Communicating with Your Drivers
"You Have Mail"
Today, communication with a driver
is usually via cell phone or radio. Unfortunately, the quality
of cell and radio service providers leaves much to be desired,
and even if they work just fine, the driver has to stop and write
down names, addresses, phone numbers and other instructions.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could
write all this down and simply print all the information in the
vehicle with a note to call if the driver has any questions? You
could also include a map with driving directions and an estimate
of how long it would take to get there.
Truth is…e-mail can make
this happen for less than $1,000 per vehicle. Could this really
work? Absolutely. Let's see how potential problems are addressed.
Problem: E-mail is turned off
in the vehicle.
Solution: E-mail is queued up on the Internet, and as soon as
on, the work orders are delivered.
Problem: Driver forgets to turn
Solution: Your e-mail service can be configured to page or place
phone call to the driver that new mail has arrived.
Problem: The printer runs out
Solution: The driver can read the message on the screen of the
Problem: Something is broken.
Solution: The Internet is everywhere. Office supply stores, coffee
and most motels and hotels offer Internet access service. The
stop at any of these locations, tap the system and print out current
E-mail is simple enough to be
used by anyone and Internet access is never far away. The secret
is volume! There are over 100 million e-mail users in this country
alone, and if you start counting phone messaging, the numbers
go off the scale. This means lots of users, competition and service
at rock bottom prices. It's like the old 10 cent phone call, but
All this for less than $1,000
per vehicle! And it may be less by the time you finish reading
Here is the shopping list.
Here is how it works. The equipment
is placed in the vehicle and is in constant communication via
the Internet. In your office, you prepare an e-mail message and
in the subject line you include information like work order number,
time, etc. When the equipment in the vehicle receives it, the
e-mail arriving in the PC will cause a beep, telling the driver
new mail has arrived. The driver opens the e-mail that has an
attachment that he/she prints.
When the job is done, the driver
can respond and type in the details of the job, which serves two
purposes. First, this acts as a receipt to the customer and secondly,
it is sent back to the office so an invoice can be prepared and
mailed out. It also gives the dispatcher the status of the driver's
work for the day.
E-mail offers a new form of communication
that allows you to tell the driver what to do next without having
to disrupt the driver's work and driving, is totally self-documenting,
and offers options to improve the invoicing cycle of your business.