You’re in business to make money. You earn a profit on each portable restroom placed at a special event and on each tank you pump on regular service routes. Whether you rely on office personnel or a mobile office in your work rig to keep you on the ball, staying organized is vital.
Easy access to invoices and customer data, along with fleet and routing information, can increase productivity and make your business more successful.
Streamline billing, fleet management and routing with software that creates invoices and service reminders, and tracks trucks and generates easy-to-read maps and directions. Data from these programs allows you to evaluate where to focus your business-building energy. If invoicing is under control and current customers are happy, perhaps you could focus your attention on a new marketing program to build your client base.
These programs can help you manage disposal costs and revenue, and capture fuel and overall vehicle costs to see where you’re losing money and where you can increase revenue.
Here are several billing, fleet management and routing products and services that will help you save time and money.
How much do I owe?
One-touch billing technology and invoice management programs keep you organized and allow you to check service history and work orders as technicians enter them. The technology safeguards your business from incorrect billing and holds your staff accountable whether technicians swipe credit cards in the field or process them back at the office.
In addition, customers appreciate the convenience of instant billing and notifications via email or text message that the job was completed on time and on budget. Check out these options to simplify your billing process:
- With TAC Online Web Access from Clear Computing, customers and company staff can access selected company information online. The program offers customers and staff access from a Web browser on any device, anywhere, to view, edit or add selected information. On www.tac-sales.com, sales staff can edit and add notes and work orders. With www.tac-orders.com, drivers see route and work order information and can update an order status. On www.tac-service.com, drivers see stops, units, quantities, etc., for service routes, including status updates and customer service completions. On www.tac-customer.com, customers can view work orders and service history, scheduled service, balances and payments. With www.tac-sites.com, company staff can look up information on customers, locations, scheduled service, work orders, invoices and payments.
- The iButton technology from EZTrakR Systems tracks every service, delivery or pickup completed for each unit. It allows technicians to quickly access customer history to see when a driver was on site to verify billing discrepancies. The bundled software system offers service validation, route optimization, inventory control, missed service reports and employee productivity. It also offers a simplified one-touch billing process integrated with QuickBooks for easy and automated invoicing, including 28-day, advance or arrears, and monthly billing options to satisfy any customer request. It includes different rates, delivery and pickup fees, damage waivers and other miscellaneous fees itemized on each invoice.
- The Summit Service System, Version 5, from Ritam Technologies, has been updated with a slicker look and feel, easier job management, and built-in reminders and auto-repeat features, letting users retain records that would previously get lost. With one-click text message reminders, tasks are better organized and may be communicated to the field with smartphone and tablet device dispatch management, including iPhone and iPad. Credit cards can be swiped in the field or processed in the office. The flexible computer setup includes cloud-based remote solutions, local area network or single PC with optional home access. Choose monthly pricing or one-time licensing with optional continuity plan.
Controlling the convoy
Spend more time running a successful business and less time micromanaging your fleet. Software packages on the market today help companies with fleets of all sizes, and vehicle tracking programs guarantee you know the location of all your service trucks at all times.
“Fleet management systems really have seen rapid adoption in the past few years,” says Mike Scarbrough, CEO of NexTraq. “A lot of what we’re focused on is helping people increase the revenue of their business. We’re trying to get people to efficiently go where they’re supposed to go and only go where they’re supposed to go.”
Managing your transportation fleet also can increase productivity. For instance, a driver is on his way back from the field when you receive a last-minute service call located near the driver’s route. Rather than sending out another technician from the shop, you can locate the driver and redirect him to the job. You’ve saved time, money and resources because you didn’t have to send another driver.
Another bonus? Fleet management software can track engine idling, which drives up fuel consumption and adds unnecessary hours to a truck’s engine.
Whether you’re looking for all-in-one operational software to track your service trucks, access dispatch schedules or monitor fuel efficiency, there’s a program to meet your needs.
Busy season is just around the corner — and you can’t be at every job site — so here are some software suggestions to help you manage assets and equipment in the field:
- CallSource software can monitor every inbound call to track the number of potential buyers that don’t receive appointments. It can send an alert via email and text to the business to notify them of a missed opportunity within an hour. The alerts include the caller’s phone number, name of the call handler and actual recording of the conversation, offering built-in accountability.
- FoundOPS allows business owners to keep track of all client information and service history, and create service schedules. Users can dispatch their team by dragging and dropping jobs, or let the program’s routing algorithm figure out the most efficient routes. The program can wirelessly send job information and updates to field technicians’ smartphones or tablets. Technicians can also get turn-by-turn directions, access client information and then record a service report. Meanwhile, business owners can keep tabs on their progress and GPS location. Once the job is completed, an invoice is automatically created in the company’s QuickBooks account, with all billing information already filled in. The system is securely hosted in Microsoft’s Cloud, meaning all that users need is a Mac computer or PC with Web access.
- Manageit from Ituran USA is designed for fleet managing and dispatchers, and contains instant and accurate GPS fleet tracking, personalized reporting, recovery services, geofencing technology, real-time notifications via email/SMS, landmark report, Driver ID capabilities and PTO alerts, along with other features. The software provides customers with 24/7/365 live recovery assistance for both emergency and technical support.
- The VT310 from Meitrack USA is a GPS tracker with five discrete inputs and outputs, and two analog ports. Among its features, the VT310 tracks vehicle window status, door status, engine status, temperature and tank fuel level, and is widely used in truck tracking applications. It features a 4 MB logger, motion sensor and backup battery. It allows technicians to track on demand or by time interval. It has an internal 4 MB memory for logging, a tremble sensor and alarms for SOS, geofence, GPS blind area, low battery, speeding and external power cut.
- Fuel management software from NexTraq includes free integration with the Universal Premium FleetCard MasterCard, as well as fuel reports including fuel slippage, fuel efficiency and International Fuel Tax Agreement to better track fleet fuel spending and usage. It provides a full range of features to improve efficiencies, reduce waste, account for fuel purchases and improve buying behavior. Alerts can be set to eliminate wasteful practices such as excessive speeding and idling. Vehicle maintenance reporting ensures optimal fleet care and fuel efficiency. The driver safety scorecard report ensures fuel-efficient driving behaviors, and efficient route planning cuts down on mileage.
- Barcode Scanning Software from Street Eagle GPS provides fleet owners and operators the ability to manage assets and equipment in the field. By integrating with wireless barcode scanners from Motorola, the software transmits all scanned information in real time. The driver quickly scans the barcode on each asset when servicing, delivering or picking up. Managers track assets in the field, with each scan providing location, date/time and service verification. The software provides the actual location of each vehicle/asset and tracks pickup, delivery and servicing of mobile assets. Managers can verify that all assigned assets were serviced on the most optimized route for fuel and time savings. Automated and printable reports ensure proof of service for customers and efficient inventory management to schedule deliveries, prevent loss and allocate resources.
- The PortaTracker program from Tracker Solutions provides customer information, including site and mailing address, phone number and history on one navigational page. The calendar feature enables users to schedule drop-offs, pickups and service as well as view each day’s schedule by service or area. Dispatches can be added to each day’s schedule. Driver, truck number and jobs are entered from a drop-down list. A reference sheet, featuring directions, number and type of units, as well as address and phone number, can be printed out for the driver or office staff. The program also can create invoices and service reminders, and track credit and delinquent customers.
- The AT-X5 live GPS tracking device from US Fleet Tracking is compact, discreet and easy to install. It assures turn-by-turn monitoring of mobile assets, and features 5- and 10-second tracking, historical playback and virtual fences. It comes standard with weather overlay and traffic features for safety and efficiency, plus the ability to create and edit up to 20 different logs while in the field. The Web-based system is compatible with every mobile platform.
- Evolution software from WennSoft delivers asset management, maintenance agreements, simple and segmented work orders, field service, advanced dispatching and scheduling, mobile solutions for field technicians, quotes, purchasing and invoicing, and includes Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It can operate as a stand-alone solution, or integrate with Microsoft Dynamics ERP products or other business application software and services. It accurately tracks all tools, equipment and assets to promote efficiency throughout a company.
Ask for directions
Routing software helps you optimize route times, minimize downtime from lost drivers, and ensure workers are on time. Give drivers portable navigation so they can quickly and easily find every job. No need to bother with outdated paper maps — digital is the way to go. And more efficient drivers mean a more profitable business. Check out this routing software to increase revenue on each job:
- The routing optimization feature in RouteOptix software provides a benchmark for how route times can be improved and compared against other routes prior to running. Detailed route profitability information, including prorated revenue, service revenue, disposal cost, disposal revenue, driver cost, fuel cost and vehicle costs are captured, giving a clear picture of overall profit on each route. Integration to NexTraq, a GPS/fleet tracking company, offers an enhanced paperless routing solution by uploading routes directly from the software application to a Garmin portable navigation device in the driver’s vehicle. When calls are completed, a live date and time stamp is provided, which feeds production statistics and reporting information for management.