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The Many Benefits of GPS Tracking

July 10, 2019
A Boston-area HVAC/plumbing contracting firm finds fleet tracking improves driving performance and dispatching efficiency, and protects it from predatory lawsuits.

To help maintain superior customer service, Papalia Home Services, Acton, Mass. implemented Verizon Connect GPS fleet tracking on 13 vehicles to better monitor their technicians, ensuring they are honest and efficient. 

The implementation has been a benefit to customers, company and employees with minimized time between routes, accurate reporting of time spent on the jobsite, notifications of excessive speeds or visits to unauthorized points of interest, and up to date mapping which has helped techs locate addresses. 

Papalia Plumbing & Heating has provided plumbing, heating, cooling and drain cleaning services throughout Massachusetts since 1989. A devotion to superior customer service forms their main philosophy, from promising to “exceed your expectations” and ensuring that technicians wear protective boot covers and use drop cloths when working inside clients’ homes.


To help maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, Papalia implemented the Verizon Connect GPS fleet tracking solution to better monitor their technicians. “It keeps them honest, and efficient,” says Vicki Laake, office manager at Papalia. “We are able to zoom in if they are lost to help them find the customer’s home faster. It also helps us schedule jobs in a manner that keeps the travel time between jobs to a minimum.” 

Immediate Results
Papalia uses Verizon Connect primarily for tracking purposes, “to ensure techs are on the job on time,” says Laake. “It works with our dispatching program, so we are always looking to see what time they arrived and what time they left a job. “We also track startup and shut down times for the guys that get paid hourly.”

Improved dispatching has been one of the biggest benefits of the Verizon Connect system. “It’s just helpful knowing where the techs are, so if customers call we can use that information to determine who is closest to a particular job site,” she adds. “That’s always a plus when dealing with last-minute emergency calls.”

Part of keeping her technicians “honest” includes monitoring behavior. Speeding alerts and reports supply comprehensive data on speed limit information across all types of roads and geographies, and can send e-mail alerts to the user when a vehicle committed a violation. The geofencing feature enables user to designate areas on a map where their vehicles may (or may not) be allowed to travel. “We have the supply houses listed, which makes it easy to find out which one is closest to the technician’s job site,” she says.

“We had a random person call in to say one of our trucks did a hit-and-run. I immediately ran a report and found we did not have any trucks in that area during the time of the ‘accident’, and the caller hung up.”— Vicki Laake

Papalia’s employees were initially suspicious of having a GPS fleet tracking device in their trucks. “They felt like Big Brother’s watching,” Laake says. “But we’ve had it so long that I don’t think anyone thinks twice about it — unless they are lost or I get an alert that they are speeding in the company truck.”

The system has proven to protect Papalia against false accusations, too. “We had a random person call in to say one of our trucks did a hit-and-run. I immediately ran a report and found we did not have any trucks in that area during the time of the ‘accident’, and the caller hung up.”

Moving Forward
When Papalia began using Verizon Connect, “it was the one of the few companies that offered this type of tracking,” says Laake. And in order to maximize their investment, they’ve renewed their agreement. “The maps are great and the system tracks in a way that fits our needs—that’s the biggest benefit for us.” Laake gives particular praise to the Detailed Reports feature. “It gives you everything you need to know about where, when and for how long any truck is at any given time. It really helps with tracking the actual ‘on the jobsite’ time. We also find it useful if a tech is having issues finding a customer’s property because we can zoom in.”

Down the road, Laake hopes to take advantage of the Maintenance Reports, to schedule regular oil changes and other service for her vehicles. But for now, she says, “Verizon Connect does what we need it to do.” 


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