Customer Service...and Profitability
Providing exemplary service in the towing industry is not really that difficult. Just put another truck on the road, add a couple more drivers and your customer service will blossom! Then, when the administration workload gets too heavy, just add another staff member...
As facetious as this may sound, its pretty close to the truth for most towing operators in North America. And, in a lot of ways it makes some sense. If you put another truck on the road, your customer service will no doubt improve and your revenue will likely increase.
Prudent operators understand however, that the greatest challenge in keeping their business healthy is maintaining that fine balance between optimizing the service levels they provide to their customers, while minimizing their operating costs. Essentially, the difference between these two factors becomes their operating profit.
Clearly, the vast majority of the costs of providing service to your customers can be found in your human resources and equipment. It follows then that how efficiently these resources are utilized directly determines both the profitability and competitiveness of your business.
The Status Quo
Over 75% of towing companies in North America still operate manually. No matter how professional and well managed they may be, most towers are spending an inordinate amount of time running the administrative side of their business. On average, the manually operated towing company spends over 20% of their administrative time entering information after the fact.
For every 10 vehicles on the road, bookkeepers spend an average of 8 hours of work per week on post processing. As a result, invoice cycles are slow, information is lost, work goes unbilled and drivers must wait for their paychecks.
Approximately 37% of auto club tows go unbilled each year.
Its clear that the details and facts of each job become less than clear with each hour that passes since that job was actually completed. As the facts become less and less clear, its a given that invoices become smaller, as discretional charges get waived in lieu of customer goodwill or doubt about job details. So to, do the paychecks of your drivers.
Inefficient order-entry keeps costly vehicles and drivers from maximizing their productivity or being used to capacity.
In any manual towing operation, new orders take longer to record and can lack information that would simplify or accelerate their completion. Important details about the tow can easily become misrepresented on paper or get lost in the transfer from office to driver. Incorrect or hard-to-read VIN numbers, sketchy situational details and a lack of accurate location information are typical examples that can translate into stretched completion times and fuzzy billing details.
Manual operation limits customer service and administration efficiency.
In the manual system, the responsibility for completing tickets rests on the administrative usersd, who have the least knowledge about the work that was actually performed.
Voice-based radio dispatch systems do not maximize driver productivity.
Both the dispatcher and drivers often must contend for communications, calling and waiting for a response from a busy dispatcher or a driver that is away from the vehicle. By the time a response comes, a few minutes and a few miles may have gone by and along with it, a gallon or two of fuel. Vehicles, whether they are sitting idle or back-tracking, are operating at less than capacity and meanwhile, a customer is waiting...
Dispatchers are often in the dark about the actual progress or status of jobs and the whereabouts of their drivers.
Most often, dispatchers must rely on the drivers to keep them updated, factors which lack both speed and accuracy. As a result, and it is easy to make incorrect judgments on ETA's or job assignment decisions. Both customer service and fleet utilization are affected.
Truths and Facts
Tracker 2000 for Windows will do more for your bottom line than adding that next truck or employee. Tracker's automated towing management system simplifies and automates a wide range of tasks, allowing your existing resources to be deployed in their most productive manner.
As a result, you are able to produce more work and more revenue, without increasing costs.
Just ask any Tracker customer and they will tell you that with Tracker 2000, they are able to:
- Respond faster to motorists with advanced dispatching procedures and technology
- Use trucks and drivers more efficiently to get greater revenues from the same costs
- Use operations, management and financial reports to make better business decisions
- Streamline office staffing with enhanced records and reduced paperwork duplication
And, it goes without saying that most towing owners are a heck of a lot more comfortable making buying decisions on the mechanical side of the business than on the administration side. Ask any tower about his truck or equipment buying decisions and he'll have solid opinions, backed up by experience and knowledge. Its only natural then, that when it comes to investing in an area where they may not have that kind of experience, the decision is often to defer, or not make a decision at all.
Webster's defines the word efficiency as: "The ratio of the useful output compared to the total input in a system."
Tracker 2000 for Windows improves the useful output in all areas of your business, which translates directly to improved customer service and increased profitability. Resources that you already pay for are able to use extra time available to respond more quickly to customers.
The Employee You Dream To Find
For less than the price of minimum wage, Tracker 2000 is your model employee. Highly experienced, hard working and knowledgeable, Tracker will not only pull his own weight, but is able to help your other employees become even more proficient at what they do. In the process, job satisfaction improves for the whole team, while customer service and the bottom line continue to improve.
Industry and Related Experience
- 20+ Years Towing Industry Experience
- Previously built and operated large towing and auto body businesses
- Experience working with over 1000 different towing companies
- Specialist in manpower planning and quality improvement
- Extensive work with major auto clubs systems
- Experience in lien letter processing, impound lot management
- Background in paperwork flow improvements
- Specialize in increasing productivity of drivers, vehicles and office staff
- Experience in all aspects of towing, including dispatch and administration
- Customer satisfaction driven
- Can accelerate and improve the accuracy of new orders
- Will rate all orders quickly in my head, by vehicle type, priority, distance, account, mileage and several other factors
- Able to be handle all dispatching and tracking of tickets, without paper
- Provide real-time status and location of all tickets, vehicles and drivers
- Can keep track of cross streets and landmarks to simplify dispatch
- Able to simplify dispatching of orders to the field, to augment or even eliminate the need for voice
- Ability to perform off-site dispatching and remote administration
- Handle very complicated payroll structures where different drivers received different commissions for day, night, weekend and holidays.
- High level knowledge of top accounting programs, including QuickBooks Pro
- Can eliminate the need for manual or batch GL accounting entry
- Perform accounts payable and billing, driver commissions and daily checkouts
- Streamline daily report tracking - provide daily snapshot of profitability
- Provide productivity details for each driver on a regular basis
- Provide weekly reports for the owner verifying all vehicles in impound, all vehicles released and all vehicle junked or going to auction.
- Records all expenses to trucks. After expenses are posted, I sort them into the proper expense accounts and produce reports for the accountant
- Remember every vehicle make and model from every manufacturer
- Able to work as mentor and leader with all personality types
- Knowledge of computer systems, local area networks, network security
- Reduced impound discrepancies 45% annually by developing tracking system
- Cut redundant paperwork 50% by implementing better procedures
- Increased employee productivity 15% by establishing dispatch standards
- Consistently exceeded attendance goals by being readily available for nights and weekends
- Reduced employee turn over by designing processes that increased drivers income and reduced frustration by bad existing communication processes
- Reduced STAR dispatching, crisscross back and forth all over town by dispatching to the right truck to the right location at the right time
- Increased storage capacity of 10% by standardizing the process of notifying police and owners quicker then prior they by elimination the need for a second rented impound lot
- Saved 10% in operating expense of vehicles used.
- Reduced average aging by 15 days, did daily checkout for drivers.
- Reduced missing tickets problem 10% by consistently tracking all tickets and letting owners know when a driver was asking for more tickets when he had not turned in all that I had assigned to him Developed and implemented tracking of vehicles in lot plan
- Produced weekly payroll commission reports for all drivers
- Redefined reporting processes to better keep track of both drivers and trucks.
- Developed and implemented performance and quality improvement program
- Introduced systematic analysis of daily activity onto a single page recap report that was given to the boss on a daily basis
- Set up paperwork security systems to track what each employee had done and to keep them out of accounting areas were they did not belong Developed a dispatch process that was much easier to cross-train new employees
- Reduced employee frustration for all employers
- Willing to work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, no sleep or work breaks of any kind expected.
- Will work for less than minimum wage for the first 8 hours per shift, then no charge for the other 2 shifts Willing to relocate
- No holidays, medical plans, dental plans required.