Have you ever turned off your computer at 6:00 pm and wondered where one or more of your company vehicles were? Have you ever looked in amazement at the fuel cost line in the monthly finance report? Have you ever wondered why there are so many customer complaints about service response time? Putting a GPS device in each vehicle and initiating fleet tracking takes the guesswork out of business management.At a surprisingly low cost, you can equip every vehicle owned by your company – from company cars to long-haul tractor trailers – with a GPS tracking device. This device enables fleet tracking, which will send and receive signals via satellite. You will then have access to a broad range of vehicle and driver information, as well as the ability to communicate critical information to your vehicles (and drivers) that will increase efficiency and productivity.Fleet tracking can help you achieve the following results for your company:- Reduced time (driver, manager, accounting) spent on paperwork.- Automated billing and payroll applications reduce errors.- More efficient routes and speeds resulting in lower mileage and lower fuel expense.- More efficient routing reduces extra stops.- More efficient routing and driving reduces idling times.- Ability to redirect the closest vehicle for urgent needs.- Tracking eliminates unauthorized use of company vehicles.- Eradication of employee fraud.- Ability to improve safe-driving habits and fuel-efficient driving habits.- Drivers protected by fleet tracking against false customer claims and dangerous driving accusations.- Rapid recovery of stolen vehicles.- More efficient delivery of products and services.- Ability to document key performance metrics for employee recognition or retraining.- Possible reduction in vehicle insurance costs.Fleet tracking will provide a myriad of standard and customized reports on vehicle history, driver history, safety statistics, economies achieved, and payroll and billing information. You can monitor the location of every vehicle in a single screen view or in greater detail. You can view vehicle status from the office or on a hand-held device from anywhere. You can even access statistical information from remote locations to help you answer customer questions or complaints, estimate costs and schedules for new clients or customers, and provide instant assistance to drivers.A recent study by the Aberdeen Group documented a 23% increase in total number of service calls completed per day per technician in organizations with small fleets when GPS fleet tracking was installed in their vehicles. What would a 23% increase in profitability mean for your company if achieved across your entire fleet?What would you save in overtime pay if all of your technicians were able to achieve a 23% productivity increase and reduce 23% of overtime pay with fleet tracking? When technicians are more efficient and productive, not only do they finish their work faster, they also enable supervisors, managers and others to eliminate overtime, as well.Consider next the impact on your fuel bill if you were able to eliminate all speeding (over 60 mph), reduce idle times, ensure use of the fastest, most direct, and most efficient routes by all drivers, and eliminate unauthorized vehicle usage with fleet tracking? Then add to this savings the additional amount of fuel you could save if all of your employees authorized to drive company vehicles were safe and efficient drivers.Finally, by using the maintenance alerts and schedule monitoring capabilities of a fleet tracking system, you can ensure that your vehicles are operating in peak condition, most efficiently and reduce the number of needed repairs while on the road. This keeps vehicles on the road longer, saves the costs associated with avoidable break-downs, and improves fuel efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a properly tuned engine saves mpg by up to 4%. Immediate repair of a major mechanical problem, they say will improve mpg by as much as 40%.Consideration of all the ways GPS fleet tracking can help you achieve operating cost reductions and improve productivity makes it easy to see how fleet tracking takes the guesswork out of business management.
As organisations grow, getting a complete picture of what is happening within the business becomes more difficult. Data blind spots can occur where each department only has visibility of information that is relevant to their specific department. This article outlines 3 key benefits that implementing an integrated business management solution provides.Improves EfficiencyHaving multiple systems for different departments or processes (e.g. sales ordering, case management, sales etc) will ultimately reduce the efficiency of the workforce. An example of this is where the details of each customer, prospect or supplier will have to be entered separately into each system. Say your organisation has 4 systems that a customer’s address needs to be entered in to, this will quadruple the time taken, compared to if there was one, central business system.Eliminates Data SilosEliminating data silos will also improve efficiency. Consider this example: A sales manager is looking to cross-sell to an existing customer. She can see all the products/services that this customer has bought in the past. She can also see all her interactions with the customer as well as those from her sales colleagues. However as she has no visibility of customer service information she can’t see that this particular customer has logged an issue with the support team who have been trying to resolve that for several days.In this situation the customer is highly unlikely to be receptive to a sales call from the company when there is an outstanding issue with the existing product, resulting in poor efficiency. This could also have the knock-on effect by impacting negatively on the relationship with the customer.In a situation such as this having an integrated system with complete visibility across the organisation would ensure that sales staff focus only on prospects that are likely to be worthwhile targeting, thus improving sales efficiency.Improves the Customer ExperienceAs discussed having disparate systems can result in data silos throughout the organisation. This can result in the organisation delivering a poor customer experience, which an integrated system would help avoid.Within many businesses the customer facing staff are often the sales department. If a customer phones up and asks for the status of their order, having an integrated system would allow the sales rep to answer this question straight away, without having to either put the customer on hold or call them back when they have the answer. As well as improving the customer experience, this would also improve efficiency by empowering the customer facing staff with the information they need to effectively serve their customers.
The increasing numbers of people entering retirement is great news for companies such as Allegiant Travel who services are geared towards leisure travelers. The retired population generally has more flexible schedules and free time for leisure travel. The restaurant industry has known for years that the retired population will adjust their schedules just to save a buck. Look at the success of “early bird specials” all across the country. Allegiant Travel can capitalize on this population’s flexible schedules and interest in finding the best price. Twenty-one percent of leisure travelers were born before 1946 and of this group it is estimated that they each take 4.1 trips per year. In addition, older baby boomers born between 1946-1954 makeups another 15 percent of the leisure travel population. As the U.S. population continues to age and the retired population grows it can be expected that the demand for inexpensive leisure travel will also increase.Economic:
The economy plays an important role in the health of all companies and very few can say that these last 5 years have been easy. American’s are found to be thriftier now than 5 years ago thanks to the economic recession. In general, the nature of spending has changed in America. A report by Fidelity investments show that personal debt is down and investments are up. This shows that the population on a whole is examining their purchases more closely than they did before the recession. The focus on cutting costs during these uncertain economic times has led to Allegiant Travel’s success over the past 5 years when other airlines were losing money. They have focused on keeping costs down and providing their services at the lowest price point. This focus on innovation and being a price leader has provided Allegiant Travel with a strategic advantage over other larger carriers. Although in most sectors the larger the company the lower the costs due to economies of scale, this is not the case in the airline business.Socio Cultural:
The travel industry groups travelers into one of two categories either leisure or business. Each type of traveler has very unique needs and different goals in mind apart from the desire to have a safe enjoyable flight experience. It is estimated that leisure travelers account for 3/ 4 of all domestic trips taken in 2011. The regular business traveler is interested in consistent schedules and enjoys the perks of earning points whereas leisure travelers only books a few trips per year and are willing to give up points to secure a lower price. This is the market that Allegiant Travel is focused towards as they are the low cost leader who runs variable schedules throughout the season to ensure flights are always running to their fullest capacity.Political-Regulatory:
Airlines operating within the United States are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation who regulates civil aviation within the U.S. The Homeland Security Agency also plays an active role in airline travel interacting directly with all passengers prior to boarding the aircraft. The added security precautions mandatory for travelers since 9/11 can be a major factor behind the increased frustrations voiced by travelers. The U.S. Travel Association’s study in 2008 showed that travelers avoided approximately 41 million trips within a 12 month period due to perceived air travel hassle. Although airlines such as Allegiant Travel do not have control over how Homeland Security does their job they are able to lobby for more efficient airport security which can in turn help increase their profits.Environment:
The rise in environmental consciousness impacts traveler’s decision making. More than 79% of U.S. adults claim to be environmentally-conscious and familiar with carbon footprints and global warming. Although travelers are starting to be more conscientious of their decision making and its impact on the environment they are not yet willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly service providers. The current determination is that in general, driving is more eco-friendly (measuring greenhouse gases) compared to flying. Although gas prices averaged at $3.78 a gallon many travelers may find it cheaper to fly than drive and stay in a hotel. The addition of saving time may also help convince environmentally-conscious travelers to fly rather than drive cross country.Technology:
The increase of access to information through the internet over the years has created savvy shoppers who can compare dozens of prices quickly online and has created more focus on price competition. The internet has also decreased the dependency on traveler’s utilizing travel agencies to arrange travel as they feel more comfortable booking directly online. This puts Allegiant Travel at an advantage as they are able to offer competitive prices through booking directly with the customers and avoiding any middle men such as websites like Expedia.com or Yahoo.com.In conclusion, Allegiant Travel is a solid company that is strategically positioned to thrive in any environment. They have shown their agility in changing with the market demand over the past six years. Allegiant Travels focus on servicing the price conscious traveler seems to be a smart approach as they understand that consumers are still hesitant with their spending even as the economy is improving. The expected increase to the retired population in the coming years will also bode well for Allegiant Travel. As long as Allegiant Travel continues to focus on strategic growth that will allow them to move quickly when they see an opportunity or threat coming their way they are set for a successful future.