When you’re running your landscaping business, the last thing you want is for your profit margin to be a mystery.
Yet this was the exact problem Maple Hill Lawn & Garden, a landscaping company based in Fort Washington, Maryland, was experiencing.
Bobby and Lauren White, CEO and president of Maple Hill respectively, started looking at fleet tracking options to gain increased visibility and reduce unaccounted for labor time. They ended up choosing Verizon Connect Reveal after seeing it in trade magazines and having others recommend it.
“I think how user-friendly it is is really what sealed the deal,” Bobby says. “Neither one of us are IT professionals. I have to honestly say I think once we got a chance to do the free trial, then we started looking back at reviews of other ones that we realized that Verizon was the way to go.”
Lauren adds that once she did the basic training provided, it’s been smooth sailing using the system.
“We will definitely not ever go back anywhere else because it’s just been really easy to use and user-friendly,” she says.
Since adding Verizon Connect Reveal in early 2019, Maple Hill has saved more than $100,000 as the company found there was unaccounted for time between employee clock-out times and the last job of the day.
“It seems as though they may have just been, for the most part, burning up time,” Bobby says. “So, from that last job to returning back to our shop at the end of the day, they could have been a mile away, they could have been 10 miles away. They may have just taken the long way home kind of deal, but it didn’t seem as though that they were performing other services, things off the books, but they weren’t where they were supposed to be. Our vehicles were out milling about.”
In response to this realization of time being wasted, Bobby says they had a long, in-depth talk with their staff one day.
“It was a major talk with the drivers to make sure that wasn’t going to happen again,” he says.
Verizon Connect Reveal’s GPS tracking system works via hardware that is installed in the vehicle. This hardware can be either self-installed or if the landscaper wants access to certain engine data, it can be installed by a professional.
“Verizon Connect not only provides basic vehicle tracking, but we also do things like asset tracking,” Kevin Aries, head of global product success at Verizon Connect. “So, as customers start to get to know us and learn about us and get familiar with technology, they start not only tracking their vehicles, but their equipment, and then we also offer things like field service solutions.”
These solutions include being able to schedule jobs with better efficiency and communicate with drivers in the field.
Aside from improving employee productivity, Verizon Connect Reveal helped Maple Hill with increased revenue opportunities, more accurate billing and increased driver safety.
“We were only looking at it from one perspective,” Bobby says. “We just wanted to know where the trucks are. And then once we got ahold of it, then we were able to see what all the other services and information we can gather from that.”
With Verizon Connect Reveal, Maple Hill was able to track crews’ time on site and identify when additional jobs were completed, as well as show proof of service with time stamps and GPS location records for more accurate billing.
As for the increased driver safety, brake repairs and brake replacements were the norm for Maple Hill but once Verizon Connect Reveal was installed, they quickly saw harsh braking was the main unsafe driving habit that was being pinged.
Verizon Connect’s Integrated Video feature is a smart dash-cam solution that was added in April 2019 and uses AI and machine learning to improve driver behavior.
“It can take all of that video data and then surface what’s critically important to businesses in order for them to quickly coach and monitor driver behavior and look for harsh driving incidents,” Aries says. “It’s really the technology behind it that’s allowing our customers to be able to just focus on the safety events that are really going to make a difference for their business long term.”
Lauren’s favorite aspect of the system is how Verizon will send a PDF rundown of what all has happened with the fleet for that day. She says it allows her to look back and analyze the productivity of crews.
“It really is a highly effective tool,” she says. “As a smaller business, you always look at where are you supposed to be spending your money. We avoided it because we weren’t sure what is the best one. Now that we have it, we use it daily to look back at different things, just to analyze everything pretty much because you can. You can analyze so much. I would say get the Verizon Connect GPS tracking because it will be an excellent tool for your business.”
The pricing on Verizon Connect Reveal varies customer to customer, depending on features used and the size of the fleet. The sales model is per vehicle per month and there are various contract lengths. Aries says that Verizon Connect fits companies of all sizes and they have customers that range from a few vehicles to major enterprises.
“One of the things that’s certainly unique about Verizon Connect is that we offer a stack of solutions for our customers,” Aries says. “We’re really sort of a one-stop-shop for businesses that are looking to either increase productivity or efficiency or safety. It’s not just vehicle tracking. We really think of ourselves as partners for the mobile workforce.”