According to research, the field services industry is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2019 to $5.9 billion by 2024.
One of the main drivers of this growth will be adopting cloud-based mobility solutions, including geofencing.
For field service businesses, it used to be impossible to get accurate information about where employees were and what they were doing.
Technology has changed that.
Today’s field service industries will need to embrace this new technology to stay competitive. While there are many different ways technology is simplifying how service industries are managed, this guide focuses on Geofencing.
What Is Geofencing?
Simply put, geofencing is the use of technology to set up a virtual boundary.
Think of invisible fences for dogs. A wire is usually buried underground around the perimeter of the yard and the dogs wear a collar that emits a mild shock if they get near the boundary.
Similarly, geofencing lets you know if or when an employee leaves a designated area (minus the shock collar) but with technology, rather than a physical wire.
Using a mapping program such as Google maps, administrators can select a targeted area - such as a work site - that creates an invisible “fence” for their workers.
Usually through mobile devices, a person gets a notification or reminder either by SMS or email. When they enter or leave the designated area, the device automatically sends these notifications.
In the case of marketing, for example, retail shops can send a notification to active customers when they walk into a designated zone.
The notification will let the customer know of special deals, coupons, or new products available.
For employers, geofencing reminds employees to clock in, clock out, or switch tasks when they cross the virtual boundary line.
How Does Geofencing Work?
By now, most of us have heard of and used Google Maps. There is a Global Positioning System that was originally designed for use by the Department of Defense “to provide navigation, location, and timing information for military operations.”
It uses satellites in space to help pinpoint almost any location with an accuracy that can be as close as almost 15 meters (49.2 feet).
With geofencing, accuracy ranges from 100 to 200 meters (328 to 656 feet) in urban areas with a lot of WiFi routers and phone towers to a few hundred meters (1,400 feet) in urban areas.
Using a mapping platform such as Google Maps, administrators select an area usually by creating a circle over a specific location. In some cases, entering latitudes and longitudes to establish a perimeter.
An app such as ClockShark’s GPSFence™, runs in the background of employees’ mobile devices and is synced with the boundary information.
When employees enter or leave the designated area, they are reminded to either clock in or out, or switch tasks.
Administrators can set up these virtual boundaries for multiple jobs in cases where there are a lot of field workers or many jobs.
You can also create tasks for things like travel or supply runs which will not clock the employee out but will allow them to stay on the clock to complete these work-related tasks.
Conversely, you can use this data to determine if their recorded time is accurate and acceptable.
What Is Geofencing Used For?
There are a lot of uses for geofencing. From marketing and tracking employees to security and even child safety.
Families can use a geofencing app that identifies particular locations such as home, work, and school. Whenever a family member leaves one location and arrives at another, the rest of those on the network knows. Geofencing can also notify parents when their child leaves a designated area.
Marketers use geofencing to attract new or existing customers. Using a location-based system, companies send push notifications to subscribers when their cell phone is detected within their geofence.
This allows companies to target specific consumers with relevant ads that entice them to their physical locations.
Companies that have different security levels can use targeted geofencing to ensure high-security areas are kept safe from unauthorized employees.
Field service industries like construction, landscaping, plumbing, or janitorial services can use geofencing to make sure employees stay clocked in when working and clocked out when they leave the worksite.
What Are The Benefits of Geofencing?
By now you can see the many ways geofencing is helping today’s organizations with a lot of different benefits. For the field service industry, this is particularly true.
Never wonder again if your employees are where they are supposed to be. Geofencing allows you to monitor when employees are at the designated location.
Reduce Missing Clock Punches
Whether on accident or intentional, sometimes employees forget or fail to clock in or out. Geofencing reminds them any time they leave the fenced area, to clock in, out, or switch tasks.
Accurate Travel Time Data
You can know to the minute how long and how far employees travel. This can improve your fleet costs and reduce unauthorized use of your company vehicles.
By knowing how long employees were on the job, you can bill your customers accurately without guesswork. This is going to improve your customers’ experiences and, thus, your relationship.
Increased Employee Accountability
When your employees know that you are able to see where they are and what they should be doing, they will be more likely to perform their best.
Additionally, when they complete a job, you can compare the total invoiced with previous jobs. This helps you determine how well your employees are doing.
When employees are reminded to clock in and out, your payroll will be more accurate. Used with other services such as employee time-tracking with technology like ClockShark’s KioskClock™, you can get even more accurate time records and ensure all of your workers are paid properly.
Better Customer Service
Knowing who is where provides you with a fast, simple way to know which employee to call for an emergency service call.
Is Geofencing Right For Your Business?
Geofencing is a perfect solution for companies that have field workers because it keeps all of your employees in the right places.
If you’ve ever sat frustrated because your tech or worker has not yet arrived at their designated job, geofencing can solve this for you.
When you know which worker should be at a certain job at a certain time and you see in real-time that they aren't, you can respond accordingly. This will improve your customer's experiences.
Since multiple geofences can be established by administrators, geofencing is an ideal option for companies that have many job sites.
How ClockShark’s Geofencing Feature Helps The Mobile Workforce
ClockShark’s GPSFence™ is an intuitive technology that is easy to use from your workers’ mobile devices.
From your office or mobile phone or tablet, administrators can check on where their workers are at any given time.
Since ClockShark is committed to helping field service industries, GPSFence™ is especially helpful for companies with field workers and teams.
When you have a lot of different workers doing different jobs, GPSFence™ makes keeping track of them - and their work - simple and accurate.
ClockShark works with you to get everything set up seamlessly so you and your employees are clear on how everything works.
Customer Success Story - Assembly Builders
Co-founded by Dave Libby and Mario Romero, Assembly Builders employs both contractors and subcontractors to complete residential and commercial construction projects in the San Francisco and surrounding areas.
Their company most often has multiple projects going on at a time with different workers at different jobs on any given day.
Dave was frustrated with how long it took to do payroll because the timesheets were hand-written and not always accurate. Getting payroll entered into Quickbooks was at least a two-hour chore. The process was inefficient and not always accurate.
The process is simple and easy to use and allows his company to import the information into Quickbooks and finish payroll as quickly as 30 minutes.
Dave says the biggest selling point for him was the GPSFence™ feature from ClockShark because it reminded his workers to clock in and out accurately.
He also appreciates how geofencing records and stores the information so he can look back weeks or months to see who was on a particular job at a certain time.
“This is exactly what we were looking for. This is catered to us.” --Dave Libby
Are you ready to improve your customer experience and protect your company against unauthorized work hours? Do you want to experience a better way to keep track of your jobs and employees?
ClockShark offers you a free trial so you can see all of the benefits of GPSFence™ for yourself. If you would like to find out more about how ClockShark’s solutions can help your company, contact us today.