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Safety is paramount in everyday fleet management, but especially during uncertain times. Drivers face pressure to make timely deliveries, while owners grapple with using equipment to have the most streamlined operations, all while protecting driver safety. These challenges are more acute when drivers are up against the personal risks of the pandemic, and businesses face the new normal of job and driver ups and downs.

Contractors can tackle today’s challenges by continuing to leverage or, in some cases, lean into existing fleet management and field service technology to track employees, help schedule, monitor job completion, manage the customer experience and, ultimately, keep drivers safe.

Technology to Help Improve Safety

For business owners operating truck and equipment fleets, advanced GPS tracking technology can be relied on to manage a remote workforce and decrease office time and in-person communication, while maintaining business efficiency and driver safety.

High-resolution maps with smart clustering and details-on-demand can effectively monitor a mobile workforce and construction equipment. This is important as businesses are still operating remotely and contact tracing is key to protecting communities and customers. GPS tracking can show where drivers have been and who they have encountered in case an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

In addition, fleet management technologyc can be synched with the maintenance of a business’s heavy equipment, including trucks, concrete mixers, tractors or cranes, to avoid the safety consequence of vehicles falling behind in timely upkeep. The technology can help monitor and track the wide-ranging requirements and multiple OEM-recommended service schedules, automating the alerts of individual vehicle service schedules. Plus it can flag a fault code signaling an engine issue or transmission malfunction and track maintenance of tire rotations, oil changes, brake work and other critical repairs that impact driver safety.

Technology to Protect the Customer Experience

Field service management solutions allow fleet managers to schedule and manage service requests, dispatch them to drivers in the field and provide ETAs to customers with notifications. These capabilities are important to maintain positive customer experiences, as a negative customer experience can impact a business’s ability to compete in the market in the future.Consumers are twice as likely to share a negative experience than a positive one.

Customers have not changed during the pandemic; rather, remote work and the need for visibility into upcoming and completed service has increased. And when there is more potential for drivers to take time off, business owners can prepare by using field service technology to optimize job schedules during periods of low staffing and sick leave, or quickly adjust schedules to manage compliance with rapidly changing regulations and health recommendations. Moreover, to have worker schedules in one system allows dispatchers to avoid patching together separate calendars and spreadsheets.

With field service technology, contractors can also respond to customer requests with greater visibility on job status and request a customer review of any job that’s been completed. Some advanced field service technology can customize customer review requests specific to a job and driver. This allows managers to review a completed job and the ability to reach back out to a customer to resolve a potential job concern. 

Ultimately, businesses with field workers can use technology to help make the last-mile customer experience efficient and customer-focused and help a business increase the level of service they are providing.

Integrated fleet and field technologies make it easier to build procedures and structures that allow businesses to operate a fleet and a remote workforce. It’s these technologies that can be adjusted for today’s challenges and help contractors protect business and keep workers and drivers safe. 

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