Has digitization arrived in the companies? Where is a need to catch up? Let's look into practice: AVANT Gebäudedienste has greatly reduced its costs with GPS tracking.
There are works that you only see if nobody does them. Office cleaning, for example. With us, professionals do it: practical trolleys, high-quality cleaning cloths, first-class cleaners. The job is staff-intensive, so tools and processes have to be perfect. In my job, communication, I take care of the Internet of Things. In other words, smart things that are connected and send sensor data to a cloud. The data is evaluated and processed in the cloud. Example tracking: Where is the tracker? How far is it from its destination? Do I have to intervene because something goes wrong? Why am I telling you this? Because facility cleaning services have long used these clever things to position themselves better in the face of tough competition. And because their digitization will ensure the companies’ survival in the long run.
AVANT Gebäudedienste shows how to stay one step ahead of the competition
AVANT Gebäudedienste from Erfurt uses GPS tracking for the vehicles of its cleaning teams. For over a year now. The medium-sized company was able to reduce its costs by 15 to 20 percent within just three months. In the past, the teams drove from A to F, then back to B again. According to the customer's wishes. Managing Director Steffen Lange told me that. GPS tracking together with the cloud platform now provides the company with an overview and tools for better route planning. "We have optimized wasted travel times, including wage costs and, of course, fuel consumption," says Lange.
Just don't touch the process?
Implementing a process change alongside tight day-to-day business? Respect. Lange explains that he had searched the internet for information and planning documents. Had compared offers and references, had a look here and there. Had tried out solutions for six months. "Our business customer consultant at Deutsche Telekom recommended Drive & Track. This is a Deutsche Telekom partner solution with Fleet Complete. Telekom's price/performance ratio was the best to date." The project was, of course, a matter for the management. Lange discussed the measures with his division heads. The technology was no problem: The devices can be easily retrofitted in the vehicles, even in the leasing vehicles. Telekom provided support in entering the data into the system. "I read the tracking instructions once. I got an explanation once and the topic was already done. We had to train the employees, but that wasn't complicated either."
Take the wind out of the sails
Initially, there were concerns on the part of employees, in particular about data protection. "Now they even keep watch on us," was the fear. "We prepared documents for the employees and conducted personal interviews. This has reassured them," Lange reports. Of course, the dispatcher also observes the driving behavior of his colleagues on the screen. Excessive speed means more costs. This explains the interest of the company.
In the beginning it is difficult to introduce something new
Changing a central process in day-to-day business requires some courage. It means research, investment, parallel processes, double work. Lange is satisfied with his experience: "When I see the improvements, the effort has paid off." He advises to concentrate in detail on the operation of the system. That way doubts disappear. "Looking for information on the internet is the first step. The second step should be a thorough discussion with the experts. Good consultants. Because they know their stuff. I can only recommend everyone to take this step. Everybody can find and implement potential for savings."
AVANT: more service - less costs
Since summer 2018, AVANT Gebäudedienste uses GPS tracking devices for 23 cleaning vehicles. The Deutsche Telekom product’s name is "Drive & Track powered by Fleet Complete". So-called dongles can be attached quickly and easily to the OBD-II interfaces (on-board diagnostics) in the vehicles. In the case of unexpected inquiries, the dispatcher used to call all teams. Then he knew their location. He planned the route using an online map. One job after the other. However, there was little overview of the working times of the employees.
Get location data and plan routes via the online portal
Now the dongles deliver the GPS data of the vehicle via the built-in SIM card. All tracking data is integrated into the Drive & Track portal in a clear graphical representation. They can be easily evaluated and further used. Using the online portal, the dispatcher recognizes the standstill times of the vehicles at the work site or other points. This allows him to conveniently plan optimized routes. On the basis of this planning, he can also estimate the required working time of the teams more precisely. This helps with the preliminary calculation of orders. If a customer calls to ask when the cleaning team arrives, he can get information directly on the phone. And for special orders, the planner can ask a close-by employee to do the job.