Misconceptions about Truck based reporting systems

Posted on Thursday, 22 April 2010
Part of the Fact Sheets category

Most key decision makers within Local Governments/Contractors know that embracing new technology and new ideas is essential to the long-term survival of their business.

Truck based Waste reporting software has the potential to be one of the most promising technologies that Councils/Contractors have seen for a long time. It will, without doubt play a significant role in coming years to improve safety and productivity in the commercial and domestic waste collection industry.

Many people just don’t realize just how important this technology is set to become. This is partially due to current misconceptions about ‘Truck based reporting systems’ and what constitutes ‘GPS Tracking’, ‘Mobile Resource Management’ and ‘Fleet Management’. Some of the key misconceptions are:

We don’t really need ‘GPS tracking’ because we trust our people and don’t need to monitor what they are doing

There is a difference between ‘GPS tracking’, ‘Mobile Resource Management’ and ‘Fleet/Waste Management’ systems. Fleet/Waste Management, which uses GPS technology, is about much more than monitoring what your employees do. There is a bigger focus, which is to reduce fleet operating costs and make productivity improvements wherever these are possible. It is also about becoming cost aware, delivering good customer service and understanding what is actually happening. ‘Fleet/Waste Management’ is a proven technology that’s capable of delivering strong operational and financial benefits.

It is too expensive and we can’t afford it

While this is an understandable concern, the problem is that people that say this are focusing on what the product ‘costs’ rather than the value of the ‘benefits’ the solution can deliver. A good truck based management system will identify cost savings and productivity opportunities in your business that are already costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each month – things like excess fuel consumption, speed, aggressive driving, excess overtime, excess engine idling, inefficient routing, unplanned mileage, duplicate bin pick ups, missed pickups etc. Most fleets actually end up paying far more for these inefficiencies than the monthly investment required for an advanced fleet/waste management system like WASTEMate.

These systems are too complicated to use

Any new system or device, even a new mobile phone can initially appear complicated to use. However, provided that users take an appropriate amount of time to become familiar with features of the system, most are actually fairly simple to use. MANAGEMate’s implementation process involves working with you to set-up the system correctly and providing guidance and training on how to interpret and apply the data you receive to improve the operation of your fleet. Back-up technical support is also provided on an ongoing basis to cover any service issues that arise.

We can keep track of our fleet well enough with mobile phones and PDA’s

Mobile phones and PDA’s are certainly useful as communication tools and they have changed the way many of us live. But, they cannot provide a range of information like real-time vehicle location, trip information, trip replays, distances travelled, Bin pick ups, Bins missed or Out of Position Bins. WASTEMate presents councils/contractors with opportunities to manage their business better because they can now get access to a range of information that has not previously been easily available. Truck based reporting will revolutionize fleet management similar to what the mobile phone did for day-to-day communications. Remember when people asked “why do I need a mobile phone?”

We only have a small fleet and this technology is not really applicable

It is true that in Council/Contractors, managers are very much ‘hands-on’ and therefore get involved with the fleet day-to-day. However, in general similar cost saving and productivity improvement opportunities exist for fleets of all sizes. A key advantage of a web-based system like WASTEMate is that it’s a cost effective option for any Council or Contractor. With no specialized software required it makes the process of deploying the solution straight-forward. Whether its 5 trucks or 50, the system will pay for itself quickly out of savings in vehicle operating cost and improved efficiencies.

We are too busy to use a system like this

This is a real problem for many Council’s. Everybody is already over-loaded running the day-to-day business operations and finding someone with the time to set-up and use a new system like WASTEMate, may be a daunting prospect. The irony is, for a Council/Contractor in this predicament, Truck based reporting systems make perfect sense because it actually reduces the fleet management workload. A Truck based system provides a clear picture of what is going on with your fleet and delivers accurate real-time information, literally at your finger-tips. The busier you are, the more important it is to have good information to base your decisions on – this is to make sure the business priorities are right, money is not being wasted and your customers are being served effectively.

There are lots of ‘GPS tracking’ systems and they all seem to do the same things – this makes it difficult to choose what we want

There definitely are a lot of ‘GPS systems’ on the market, but there are few genuine ‘fleet/waste management’ systems. On face value, these systems do appear to do similar things because fleets understand GPS and mapping, and these familiar features are often promoted to get people’s attention. The reality is however, quite different. A lot of system providers can set you up with a ‘tracking’ solution quite easily but as many Councils/Contractors have already found out, ‘seeing where your trucks are on a computer screen’ in itself, doesn’t provide a lot of value. The other problem is that most users of these systems don’t realize the full impact that the available information can have on their business until after they start using the system on a regular basis. This is precisely why your choice of a Truck based reporting systems provider is so important.

For more information on the full suite of options available with WASTEMate, please contact Ray Gonella on (02) 9756 2622 or view our website at www.managemate.com.au

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