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April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 125

Many business owners are forced to look at where excesses are being spent in their businesses on a regular basis with the economy in the shape that it is in these days. The price of doing business almost seems to go up on a daily basis, especially if fuel costs are involved. If you have employees, there are many ways you can monitor these excess cost that you may not be doing already. If you run any type of company that has vehicles for employees to drive or uses computers on a regular basis by your employee's money is literally being thrown out the door every single day that these devices are not monitored. The other place you can save money is to improve employee efficiency with computer monitoring software.

Let's face it every single weekend I'm out driving around I see many company vehicle trucks being driven when I know full well the company is not open for business. It is just a fact that if you have employee vehicles the privilege is abused. This has happened even before fuel prices were ridiculous. With my business, we tried to make it so that the employees had to pick up their vehicles every day at our shop prior to going out for the day's work. It did work to an extent except for the fact that they all had a company credit card for fuel, so instead of taking the company truck to run errands and pick up groceries, they just would buy an extra 10 gallons of fuel for the family daily driver instead. It is a harsh, harsh reality but your employees will try to steal from you almost at any opportunity they can get. Quite often times they will justify it and there is nothing wrong with it in their eyes. Employee abuse of company vehicles, company computer equipment, and company credit cards can cost you tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. This is not something that you should be paying for, it greatly affects your bottom line, and you need to monitor it. The only way to nip it in the bud is to prevent it from happening and or to stop that from happening altogether.

For six years, I owned and operated in oil and gas environmental remediation service company. We had eight employee driven vehicles. Every supervisor had his or her own fuel credit card. Some of the supervisors had their own computers. I did not discover the benefits to monitoring my employees until our fifth year in business. After I started doing so, it was nauseating to see how much money was being thrown out the door every single day. We changed our employment manual to notify employees that we would be monitoring any employee owned computer equipment and all of our trucks to be equipped with locating GPS tracking. We told our employees the GPS tracking was a safety factor in that we did it to save some money on our liability insurance. Since we were working in extremely remote areas we sold it as something that was merely to benefit them in the event of an emergency, we could locate them and respond quickly. It did help us save on our workman's compensation insurance.

The easiest place to stop employee waste is to monitor all company vehicles. I cannot tell you enough how crucial if you have company vehicles it is that you get GPS monitoring in them. For contractors it is essential. You can not only prevent employee waste and stop it altogether. You can also use the software in the system to prove where your company was in a billing dispute with the client. If you plow snow or do any sort of road maintenance this is very valuable and cost saving tool. We have had people call us claiming our plow truck hit their parked car in a lot we plowed the snow in one year. We get the details from the owner of the car, gave the information along with the vehicle tracking information to our insurance company to review and twice it has saved us from having to pay a claim that was never ours to pay in the first place. The snowplow driver is the easiest target to blame when someone has no idea who hit his or her car in a parking lot. Fortunately, many store parking lots are now monitored by video surveillance, which can also be used to prove your case in the event somebody tries to say that one of your snowplow trucks hit their car in a parking lot. The GPS tracking in the vehicle just further confirms your case.

There are many different GPS tracking companies out there that you can get in touch with. In my experience, we used a company called Fleetmatics. They were very reasonable. The only downfall is they make you sign a three-year service contract. We had the option of renting our equipment that was installed in the trucks. This may GPS tracking very affordable for us. We paid a low monthly fee for every vehicle that we have monitored. We were able to monitor how safely our employees were driving. We were able to make sure employees were actually going to job sites that they were assigned to be going to during the day. We are also able to use this tool as a way to ensure that our billable hours are being correctly billed out. There were many uses for the software. We can also set it up to notify as via text message or e-mail about certain limits that we could place on the software not with the trucks. For instance, you could set the software to notify you if any of your employees were driving faster than 75 miles an hour. If this happened, you would get a text message or an e-mail, which would then allow you to bring the issue up with the employee and get a handled properly so it does not happen again. This is a very valuable feature us because we worked on many job sites where speed limits were strictly enforced. There are many places where the speed limit was 25 mph and anyone caught going faster than 25 miles an hour would be kicked off of the jobsite permanently. The GPS tracking software also works well for verifying payroll hours. It helped us save an additional 7% on all of our workman's comp insurance after we had it installed in all of our vehicles just for safety reasons.

The best feature of the GPS tracking was it stops employee misuse of company vehicles altogether. I no longer receive phone calls about our vehicles out on the weekends or in the evenings tooling around town or moving people in and out of new homes. We saw significant savings in the amount of fuel we had to purchase every week. We saw that about a 20% increase in the amount of hours that we were able to bill out that were being lost before. Mostly due to the supervisors lack of math skills. We were also able to prove to employees of fudging hours on their time cards that we had been suspect of for quite some time. As you can imagine between fuel, payroll, and billable hours all of these additional expenses that we are able to stop from going out the door definitely had a major impact on our bottom line in our business. I wish we had installed GPS tracking five years sooner! It would have saved us ton of money!

You should seriously consider the use of computer monitoring software, which limits your employee's abilities to waste time on company-owned computers. There are many different versions of the software out there and typically, there is no reason why you cannot use them so long as you notify your employees they are installed on all company owned computers via memo or in their employee handbooks. The software I used was called Spector Pro. From my experience, employees that are given company-owned laptop will tend to use the computer as their own personal computer as well as their work computer. This makes your company owned computer equipment extremely vulnerable primarily your private corporate information, trade secrets the employee may have in the computer as well as the computer itself may be compromised. The reason being is because most employees cannot resist checking e-mail, checking Facebook, and surfing porn on company-owned laptops. They treat a company owned business computer as their own. Every single man I have ever employed that had one of my company-owned laptops surfed porn. I have come to accept that this is something that I must prevent if I want to protect my equipment. I have nothing against an employee surfing porn but they need to do it on their own time and on their own computer equipment. All of these things make your equipment vulnerable to viruses and security hacks and should not be happening on a company-owned computer in the first place.

You will also notice after employing people for quite some time in the digital age that many people are extremely addicted to social networking while at work. With computer monitoring software, it will allow you to either limit the sites your employees can visit or block them altogether from your employees being able to access them on company-owned computer equipment. The software also gives you the option to where you can just limit the hours on these sites as well. For instance you may want to limit the hours employee could access to be open for employee access on company-owned computer equipment between the hours of 12 and 1:30 PM during lunch hour only. When it comes to the bottom line, employees are supposed to be working on company-owned computer equipment. Anybody that disagrees with that or has a problem with your use of monitoring software on your company-owned computer equipment, more than likely is not doing their job. There are not enough hours in the day to monitor every little thing every employee does on your computer equipment. This software allows you to have a babysitter that stops the waste altogether and ensures your employees are as productive as they could possibly be.

Source: EzineArticles
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