GPS and telematics have been used for years to help PMPs know the location of their technicians. But according to PMPs in-the-know, the technology is far more than that. “For us, it’s been a game changer,” says Tracy Rice, CEO, Rice Pest Control, Anniston, Ala. Rice uses GPS tracking technology, or telematics, to monitor his 10 service vehicles.

Data generated by the technology helps him address numerous business challenges. It guides him in developing tighter routes, which reduces fuel consumption and windshield time. It reinforces safe driving behavior with technicians thus reducing liability, and it also helps him manage vehicle maintenance.

“We were pretty impressed immediately with what we were able to gain from it as far as knowledge,” Rice says.

Telematics is essential to operations at The Bugmaster, which has 60 service vehicles. “We have to track what’s going on out there so that we can minimize losses,” explains Joe Cantu, operations director of the Austin, Texas, company. With telematics, PMPs can set alerts for speeding, hard braking, idling, after-hours use, or when a vehicle leaves or enters a geographic zone.

Insurance companies see GPS tracking as a big plus, Cantu adds. “With premiums being so high, anything you can use to get discounts is great,” he says.