News Feature | May 15, 2014

Field Service IT News For VARs — May 15, 2014

By Amy Taylor, contributing writer

Field Service IT News For VARs

In the news, GPS tracking data reveals employee misconduct — as well as a decrease in vehicle usage and fuel costs — and your customers could face objections from their employees about this potential use of data collected from the technology.

New Jersey Transit Uses GPS Tracking to Discipline Vehicle Use

The Associated Press found that the New Jersey Transit has disciplined ten employees after installing GPS tracking in vehicles to eliminate fraud and abuse. Three of the employees were fired after 480 vehicles were outfitted with the technology and the agency has seen a drop in usage and gasoline costs.

Your Customers Could Be Facing Employee Objections To GPS-Tracking Solutions

With GPS sometimes used as a tool in employee misconduct investigations, your customer’s employees might not be on board with the company using the technology. The Field Technologies Online article “How To Facilitate Employee Acceptance Of GPS” gives some suggestions you can share with your clients to ease potential tensions, including explaining the business reasons for using the technology, benefits to the field service worker such as elimination of some administration tasks, and initiating a GPS-based incentive program.

Cloudy Outlook For Freight Business, Despite Earlier Optimism

Fleet Owner reports that doubt is still circling around freight outlook following a brutal winter weather and sharp slowdown in U.S. economic growth in the first quarter, possibly leaving carriers with less or no leverage to raise rates. Despite first quarter optimism, a more conservative 39 percent of surveyed U.S. small business owners plan to add employees, compared to 50 percent in January.

Field Service IT Talking Points

Sean Kilcarr opens the floor on “Seeking solutions to the driver shortage.”

Tire Review said that even as overall car fleet management costs drop, the rising cost of replacement tires may be an increasing issue.  Replacement tire prices rose by 10 percent from 2012 to 2013 and oil services rose by $3 per vehicle. The costs include unscheduled repairs, preventative maintenance, tires and replacement rentals, but can be managed with preventative maintenance.

The Washington Times reports that despite a recent climate pledge, the government doesn’t know how much fuel their own vehicles waste and has little incentive to cut back. The Energy Department’s Idaho National Laboratory tracked vehicle usage and concluded that it could do with 65 fewer cars, trucks and vans for an annual savings of $390,000.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Field Service Tech Center.