vehicles you employ in your fleet. If you don’t have efficient vehicles, then all of your other efforts are fairly mute. Even if you install fleet telematics in your vehicles, you’re going to get continuous alerts for fuel consumption, maintenance, idling, and other vehicle issues. If you’re looking to tune up your fleet management, start with your vehicles. Consider purchasing through factory order. If that isn’t an option that works for you, consider leasing. You want to implement a policy of fleet vehicle replacement- a good vehicle lifecycle is anywhere from 3-5 years, which works well with many leases.

Work on predictive maintenance

Maintenance is a huge cost for any fleet, which is why you should focus on predictive maintenance along with preventative maintenance. Predictive maintenance requires tech like engine diagnostics monitoring through telematics. It will monitor diagnostic trouble codes and alert you to potential issues long before the DTCs set off. Preventative maintenance is the performance of regular maintenance, using a checklist and schedule to ensure things like filters, spark plugs, and batteries are replaced regularly before they become an issue.

Put safety first

A single fleet vehicle accident can cost your company around $74,000. The costs rise even higher in the event of a fatality. You’ll face lawsuits, employee compensation, vehicle and property damage, and so much more. You can avoid much of these costs by focusing on safety and implementing the right safety tools. Improvements to safety:

The right tech isn’t simply fleet tracking, it’s a comprehensive system that takes safety seriously. It employs tools like driver scoring and score sharing, incentive programs for better driving, driver behavior monitoring and training tools, and much more.

Focus on Retention

Every time you lose an employee and hire a new one, it costs around $15,000. Finding new customers rather than retaining existing customers costs you even more (approximately 5 times more). You can improve the retention of drivers by improving their working environment through additional safety measures, digitizing and automating time cards and other paperwork, and adding an incentive program. Retain customers by improving response time, providing ETAs and driver profiles, keeping accurate history of the job site, and improving the efficiency of dispatching.

Finding Tech Solutions For Your Plumbing Fleet

There are tech solutions out there that aim to solve all fleet problems, but there are few solutions that can do it all in one software solution. Azuga focuses on making your fleet both efficient and safe, with features like geofencing, route optimization, fuel card integration, DriveSafe, and Azuga Coach. Learn more about how you can solve all of your plumbing fleet management problems, with Azuga Fleet.

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