Vehicle tracking now available in Commusoft

Paul Hewson
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We are proud to announce a major new feature - Real-Time Vehicle Tracking - which is now available! The Commusoft team has been working hard on this update for a long time to develop an integrated tracking system that is both beneficial for your business and affordable to implement. That's why this powerful new tool has no added subscription fees for our users on the Paperless Office plan and above. Read on to learn more about how this feature can drive you to success.

*Update* - March 2019
iOS and Android vehicle tracking app brings tracking data on the go. Learn more.

*Update* - November 2018
Added new functionality for viewing vehicle locations in more ways. Learn more.

*Update* - October 2018
We have released a revamped driver trip report, which is significantly improved. Find out more.

Please bear in mind that this feature is only available on our Paperless Office plan and above. If you're not on this plan, book a meeting or call the team on 0203 0266 266 about upgrading today.

What is Real-Time Vehicle Tracking?

Commusoft's Real-Time Vehicle Tracking allows field service businesses to see the live location of vans from within their job management software. You can also access so much more, with vehicle trip history, safe driving data, and the engineer profile portal. This provides an enhanced offering compared to simple GPS systems, by providing a comprehensive solution that links engineer tracking data with your diary, scheduling tools, and job information.

Benefits include:

  • Highly precise location tracking
  • Track your most valuable assets, essential in an emergency
  • Schedule more responsively based on location
  • A 6-month record of driver trips
  • Insight into vehicle usage outside of work hours
  • Engineer tracking portal for customers
  • Know how drivers treat their vehicle - speeding, mileage, and safe handling data

How do you track location?

GPS tracking

We wanted to create a solution that is not reliant on GPS from an engineer's phone. We think this is an ineffective and problematic option - not only does it rapidly drain the phone's battery, but the device can lose signal, get lost, or simply be turned off.

That is why we chose to use a dedicated vehicle GPS tracker, so you can rely on accurate location data at all times. We offer both self-install (plug in) and professional-install (wired in) trackers for purchase. These vehicle trackers are not only highly precise, but they can’t run out of battery or be left behind at a work site, unlike offerings reliant on mobile phone GPS. This means there are no blind spots in your tracking data - even when the device is in an area with no signal - the tracking data will upload as soon as signal returns, so you will always know where your vehicle has been.

Why use Real-Time Vehicle Tracking?

"I already track my vans using a GPS system"

Why pay for vehicle tracking that doesn’t work hand-in-hand with your job management software? Our offering is integrated directly into Commusoft so you can see your engineers and jobs together, allowing you to schedule directly from the map. Real-Time Vehicle Tracking is included at no extra monthly charge for all our Paperless Office plan users and higher. You’ll need to pay a one-time charge per vehicle tracker (one per vehicle), plus the sim card (and data). Compare this investment to your current GPS tracking costs - we're sure most of you will not only benefit from our integrated solution, but will save money too!

"I don't currently track my vehicles"

Know where all your engineers are at any time and rest assured you are tracking your valuable company property. Access to real-time location enables you to be more responsive to your customers' needs and schedule changes, ultimately letting you provide a better service. Safe driving data lets you gain insight into vehicle handling and can help you reduce maintenance expenditure. With minimal costs for our Paperless Office users, why not give it a try? Your only investment is the vehicle tracker (one per vehicle), plus the sim card (and data) - a bargain compared to additional monthly fees for GPS tracking.

Map view

Diary map view

Our brand new diary map view allows office staff to view jobs on the map, quickly seeing the scheduled time and which jobs belong to which engineer. Click on the appointment time to view expanded details on the job or click on the engineer's image to view their schedule for the day in the sidebar - you can also quickly add jobs from the sidebar.

This feature is available for Paperless Office users and above, regardless of whether you implement real-time vehicle tracking. If you do use our tracking software, you will be able to see each of your engineers' locations, whether they are currently moving, their live speed, and their altitude.

Real-time tracking

Scheduling assistance

When you add a new job to the diary, you now have the option to see the estimated travel time, distance, and route for an engineer to reach that job. After you add the job you will be brought to the new diary map view, if you click on a user on the map, Commusoft will display the shortest geographic route from the engineer to that job location. You will also be able to see the distance in miles and the estimated journey time, meaning you can easily schedule the closest engineer.

Scheduling ETA

Similarly, when an engineer taps 'travel' on a job and is on their way to the property, the map view will update to show this. The shortest route will display on the map and the estimated time of arrival will display above the engineer's profile photo. With just a glance, office staff can see which engineers are travelling and to where they are headed. Get a call from a customer asking for an ETA? Check the map and see when they are expected to arrive (you could also use the engineer profile portal).

Engineer ETA

Between two times

You can opt to view engineer locations on the map in real-time or between two times. Real-time is the current live location, based on the vehicle tracker's GPS data. Between two times allows you to see the previous routes taken by engineers between two selected times on a chosen day. For example, you may wish to see where your vehicles went yesterday between 6pm and 11pm.

GPS between two times

Simply click 'Between two times' and select the time frame you wish to see from the dropdown menu. You'll now see the routes each driver took mapped out in front of you. This is helpful for making sure that your vehicles are not being used outside of hours without permission, plus provides oversight of the routes engineers took between jobs.

Trip history records

Real-Time Vehicle Tracking isn't all about live data, but also what we do with that data when it's no longer real-time. The short answer is: we store this data in a record for you to access at any time. The longer answer is, we combine the engineer's location history with their reported activities, such as 'travel', 'arrive', and 'leave' times (as reported via Commusoft) to create a timeline of the engineer's day. You can click each activity to see more details on where they were at the time.

Driver timeline

The Driver Timeline can provide you with true oversight of how engineers report their time compared with their actual travelThis can help you get a handle on misreporting of job times and unauthorised travel during the day, helping you make your business more efficient.

Safe driving and vehicle handling data

Another core benefit of Real-Time Vehicle Tracking is the ability to access safe driving and vehicle handling reports for all of your vans. Our dedicated GPS trackers use a built-in accelerometer to accurately measure the way a vehicle is being driven - important for both vehicle maintenance and overall safety.

Driver detail report

You can access this data from the Driving Profile report, where you can also view distance travelled and average speed. With enhanced insight into vehicle handling, you can be aware if your engineers are speeding, excessively cornering, excessively accelerating or excessively braking, all of which can negatively impact your vehicle’s condition and increase associated costs.

For example, regular excessive braking can cause the brakes to overheat, reducing their useful lifespan, as well as causing damage to the brake pads. Vehicle maintenance costs such as new brake pads add up very quickly, especially if your business has multiple vehicles on the road. We want to provide access to this data so you can monitor and implement any necessary changes that can reduce potential risks for your employees and company property.

Safe driving graph

The Behaviour per day graph is a great way to see the number of recorded instances of each driving behaviour, over the past week.

The reports shown so far are for individual drivers, however, you can also see data side-by-side for all your drivers in the GPS Leaderboard report. This is a fantastic tool for comparing vehicle handling within your team and quickly seeing who is treating their van properly and who isn't. Commusoft analyses the multiple driver behaviours and calculates an overall driving score for each driver. Consider incentivising your staff with a reward for best driver score each month - reducing behaviours that negatively impact your vehicles.

Engineer Profile Portal

We've covered a lot of the benefits provided to your business by Real-Time Vehicle Tracking, but our final benefit is not about you - it's all about your customer. Of course, none of us would have a business if we didn't have customers, so it's crucial to keep customers satisfied and coming back to your business time after time. Our Engineer Profile Portal is designed to help with this, by helping alleviate one of your customers' biggest concerns - when is the engineer arriving?

Engineer-profile-map-spaced

Our Engineer Profile Portal is available in two versions - with Real-Time Vehicle Tracking - and without. The basic version of the portal lets the customer know who they are expecting - but if used in conjunction with our vehicle tracking feature, the portal will also incorporate tracking data.

This lets your customer not only see who they are expecting, but when they are expected (with an ETA in minutes) and can track the engineer's location on a map. When your engineer is on the last-leg of their journey to the property, they can send a text to the customer with a link to access the engineer profile portal. Customers will surely appreciate this considerate touch and it can also help reduce no-access jobs, by giving the customer more accurate information on your expected arrival.

We think this level of service is increasingly expected by customers, who are now regularly tracking deliveries, takeaways and taxi services en route to their properties. We want to make this feature available to field service companies too, so you can offer the best possible service for your customers.

Read more about the engineer profile portal, including how to set it up here.

What next?

Wow, it feels good to get all that off our chest! We've been holding onto these awesome new features for a while, as our developers worked tirelessly to bring it all together for you - and the entire team is really excited to release this game-changing feature!

We've put together a Real-Time Vehicle Tracking brochure with specific details on the different trackers and pricing. Check it out!

Download Brochure

If you're interested in implementing Real-Time Vehicle Tracking and want to learn more about all these amazing benefits - watch our webinar, which covers all the features.van tracking webinar


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