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Date Created: 12/21/15
F u e ma n a ge m eTn Nonetheless, digital maps are not Three service fleets are always accurate. Caroline Johannes, responding to high fuel costs a New Jersey-based Senior Helper by using available technology caregiver, reports any issues to the to route drivers and home office. “We’re encouraged to rethinking the old rules of share things such as quicker short- sales and service calls. cuts or road closures for the next caregiver,” she says. By Tariq Kamal Finding ways To reduce Fuel HiTcH a Trailer spend will always be among a fleet Danforth at Fibrenew has convinced manager’s top priorities. While the some franchisees to move from big- debate over alternative fuels and hy- ger trucks and vans to smaller vehi- brid powertrains rages on, there is a cles and a trailer. The enclosed trail- less-scientific and often-overlooked ers — similar to small U-Haul cargo solution: Drive fewer miles. trailers — can be pulled by many Using readily available tools and passenger car models and act as great technology, three diverse service in- Ting mobile billboards. For Fibrenew’s F dustry fleets are limiting time spent purposes, a used $1,500 trailer will on the road through route consolida- do the job just fine, Danforth says. tion, vehicle right sizing, Internet es- Simple hitches run about $400. timating and online mapping. Danforth says franchisees will While these companies are na- dedicate two or three days a month tional and multinational, their fran- to pickups and deliveries with the chisees are local business ownersvolu Tion trailer.“Whydriveabigtruckaround with a mandate to manage their over the phone before handing iago that many on-site inspections of consolidaTe Trips use digiTal maps when you only need it 10 percent of vehicles as efficiently as possto the technician. potential restoration jobs could be The last thing Peter Ross, owneSenior Helpers uses a home the time?” he asks. “The amount of These fuel-saving tips can be appThere was a time when the priperformed over the phone. founderoSenior Helper,wantsto healthcare industry software fuel you save is incredible.” to fleets large and small. ry objective was to get to the caFibrenew’s telephone estimates do is create more travel expensprogram called Generations. The location in the hopes that meethave racked up an 85 to 90 percent the company’s 10,000 home caregsoftware is integrated with MicrigHT size your veHicle oFFer same-day discounTs face-to-face would give the tecsuccess rate, resulting in countless ers in North America and Austrasoft MapPoint, which can createWhile AdvantaCleantechnicians AdvantaClean Systems Inc.is a better chance to get the work, saved trips. “[That] saves a lot of and raise prices for its elderlcomplete route schedule based oneedgreatercapacitythanFibrenew’s Huntersville, N.C.-based providdan explains. “Now we try to wetime,”Danforthsays.“Andlesswind- The goal is for Senior Helpera caregiver’s skill sets and clspecialists, they are also right sizing in-home services including air out jobs that aren’t really forshield time means more money.” caregivers to make fewer trips.locations. The program can e-mavehicles to the task. Like Fibrenew, cleaning and mold removal as wesays, “but they might be for a rePart of their success relies on pho- key part is working with clientdirections directly to a smartpsome AdvantaClean technicians are as emergency fire- and flood-daral partner such as a waterprootostakenbyclients’digitalcamerasor their families, who pay a per-milAt Fibrenew, franchisees are opting to use trailers for emergency repair. buddy or pest control guy.” cell phones and sent via e-mail. The charge, by avoiding scheduling ing jobs using My Maps, a free,equipment, which they might only Jeff Dudan, CEO, estimates that photographs give a more accurate,-vi tor’s appointments during rush tomizable feature of Google Mapneed for a few trips per month. fuel can swing from 3 to 5 percHand oFF THe joB sualrepresentationoftheproblemand and consolidating non-essentialUsers can plan a whole week’s worMany franchisees are also moving his franchisees’ per-vehicle reTraditionally, sales people arealso help technicians decide whether rands on a travel day. of routes as well as add text, away from the traditional box truck, depending on pump prices. “Two tective of their territories. Tthey’ll need to move the repair to an “We’re not just going out andphotos and videos and see maps heavy-duty pickup or cargo van to percent of your top line is a bchanging in the new economy. Duoffsiteshop.Thissavesrestorersfrom driving across town today and ta satellite view on Google Eartmore fuel-efficient vehicles such as of your bottom line,” he says. dan reports that technicians wihaving to drive a large truck or van in across town tomorrow when the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. The company encourages technijobs in undefined sales territothe chance they’d need to transport a we could have done them both The Sprinter lends the company a cians to consolidate customer vnow more willing to hand the wolarge piece of furniture. at the same time,” Ross says. modern image from a branding per- by offering same-day service dioff to another franchisee closer to the Ross also discourages cli- spective, Dudan says, and the high- counts. For instance, if the cujob site. reconFirm THe call ents from requesting long roof model can double as a mobile is scheduled for mold removal, the Because Fibrenew schedules jobs rides, which result in an added workstation. AdvantaClean will wire technician will offer a price cesTimaTe on THe pHone for its restorers in a tight, two-hour charge of $10 to $15 per four- the Sprinter so technicians can create clean the customer’s dryer ventFibrenew,acompanyspecializinginwindow, the company reconfirms hour shift. “We’re trying to and print estimates and contracts on instead of returning for a new leather and plastic repair and each appointment the day before. avoid passing on anything we site, saving trips back to a brick-and- down the line. tion with locations across the Though this seems like a given, the can to the families,” Ross says. mortar location. States and Canada, takes pre-quinitiative has saved countless wasted “[Our franchisees] really don’t qualiFy FirsT ification one step further. Thetrips — Danforth estimates that 15 to Manhave elected to tow trailers have a staff,” says Dudan. “So ba- AdvantaClean’s call-center stafpany’s vice president of educat20 percent of Fibrenew’s clients had as needed rather than drive sically, [the Sprinter] is their office taking steps to better qualify Dan Danforth, realized several forgotten the appointment time. large trucks on every trip. when they start their busibfsses.” 10 Business Fleemay/june 2011 www.BusinessFleeT.com www.BusinessFleeT.com may/june 201Business Flee11
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