As a whole, the construction industry is still lagging behind other industries when it comes to wholeheartedly entering the digital age. However, the marketplace is quickly expanding with new and improved technologies built especially to streamline construction projects and operations.
Contractor tracking solutions are often the digital tool that construction companies consider first when they’re looking to transform their businesses and gain a competitive edge.
We talk to site developers and other construction professionals every day. Many have done a bit of research (when there’s time) into different tracking software solutions. And even though they’re excited about the prospect of modernizing their operations through digital technology, most of them have a few misconceptions--which is understandable. After all, the construction world traditionally has run on manpower and horsepower--both pretty down-to-earth concepts that have been working well enough for ages.
So, taking the lead from those conversations, we’ve put together a list of the most common assumptions we hear about contractor tracking solutions. But we’re not stopping there. We’re going to give you the straight up facts to help clear any confusion or lingering doubts you may have about this powerful technology.
Contractor Tracking Solutions - What is the Reality?
Expectation: Every truck I own will need to have its own GPS tracking device installed.
Reality: Not necessarily. While there are plenty of solutions out there that require the installation of a telematics device to capture useful data on each vehicle, there are quite a few that don’t. For those that fall into the latter category, instead of installed tracking equipment, the monitoring is done through a smartphone or tablet. Then with a mobile app, your dispatcher and anyone else who needs to keep tabs on your trucks can see their precise location in real-time.
Many solutions also offer historical tracking which is useful for handling disputes and gaining insights into risky and wasteful driver behaviors such as hard cornering and abrupt acceleration and braking.
Expectation: Contractor tracking solutions aren’t worth the trouble. I use a lot of hired haulers and wouldn’t be able to track them.
Reality: This assumption could be true if you were to choose a solution that depends on devices having to be installed in vehicles as mentioned above. If you often hire third-party haulers or plan to take on bigger projects in the future that will need extra trucks, you’ll want to look for a solution that has the ability to monitor hired haulers too.
The best platform should be able to provide you with a network of qualified, fully compliant haulers who are also connected to the system, making tracking and communicating with them as easy as monitoring your own drivers.
Expectation: My dump truck drivers will balk at the idea and think I don’t trust them.
Reality: You could be right. There may be a few employees who take a negative attitude and feel like you would be spying on them. But from our experience, once drivers understand how GPS tracking systems benefit them, most welcome the change.
You can sway even the most reluctant drivers if you introduce the possibility of GPS tracking before you actually implement it. Explain how the system will work and how tracking can make your business more efficient and able to take on more projects--which is a win for everyone.
Most importantly, make sure they understand how their jobs will be impacted positively by getting paid faster and more accurately without having to do all the necessary paperwork themselves. There are platforms that can automatically generate their invoices for them.
Expectation: Implementing contractor tracking solutions will be difficult and time-consuming.
Reality: Across the board, construction trucking software tools are getting easier to use from the get-go. Developers are beginning to understand that these solutions will most likely be in the hands of a workforce who don’t have a computer background and also don’t have a lot of time to spend in training.
It’s important to remember that the few hours devoted to learning to use your new tracking solution are a small investment when you consider how much time and trouble you’ll save moving forward.
You’ll be able to create schedules and dispatch trucks with ease, reroute haulers and stagger arrival times to avoid excessive idling, reorder trucks with just a few clicks, and instantly communicate changes to your drivers, the job site and others instead of texting or calling. All these small improvements can add up to an increase in hauler productivity of 15% or more.
Expectation: The software company will get us all set up and then leave us to fend for ourselves.
Reality: Again, it all depends on what platform you choose. Software providers offer different levels of onboarding support. If your team is small and has had some experience with software implementations in the past, you may opt for a more hands-off type of approach. If that’s the case, then, yes, your expectation will be spot on. You’ll have to wait for help and discover how to fully use all the solution’s features on your own.
However, if you go with a solution that comes with white-glove onboarding, your experience will be completely different. Most of the contractors we work with report that spending a little extra for the personal service was worth it. They’re able to fully use the solution faster and thereby realize the increases in efficiency and productivity sooner.
Expectation: It will be years before I see any return on the expense of a contractor tracking solution.
Reality: Of course every case is unique, but some contractors have realized a return on their investment in as little as a month. What we can say with certainty is that leveraging the power of a contractor tracking solution will improve the overall efficiency of your operations.
Other areas of your business will benefit as well. The back office will no longer have to waste time trying to locate tickets and batch them at the end of the day. Digital tickets mean invoices can be automatically generated and consolidated, so jobs can be closed out much sooner.
Contractors who implement tracking solutions also see their customer satisfaction levels go up. The ability to closely monitor your trucks’ locations makes it possible for you to communicate to your customers with accuracy and confidence on matters of delivery and pick up.
Expectation: Just my luck, I’ll pick GPS tracking software that doesn’t work with the other systems I have now or ones I want in the future.
Reality: Getting stuck with a less than desirable solution could happen. If you choose a generic GPS tracking solution or fleet management platform, you’re likely to be dissatisfied. And there’s no need to. There is a growing handful of trucking logistics platforms designed specifically for contractors, material producers and fleet owners who rely on dump trucks making short hauls.
Of course, GPS tracking provides you with valuable information that allows you to know the whereabouts of your trucks, communicate with all parties at the same time and quickly react to changing conditions. But the technology can collect other useful data as well.
With an integrated software solution, you can use information on drivers’ behaviors to develop training and/or policies to increase safety, reduce fuel costs and possibly secure discounts on insurance. You’ll also create efficiencies in the back office.
Choosing a robust solution with features that let you easily monitor, communicate, dispatch and invoice is a smart way to go.
Expect to drive more efficiency and profit with TRUX
Choosing the best contractor tracking solutions for you is a huge decision and one you want to get right the first time. Whether you use your own or hired trucks or some combination of the two, being able to track their location in real-time gives you the insight and control you need to ratchet up your business.
Don’t let doubts or misconceptions keep you dragging your feet on entering the digital age. Here’s the real, “just the facts, ma’am,” truth about TRUX’s all-in-one trucking logistics platform:
- You’ll get real-time and historical tracking of your trucks without added equipment.
Keep tabs on your trucks through a mobile app and smartphones or tablets for optimal flexibility and lower costs.
- You’ll enjoy the convenience of instant access to the nation’s largest technology-enabled dump truck network.
Schedule the work in our app. Qualified haulers in your area accept the job. It’s that easy.
- You’ll see your drivers get excited about faster, more accurate, hassle-free pay.
Rally your drivers about digitization with automatically generated and consolidated invoices.
- You’ll manage your projects with an easy-to-use interface.
Drag and drop technology and bulk reordering are just two of the features that streamline construction project management.
- You’ll know we’re guiding you step by step through the onboarding process.
Relax with our white-glove onboarding service that includes a personal account manager, SWAT team support, extensive industry knowledge, scheduled reviews and dedicated effort to make your haulers comfortable and prepared to use the solution.
- You’ll increase efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction.
Stay on time and on budget by managing deliveries and drop-offs, scheduling the appropriate number of trucks for a project and reacting to changes from an informed position.
- You’ll discover the potential of a fully integrated logistics platform.
Gain insights from monitoring driver behavior. Decrease fuel costs. Reduce overpayments with digital driver punch in/out. Take on new projects. The list goes on.
Want to find out more about the TRUX contractor tracking solutions and all it can do for you? Schedule a call today.
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