Route Verification: The Magic Bullet
Every time one of your drivers starts a vehicle, it is costing you money. Think of it as little dollar bills flowing out the exhaust pipe. And as long as the work being done is of value, everything is fine.
Field staff can, however, develop some bad habits, taking advantage of their freedom to slack off on the job. But when they know that their every move can be verified, a lot of bad behaviors stop. And it usually stops right away, saving the field operations manager time and money. We call it the “Magic Bullet” effect, and we see it all the time.
Route Verification & Compliance Defined
Route verification is the ability to prove that a vehicle went where it was supposed to go. The level of verification can vary from simple, old school methods (each vehicle made all the stops at the locations they were supposed to) to complex (each vehicle stayed on the exact route that they were supposed to use to get to each stop). It’s important to remember that neither method is inherently good or bad, deciding which one is best for your group really depends on a number of factors that will vary with each organization.
Some folks draw a distinction between verification and compliance, and the two terms are technically different. Route verification is the review of where the vehicle went and does not necessarily imply a preconceived expectation of where that will be, while route compliance is making sure that the vehicle went where it was supposed to go. If that works for your industry then fine, but for most people verification and compliance means pretty much the same thing, and we tend to use them interchangeably in our office.
You will also hear people use the term Route Optimization, which involves laying out the most efficient route a driver can take to accomplish the goals for the day. This can be very important for companies with large scale logistics operations, but for smaller businesses the investment in route optimization software & training may not provide a significant return on investment.
Why It Matters
Route verification and compliance can have significant benefit for almost any fleet operation. Just a few of the areas of potential benefit for a GPS monitoring based system include:
- Field Supervision: Having a better understanding of where your vehicles are and where they have been allows management to get a fuller picture of what’s actually happening a daily basis, allowing for new insight on how to make field operations better.
- Cost Reduction: We almost always see a “magic bullet” effect on operations cost when a GPS monitoring system is installed, as field staff come to grips with the reality that they can no longer get away with any bad behavior that might have been happening before.
- Transparency: Some organizations have found trust and/or efficiency gains by providing fleet monitoring information to their clients or vendors.
- Contractual Obligation: Taking the Transparency arguement a little further, we have seen clients demand access to GPS monitoring based route compliance as part of a business agreement. This can be a requirement, or at the very least a significant differentiator to the competition, when working with high value or sensitive logistics.
Could your organization benefit from raising their Route Verification & Compliance game? Give us a call and let’s see if we can help!