With rising fuel prices and the energy crisis on the horizon, it is more important than ever for snow removal business owners to manage their fuel budget. If business owners are not careful with how they spend their resources, it will drastically impact their annual profits down the line. This will in turn affect their business when they decide to raise prices and pass on the fuel surcharges to their customers.
When you pass on fuel surcharges to your customers, you may see a steep decline in return customers and have trouble controlling customer churn. Customer churn leaves a direct impact on the bottom line of your business. And, that is one of the few reasons why snow removal and landscaping business owners should not overlook the amount of money they spend on gas during winter.
Here are six simple tips that can help you reduce fuel costs and save money in the winter season.
Use GPS Tracking to Plan Efficient Routes During the Snow Season
Job management has never been easier; Zuper’s innovative dispatch board makes it super simple to keep track of unassigned and overdue jobs. What's more, you can quickly reschedule any appointment by simply dragging to another date on the calendar with Zuper's easy-to-use interface.
Zuper supports GPS tracking, which allows you to see your fleet’s location on the map and guide them through the safest and most efficient route to help you save time and fuel. The different calendar views on the dispatch board allow you to see your schedule with a daily, weekly, and monthly calendar view and make any changes based on what works best for you.
With new AI and machine learning capabilities, Zuper can help you connect the right driver with the right customer. With a detailed record of each field technician's skill set, it is easy to determine what jobs they are best suited for.
Give Technicians Onsite Access to Expertise in Snow and Ice Removal
The digital era has brought about many changes in the way businesses operate, and the same applies to snow removal companies. One such welcome change is that an experienced technician can now support younger or newly hired technicians remotely, cutting down on physical labor costs for your company while also utilizing more experienced staff to assist with snow removal services.
Job notes are comments that can be added to a job; these notes help snow removal teams in the field get more context on the task at hand. Each snow removal job presents different challenges. Some parking lot owners may wish to have the snow piles in one location vs another. Or they might have delicate landscaping that needs to be protected from salt spreaders.
These notes will ensure no matter which snow plow driver is assigned to the property, they will be able to deliver a high level of service and meet customer expectations. In the job notes section, you can add anything from simple notes to images, videos, and voice recordings to help complete the job efficiently.
Reduce Travel Time and Increase Profit Margins
Manually dispatching tasks to employees from one location to the customer’s location may seem simple; however, while manually dispatching jobs the dispatcher will not be able to take into consideration the best route to ensure that your technician gets to the customer’s location in time.
Zuper's route optimization feature allows you to choose from the fastest travel time or shortest distance, helping you save on fuel costs. With this feature, you can also edit your routes based on real-time feedback from a field technician or in this case a snow plow operator, ensuring that they reach the customers’ location quickly and accurately based on the optimized route.
With the live tracking feature, you can also predict when an employee will show up at a customer’s location so that none of your customers are left waiting and wondering! You can keep your customers in the loop, always, by integrating seamlessly with your SMS/text platforms.
Optimize Your Inventory
The right tools make the difference between an efficient and effective job. Before heading out to tend to a task, you can ensure that your technicians have properly equipped their vehicles with snowplows and other tools to complete the task efficiently.
The Zuper Manager Mobile App will allow you efficiently track the availability of equipment at various locations and track your inward and outward inventory transactions. This will help you track the availability of your equipment at different locations from your mobile device and allocate them accordingly to your field teams.
Increase First-Time Fix Rates
To ensure that your technician's time spent on a job is efficient and effective, they shouldn’t have too much idle downtime between customers. Additionally, revisiting a customer’s location can add unnecessary costs and entail more fuel consumption. You want to make sure that your snow plow operator did not miss an area and then have to return.
You can save a lot of time by entering real-time information about the level of snow and ice at the customer’s location with the live messaging feature available in each job with Zuper. This will ensure that the technician reaches the customer’s location with the right equipment to complete the job in time and move on to their next assignment.
Educate Your Drivers on Fuel-Efficient Driving Habits
Training your drivers with fuel-efficient driving habits is important as this can save your business hundreds of dollars in gas each year. Even the most basic training on keeping their speed limit consistent or removing themselves from the passing lane when they don't need to be there anymore will help. This also improves road safety and benefits you by reducing the wear on your vehicles.
Maintaining steady speeds and following the speed limit will help maintain efficient fuel consumption. Use the brakes gently and avoid idling your engine. Maintaining optimal tire pressure and using manual transmission properly will help you significantly save fuel costs.
With Zuper, you can see where exactly your fleet is located on the map and guide them efficiently to help you save time and fuel. Provide your team with real-time updates on the job assigned to them through the notes and messaging feature available on each job.
Suggest the best routes for your technicians with Zuper’s Route optimization features to help them choose between the fastest route or the shortest distance. Keep track of all the equipment you use in your snow removal business with Zuper’s parts and service module.
Set a specific estimated time for each task to ensure that your technician's time spent on a job is efficient and effective. Investing in the right tires will help you substantially save on fuel costs, along with ensuring that your drivers follow fuel-efficient driving habits. By creating and implementing the strategies and tips mentioned in this blog, you can start seeing the savings add up. You can learn more about how Zuper can help improve the snow removal and landscaping business here.