Fleet management has changed a lot in recent years due to the evolution of advanced technologies and tools, such as route optimization software that comes with GPS tracking capabilities.
Such tools are a boon to business: they allow you to make your operations more efficient, which means you can make more money with the same amount of resources.
But workers are often annoyed by the adoption of GPS technology. They feel like they’re being spied on, like you don’t trust them. They call it “big brother”. A few driver unions have already come out against GPS tracking.
In this article, we’ll be discussing why some unions are opposed to GPS tracking and how you can convince them that this technology will actually improve drivers’ working lives.
Why Unions Oppose GPS Tracking
They Want to Protect Their Members From Invasions Of Privacy
Unions exist to protect their members from unfair working conditions. A lot of drivers believe that GPS tracking is an unnecessary invasion of privacy. Some even believe that management only implements such tools as a way to punish their drivers.
It Makes Drivers Feel Like They’re Not Trusted
Some unions oppose GPS tracking because they believe the adoption of such tools shows management doesn’t trust their drivers. Before drivers weren’t being watched once they left the depot, and now they are being watched. What gives? It’s only natural for people to resist change.
They Think GPS Tracking Doesn’t Make Sense Financially
Unions often argue that routing optimization software with a GPS tracking feature doesn’t make sense financially because the service area drivers cover is not large enough to justify the use of such technology. They fail to realize that GPS tracking is beneficial for any fleet, whether they serve a local community or cover a larger area.
How You Can Convince Drivers That GPS Tracking Is Good For Them
It Helps Drivers Get To Where They Need To Go
Drivers hate being lost. They hate being late to customers. Sure, they don’t quite the same stake in keeping customers happy in the way that a business does, but it does make them look bad. It mars their professional reputations, decreases their chances of future pay raises and promotions, and increases their chances of eventually being let go.
Even if getting lost wasn’t the driver’s fault (a fleet manager may have plugged in a misspelled address or something like that), they’re the ones who usually suffer the consequences.
Well, GPS tracking makes it a whole lot easier for fleet managers to direct drivers to their destinations. Managers can see if a driver is drifting off-course, and then they can contact the driver immediately and get them back on track. Drivers will reach customers on time, and their reputations will remain intact.
It Improves Driver Safety
GPS tracking is also a great tool for improving driver safety. The technology has been shown to reduce instances of speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, and other dangerous driving behaviors. In pretty much any situation, people behave better when they know they’re being watching.
Read the following article to learn more about how GPS tracking helps ensure driver safety:
It Helps Counter False Claims Made by Customers
GPS tracking also plays a crucial role in protecting drivers from false claims made by customers.
Every now and then, you’ll have a customer say that they never received their package, and your driver will tell you that they actually did drop it off.
What really happened? Did your driver keep the package for themselves, or is a customer trying to trick you out of a refund when they really did receive their order? What do you do?
With GPS tracking, you will have access to historical fleet data that enables you to view the drivers’ locations during the date and time of a customer’s dispute. So when a customer claims that no driver showed up, you’ll be able to prove that a vehicle was at the location during the time of the dispute, if that was the case.
It Cuts Down Expenses
GPS tracking also slashes fleet operating costs by a significant margin by reducing maintenance, legal, fuel, theft, and vehicle life-cycle expenses.
Fewer expenses means you have more money to use for paying your drivers. It’ll help prevent the need to lay off any drivers. What kind of drivers union doesn’t love that?
Read the following article to learn more about how to get your drivers to not just embrace, but fall in love with GPS tracking:
Show Them Proven Results
Okay, so we have to admit that we’re a little biased here. We sell software with GPS tracking, so obviously we’re going to gush about the benefits of GPS tracking.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. You can just take a look at a few of the many, many examples of organizations that made themselves more efficient by adopting GPS tracking technology.
One such successful story comes from the City of Dallas. City administrators wanted to implement a GPS tracking system in its garbage truck fleet to increase the performance of their waste removal teams and reduce overtime.
Initially, sanitation workers resisted. They didn’t want to be tracked.
Dallas went ahead with its plan, though. According to city officials, within the first year of GPS tracking adoption, they saved $677,000. Fuel expense savings alone accounted for $170,000 of that total.
And after seeing how much GPS tracking improved driver safety, even the sanitation workers who initially resisted acknowledged that GPS tracking was beneficial for them overall.
GPS Time Capture Restrictions
To help address privacy concerns, let your drivers know that you can control when GPS tracking devices are actually tracking. So when there’s a scheduled lunch hour or something like that, you can turn tracking off and your drivers can go wherever they want without being surveilled.
Unions want transparency. They want to know what’s happening to make sure that drivers are being treated fairly.
By offering union-only access to GPS tracking information, you’ll be able to prove you’re transparent and keep the unions happy.
The data you gather from GPS tracking is invaluable – it’ll show you how you can save a lot of money. But again, unions have privacy concerns. They don’t want you delving into the nitty-gritty details of every driver.
So if you’re dealing with a privacy-minded union, show that you don’t have to look into individual driver data – you can get all the savings-increasing information you need from collective data that doesn’t reveal driver identities.
This won’t help identify which drivers need more training and which are doing well and deserving of awards, though. That’s something you’d only be able to do if you looked at individual data… buy hey, if your drivers are union, your drivers are union.
Anonymized GPS Tracking
Anonymized GPS tracking is another option you can use to encourage union support for GPS tracking. With this method of tracking, the data won’t reveal the identities of your drivers. Instead, you’ll get a uniquely obfuscated driver ID for each driver (just a bunch of random numbers, usually). This won’t reveal anyone’s identity, bit it will give you more information to work with than collective data alone.
What if the Unions Still Don’t Agree to Accept GPS Tracking?
Even if you show all of the aforementioned benefits of GPS tracking to your drivers and their unions, there is no guarantee they will be convinced.
We at Route4Me understand this, and this is why we made sure that our fleet route planning software can be used without our GPS tracking feature. You just need to disable the tracking option, as shown below:
That way you can still plan 100% accurate routes, even though you’re not tracking vehicles. The unions shouldn’t have any problem with that.
Have you ever faced any opposition from unions when trying to implement new technology? If so, what did you do about it? Let us know in the comments section below.