Steve’s “Cry for Help”- Keeping tabs on your employees with GPS van tracking

One of my favorite SFS sayings (our members will tell you I have many!) is “They know best who are closest to the action!”  This means you folks who are out there on the professional carpet cleaning front lines.  So can you help a brother out here?

SFS SoapboxMore and more of our SFS site users are converting their service vehicles over to on-line GPS tracking.  This lets them know where their employees are at all times, how fast they are driving/speeding, doing “side jobs” and even if the truck mount is turned on!  (In other words, we are talking “Adding Employee Accountability” here and I say why not!)

But guess what?  I’m not out there on the front lines like you are!  So I need your data from “down in the trenches”!  Please chime in with your GPS tracking comments, stories and/or nightmares below in the “Leave A Reply” section.  Or you can e-mail me at My sincere thanks in advance. (After all, we are all in this together!)

  1. What GPS tracking models/plans/companies are you using?  How much did the installation cost?  Your monthly charges?  What would you do different next time?
  2. How did you introduce the “tracking concept” to your employees?  Are you getting “Big Brother push-back”?
  3. What results have you had with GPS tracking of your vehicles/employees?

2 thoughts on “Steve’s “Cry for Help”- Keeping tabs on your employees with GPS van tracking”

  1. SFS member Al Paulsen sent this in and gave me permission to post it. My personal thanks to Al for his support and input. Stuff like this is “PRICELESS”!

    I rewrote our employee manual because we had a new job opening. So then I had all employees sign the revised manual. I explained our new GPS tracking to my people at a staff meeting “You know, that truck and all of the equipment in it is about 100K and I would be stupid to let a new employee I hardly know drive it away after a training period and not have a clue where he is going. Plus another benefit is if a customer has a rug pickup Jen can look at the GPS, see who is closest and give them a call to go pick it up rather than call 3 people to see what will work best and waste everyone’s time. It just makes good business sense. Also I can’t just put it in one truck since that would not be seen as fair.”

    I told my employees about the new GPS tracking units a few months before I installed them. I have not installed them yet but will have the system working in a few days. It was 250 for the unit, 2 year commitment, minimum plan 15 a month for 500 locates. That is about 25 locates a day. More than enough for me I think and the low cost per month is half price of the continuous monitoring unit. I try to keep down my fixed costs as much as possible.

    I also used the same way to communicate about the new video surveillance cameras at the shop. Here is how I justified installing the cameras: “We have been burglarized once and the next time I am hoping we will catch the little bastard with the cameras. So remember: Don’t pick your nose in the office, you are on camera. And I think this is a good reminder for all of us that we are being filmed where ever we go!” I even had them do all of the wiring and camera installation to kind of make it a team thing.

    My office person did not like the cameras much but got over it quickly and one of the guys did not like the GPS in the truck but only mentioned it in passing so I think he will forget about it in time.

    PS At our last staff meeting (each meeting is run by a different company employee each month) the presenter asked each person to write down a goal for the month and report back next month on their progress. Well Jen ran the meeting this month and she reported back on her 31 !!!!!!! written goals. so after she announced the number of goals I reached over near her face and said ” Wait a second Jen I think you have something on your nose. What a suck up!” We have the most fun staff meetings of any company I have ever seen!

    PPS So, Kristie’s (my wife and our bookkeeper) goal was to procrastinate less. I made the comment after that goal(Are you ready for something really deep?) …….”You know, procrastination is just putting off success”! I won an extra tootsie pop from Jen for that one. All my employees said it was really profound.

    BTW, Steve, this is the most I have written to anyone in years. If you really use this stuff I am happy to do it because I owe a debt to you for all of your help but if not let me know. My business mentor from 1984 gets a free lunch every month or two from me when we get together for all of the help he gave me. So, you have about 25 more years to hear my words of wisdom/opinion. And a free lunch when we meet.

    Al Paulsen
    Al’s Carpet Cleaning & Restoration Inc.

  2. WOW! Great story, Al. I LOVE the way you presented the changes/new policies to your employees. We all know you have other motives for the cameras and GPS that you didn’t mention to them, but what a positve way to say it. And no one can argue with the reasoning you gave.

    Great tips, thanks for sharing.


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