Magazine Article | May 24, 2006

Web-Based GPS Routing Solution Reduces Fuel Costs

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, June 2006

Web Service Company manages more than 30,000 laundry rooms in apartment properties, condos, dorms, and military bases in the western United States. Such an operation requires the management of a large number of mobile workers and vehicles. Previously, Web Service’s field techs received paper work orders at the start of each shift, filled in the work done, and mailed or faxed the work orders back to their home offices. Field techs’ routes were assigned based on the ZIP codes the jobs were in, which meant service techs often had to drive from one end of a ZIP code region to another, sometimes passing a location in the morning they would need to service later in the day.

Web Service found a solution to the problem in an on-demand mobile resource management solution (MRM) from @Road called GeoManager. As part of the solution, Web Service Company installed the @Road iLM (Internet Location Manager) device in nearly 300 field vehicles. The MRM solution uses built-in locating devices to deliver data to the GeoManager application, showing Web Service managers real-time locations of their fleet. Managers can, for instance, view customizable maps showing vehicle routes and direction of travel, receive alerts when vehicles are approaching customer sites or other preprogrammed landmarks, or be informed when a vehicle is operating outside of a preapproved travel area.

According to Chris Hannum, regional VP of operations for Web Service Company, “Before implementing the MRM solution, we would sometimes end up with workers at sites across the street from each other due to the ZIP-code based scheduling,” he says. “Since the implementation of the solution, we have all but eliminated our routing inefficiencies. This has translated into an increase in our daily production and a decrease in average miles driven. Although gas prices have been on the rise, we’ve been able to keep our fleet fueling costs relatively flat.”