Conventional knowledge tells us that you must increase your payroll to grow your business. But, while the spirit might be willing, the pocketbook might not be.
There’s also no real guarantee that getting new employees will result in more profits. When you hire new employees, you have to consider their salaries and benefits as well as invest time to train them to guarantee they’re up to par. They need to perform well for your investment to translate into profits.
Luckily, you can use technology to grow your business. For example, if you have a field service business, you can use routing optimization software. With such software, you can improve the value of your services without relying on your employees. Here’s how.
Many field service businesses still plan their routes manually, using pen and paper. This takes hours because you have to consider your stops, employees, and vehicles as well as factor in the weather, construction, one-way streets, and the like. The result of manual route planning is also inaccurate because there are hundreds of ways to produce a route and so also many possibilities of making mistakes.
A routing optimization software lets you plan routes in 30 seconds or less and the results are always perfect. You just need to upload a spreadsheet of your customers’ addresses into the system and the software’s advanced algorithms will design a well-optimized and 100% accurate route for you. The time you save on planning routes can then be devoted to those tasks that matter most to your business.
Also, when your employees get efficient and optimized routes with turn-by-turn directions, they’ll visit your customers in the shortest distance and time possible, increasing customer satisfaction.
And, since they use more efficient routes, they have more time to make more stops. So, you don’t have to hire more employees to serve more clients.
If you plan routes manually, you’ll be unable to learn about your employees’ statuses when they leave your depot.
So, if they routinely don’t show up on time at your customers, you’ll only know about it if a customer complains. And, the delay can be explained away by your drivers. For example, they could say that they had a vehicle breakdown, hit traffic or encountered bad weather. If you manually plan your routes, you can’t be sure that they’re actually being forthcoming. All in all, by being reliant on your employees’ words alone, you could damage your business in the long run.
A route planner comes with a GPS tracking feature that ensures you no longer need to depend on your employees’ words to run your business. This is because GPS tracking lets you monitor what your employees are doing in real time.
In this way, you’ll immediately know if they’re indulging in risky driving behavior like speeding. You can also learn if they’re spending a longer time than needed at certain customer addresses, taking longer breaks, and so on.
For example, if an employee continually says that he or she worked overtime when, in reality, they were just biding their time during work hours to get overtime pay, you’re wasting money on the employee. As soon as you detect such a “bad fish” using GPS tracking, you can give them feedback so they can improve. If this still doesn’t work, you can part ways.
What you need are productive workers, not workers who pretend to be productive. And, because with GPS tracking you’ll be better able to keep your employees in line, you’ll increase the chances of them being more productive. Remember, even just knowing they’re being “watched” will make them perform better. And, as they become more productive, they can serve more customers.
Moreover, a routing optimization software gives your employees a balanced workload. In this way, you won’t have employees who are overworked with too many routes, while others are just waiting for the time when they can clock out. Even if you get new clients to serve, the software will assign the new addresses to those employees who have a lesser workload.
Also, since all employee only serve the right amount of customers and have a fair amount of work, they’ll tend to be more efficient at their jobs.
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Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!
Improve Customer Service
Everyone in the field service business knows that customers can change their minds at any time. For example, you could receive a call from a client asking for an earlier appointment.
Being able to satisfy such fluid requirements can be challenging (especially if you plan routes manually), but it’ll also give you a stronger relationship with your customers. This is because it demonstrates that you’re a reliable and credible business that they can tap into for repeat business.
Luckily, by using the GPS tracking feature of route optimization software, you can find out which employee is currently closest to the customer who has changed his or her requirements. You can subsequently assign the new route to the nearest employee to satisfy the customer.
Moreover, a routing optimization software comes with geofencing technology that allows you to notify your customers through SMS when a scheduled field rep is near their address. They can even view the approaching vehicle’s current location and ETA on a map.
This helps you save on payroll because it decreases the probability of failed deliveries. Your customers will know when a field rep is going to arrive and can ensure that they or someone else are available at the address. This results in huge savings for you because your employees won’t need to go back and forth to an address multiple times.
Also, you have no need to hire, train, and manage customer service reps to handle queries because your customers will no longer need to call up to ask for the drivers’ statuses as they can see the statuses themselves.
Make Informed Business Decisions
A routing optimization software comes with a reporting and analytics feature that helps you figure out if you’re actually earning profits from your routes. You can also see the average savings, distance traveled, total gas price, average gas cost and more.
You can even use the software to plan hypothetical routes if you’re wondering if your current resources can handle a new customer. You can create mock routes to identify how much you’d make from an expansion and how much it would cost you by factoring in all the information you need to analyze. Such information can include critical expenses, such as the additional wages of your workers and fuel costs before you invest any money in the actual expansion.
This is a great way to ensure that you don’t waste money on something that’s not worth it. After all, if a client brings in peanuts in terms of profits, acquiring such an account won’t be good for your business and ultimately doesn’t make sense.
So, when you have such crucial data at your fingertips, expansion or growing your business becomes seamless and more profitable.
Can you think of any other strategies that can grow your business without you having to increase your payroll? Please feel free to comment below.
Also, here are three brief questions to ensure you understood how routing optimization software can help your business grow, without having to hire more employees:
- Why is manual route planning less advantageous than automated route planning with regard to growing your business?
- How can a routing optimization software save you and your employees time when servicing customers?
- How can the GPS tracking and geofencing features help increase your profits without requiring you to acquire more resources?
Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?