Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 08/01/14

Using Wireless Technology to Track Inventory

By SooJi Min for America's Backbone Weekly

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Marisa Faiella, vice president of Passaic, NJ-based LoRe Sweeping, can't imagine running the construction sweeping business she manages without the fleet-tracking software they installed a few years ago. LoRe Sweeping is a small business, commercial sweeping company that takes care of clearing thoroughfares on large-scale construction sites in the Tri-State area. The wireless tracking system has allowed LoRe Sweeping to improve customer service, decrease payroll costs, and improve the overall performance of their fleet of sweeper vehicles.

"If a job comes in while we are already out on a job, we can locate the job and find the closest sweeper and send them there," says Faiella. "It keeps fuel costs down, and if someone gets lost, the dispatcher can look on the computer and guide them turn by turn."

Getting on Track

LoRe Sweeping uses a wireless fleet-tracking system and GPS-based navigation software for its small business needs. The tracker is a little device attached to each sweeper that is connected to the dispatcher, who can communicate with the sweeper and driver through a desktop computer or smartphone. LoRe simply downloaded an application that runs on their regular small business data plan. They did not need to increase their data usage or purchase extended coverage.

Since installing the wireless tracking system, LoRe can easily monitor employee productivity and overall coverage. As a result, payroll costs have gone down. "We know when our employee gets to the yard, leaves the yard, and is done with the job," says Faiella.

Staying Connected

LoRe can also run activity reports that capture when the sweepers are on or off, how fast they are going, and verify their locations. The small business is always connected to both their drivers and sweepers. If a sweeper breaks down, LoRe can quickly send a back-up sweeper -- even in the middle of the night. "We are a 24/7 business," says Faiella. "Our dispatcher doesn't even need to be in the office."

Ifyou own your vehicles, maintenance alert options also are available with sometracking systems, including TK vehicle monitoring system offered by US Cellular. Considerintegrating wireless technology such as fleet tracking into your assetmanagement strategy today. The benefits are real – better customer service,enhanced payroll controls and greater vehicle performance – and can make adirect impact on your company's bottom line.

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SooJi Min is a freelance writer and nonprofit executive based in Ann Arbor, MI. She has written on small business topics for Crain’s, Imagination Publishing and The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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