By Jenny Malcolm, GPS Insight
Across energy markets, businesses are modernizing fleet management with technology to ensure first-rate transportation. In many instances, oil and gas fleets are responsible for transporting millions of dollars’ worth of propane, heating oil and diesel to homes and businesses. It’s essential to ensure the best processes are in place to streamline deliveries.
Oil and gas fleets are turning to GPS tracking technology to better manage deliveries by monitoring driver productivity, electronically tracking proof of service and delivery quantity, providing more accurate ETAs, reducing fuel usage, improving communication with the mobile workforce, and more. With the right use of GPS tracking, oil and gas fleets will streamline operations, improve current processes, and achieve a substantial ROI with the technology.
Here is a quick look at some of the improvements fleet managers can make when they deploy GPS tracking technology in their fleets.
1. Increase Productivity
GPS tracking helps oil and gas fleets maximize the workday and complete an optimal amount of jobs possible. Fleets are able to optimize workflow by monitoring how efficiently drivers complete deliveries. An effective way for fleet management to monitor job efficiency is through automated alerts from the GPS tracking system during long stops. If a vehicle has been stopped at a customer location for longer than the typical delivery should take, it’s clear that there is a productivity issue that needs to be addressed. Fleet management can use GPS tracking data to coach employees on more efficient practices, which will increase the number of jobs a fleet can complete per day.
2. Prevent Billing Discrepancies
Oil and gas fleets that use GPS tracking systems are able to easily verify deliveries, and even provide proof of quantities delivered, to prevent billing discrepancies with customers. Using a paper tracking system to verify a delivery is less reliable and increases the chance of the delivery company being held liable if proof of delivery cannot be supplied. A more efficient method to quickly and accurately settle billing disputes is by using a GPS tracking system to electronically track delivery confirmations. Using custom forms functionality allows oil and gas businesses to easily store, search, and provide proof of delivery that includes the date and time and even the exact quantity delivered. To track proof of service electronically, fleet managers can have drivers fill out a form verifying the delivery took place at the point of service, include the quantity delivered, and send it straight to the office in real-time.
Using a well-organized, automated system to track deliveries will simplify the process and protect businesses against being held financially responsible when they are not at fault.
3. Improve Customer Relations
Maintaining strong customer relations is important to build a strong customer base and generate new clientele. One of the most effective ways for oil and gas fleets to increase customer service is by providing accurate ETAs on deliveries. Oil and gas fleets can use a GPS tracking system to quickly assess current vehicle locations and provide customers with accurate arrival times. Having this information readily available eliminates the need to call drivers to figure how long it will take them to get to the next jobsite, empowering customer service representatives. Oil and gas fleets that utilize GPS tracking don’t just become more productive in the field, they become more productive back at the office as well.
4. Reduce Fuel Usage
Using GPS tracking allows oil and gas fleets to significantly reduce annual mileage, increase dispatch effectiveness, and decrease excessive idling to dramatically cut fuel expenses. It may seem inconsequential for drivers to keep the vehicle running during deliveries to keep the cab warm on a cold day or cool on a hot day, but it makes a huge impact over time. To reduce costly idle time, GPS tracking systems offer alerts that notify managers and drivers when the vehicle surpasses an acceptable threshold of idle time to reduce unnecessary fuel usage.
5. Improve Communications with Mobile Workforces in the Field
GPS tracking technology has bridged the gap between the office and the jobsite by allowing oil and gas fleets to manage their mobile workforce in real-time. Oil and gas fleets use GPS tracking to dispatch resources with improved efficiency, instantly send information from point-of-delivery to the office, streamline billing by automatically tracking the number of site visits and the time spent at each site, and more. With GPS tracking in place, processes are simplified and information becomes immediately actionable. There is no lag period that can increase the chance of error, making a significant impact in areas like billing, inventory, and payroll.
In today’s energy markets, the use of GPS tracking technology has become a necessity to be as effective, productive, and efficient as possible. Oil and gas businesses that do not have a system in place should consider implementing GPS tracking not only to increase their effectiveness but to stay on par with their competition.
To learn more about how GPS tracking improves fuel delivery and helps make long lasting enhancements to fleet operations, call GPS Insight at 480-663-9454 or visit www.gpsinsight.com.