January 2011, Business Fleet - Feature
Using GPS to Reduce Payroll Expense
Payroll fraud and inefficient use of labor and resources are ever-present concerns for the harried fleet manager. Learn how three fleets are using GPS systems to realize significant reductions in payroll expense.
If you have a hunch some of your drivers are padding their hours, you're probably right. But how do you prove they're taking an extra 15 minutes here and there? And is it worth the confrontation?
In boom times, it's easy to look the other way. But in this post-recession economy, businesses are faced with growing revenue without increasing resources or, worse, trimming expenses by cutting staff.
Confronting drivers who are perpetrating timecard or payroll fraud is hard enough. But these tasks can be doubly difficult for business owners with small fleets, because they are more likely to juggle many responsibilities.
"With fleet sizes of 15 to 30 vehicles, there are so many things going on that the [business] owner can't always keep an eye on, especially without a dedicated fleet manager," says Robert Donat, president of GPS Insight, a tracking and navigation technology provider based in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Fortunately for small fleet administrators, technology has made the tasks of managing employees' time and reducing payroll costs easier to handle. Telematics-based GPS fleet management systems allow company executives and fleet managers to track vehicles, employees, driving routes and time spent on the job. As a result, this technology can improve a company's overall operational efficiency while reducing expenses and increasing profit.
GPS Insight clients can use Google Earth Street View to visualize an
address. This makes it easier to tell if your driver was filling up on a Slurpee instead of servicing a customer.
No More Padding of Hours
The fleet tracking system from GPS Insight offers a Web-based platform that monitors driver productivity and vehicle efficiency, tracks idle time and confirms overtime costs. In addition, the system provides fleet managers with customized reports, alerts, routing and mobile-device access.
GPS Insight's customized reports show when and where drivers make poor decisions - or fraudulent ones - while on the road. "When there's an actual fraudulent scenario going on, we see people padding hours as much as 30 to 40 percent," Donat says.
Those reports monitor odd-hours usage, speeding and many types of location accounting. This data can be inputted into Google Earth for a more complete visualization of errant activities, Donat says.
In a typical scenario, GPS Insight technology was used to help CBMI, a Calif.-based plumbing, electrical and construction company, settle customers' disputes by verifying the work hours reported by employees.
The first week after the system was installed, the construction company caught three service technicians inflating their field reports.
"GPS Insight has saved us a minimum of 10 percent on our labor costs, since we believe we were losing up to 45 minutes per day per employee based on faulty timekeeping and outright misrepresentation on field reports," says Dan Zaharoni, the company's CFO.