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Aqua-King Ltd has delivered quality heating and plumbing services throughout Berkshire since 1990. Specialising in central heating installations, the company also offers servicing, repairs, water softeners and gas safety reports. The team of eight engineers are managed by company owners, Phil and Claire King, who explained why they decided to install Quartix vehicle tracking earlier this year.
An opportunity to reflect
As a small company, Aqua-King had not previously used vehicle tracking for their vans, but it was something they planned to explore. “We see a lot of customers throughout the day and we knew how much of an advantage it would be to see where our vehicles are and keep on top of their movements,” Claire says.
When the business was not able to trade to its full potential during the coronavirus lockdown period, Claire and Phil took the opportunity to research a few options, revisit their vehicle policies and plan how to improve the way they work. “We wanted to make sure we came out of this period with the best chance of recovery and success. Vehicle tracking would help us make the most of the working day,” says Claire.
“Quartix was the quickest to respond to our enquiry,” she continues. “The representative, Karen, was friendly and helpful. She showed us how easy the system was to use and was able to arrange the installation at a time that suited us.”
Having thought that a vehicle tracking system would be an expensive investment, Claire was pleasantly surprised to discover the value of Quartix’s subscription plans. “The system was much cheaper than I initially thought. You get a lot for your money with Quartix,” Claire comments.
Installing vehicle tracking
All of Aqua-King’s frequently used vans were soon fitted with the vehicle tracking devices and the Kings quickly became accustomed to the new software. “The support team were really helpful in setting up the reports and alerts for us and helping us customise the system. They were always quick to answer our queries,” says Claire.
As for day-to-day use of the vehicle tracking system, Claire and Phil use the Quartix mobile app regularly, to see where their engineers are and provide updates for customers. “The app is really easy to use. It’s so convenient and shows us everything we need at a glance.” The live tracking feature has come in handy when customers enquire about the driver’s estimated time of arrival. Claire and Phil explained, “We provide an hourly window for appointments. Our customers love that we can quickly confirm how far away the engineer is from their house now.”
With the tracking system in place, Aqua-King can check that engineers are setting off with enough time to reach appointments, and the live tracking screen also helps them to account for current traffic. “It’s not about being Big Brother,” Claire explains. “The tracking information enables us to be more productive, more cost effective and to ensure we deliver the best service to our customers.”
“We provide an hourly window for appointments. Our customers love that we can quickly confirm how far away the engineer is from their house now.”
Enabling better planning
The main benefit Aqua-King has found with vehicle tracking is that they can be far more accurate with appointment time slots and plan more effectively. Understanding how long engineers are out on a job has meant that the business can schedule more appointments each day. “We were allowing an hour for each customer visit, but when the data shows us that it doesn’t actually take the full hour to complete a job, there’s time to play with and we can use that,” Claire explains.
More precise invoicing
Being able to clearly see the duration of a job using the daily driver logs has improved Aqua-King’s ability to estimate costs and allowed for more accurate invoicing. “We can invoice customers for the exact time that engineers spent at a property. It’s a better value service for our customers,” says Claire.
Benefiting from ‘out of hours’ alerts
Aqua-King is making full use of the geofencing alerts to monitor out of hour vehicle use, a tool they wish they had the previous year when one of their vehicles was unfortunately stolen. The business now has peace of mind that they will receive alerts of any unauthorised events.
The out of hours alerts are also helpful to notify them if an engineer is still at a job past the end of the working day, so they don’t leave any of the team at a loose end if anything is needed.
Plans for driver behaviour incentive schemes
Claire and Phil have plans to make use of the system’s driver behaviour reports and driver league tables, with ideas to incorporate the results into incentives schemes for their engineers. Currently, Aqua-King tracks fuel costs on a collective level, but has plans to assess individual vehicle costs and explore ways to improve the mileage and fuel costs per vehicle using the tracking data. Having an average cost established per van will help them to address any issue that stands out and pinpoint the reasons for the differences.
“Having the trackers in the vehicles has opened up many other doors. There is so much we can do with the system. We can plan more effectively and change the way we are working based on the insight that Quartix provides,” says Claire.
The Quartix experience
On the interactions Claire has had with Quartix, the praise is high. “I have already recommended Quartix to other businesses. The staff are professional and friendly, and we are frequently discovering more benefits of the system.”