Thursday, November 12, 2009

GPS Fleet Tracking for Added Sales

I passed a blue Sears Appliance Repair van with a white satellite dish on the roof yesterday and it reminded me of their business strategy. The white dish serves as both a satellite uplink and GPRS link to the Internet. The vans are basically mobile WiFi centers. They are able to be tracked via GPS and they are able to provide some significant benefits for the service technicians that drive the vans.

The vans have both satellite uplinks and GPRS connectivity so when there is poor wireless connectivity, the van's communications can automatically switch over to the satellite uplink technology and continue communicating. This is a relatively expensive option, but Sears reports that it is worth it. What is the value proposition?

Sears reports that providing each of their service technicians with live access to CRMs (customer relationship management) systems, customer records, warranty information and product catalogs helps them sell more products and services at the point of work - the customer's home. They have measured these sales and report solid ROI.

The ROI is not what might have been expected. The relatively expensive communication system that each van has is equally used for GPS fleet tracking and to increase sales and improve onsite customer service.

It is important that GPS fleet tracking vendors and users think about the whole business process and the customer interaction when contemplating ROIs. Sometimes the ROI comes from a broader set of business drivers that initially assumed.

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Author Kevin Benedict
Independent Mobile Strategy, Sales and Marketing Consultant
www.linkedin.com/in/kevinbenedict
http://kevinbenedict.ulitzer.com/
http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/
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