Making a Difference in Your Business

Is your business on the rise, or is it just getting by?

All successful businesses have one common trait—and it’s not simply working hard, for there are lots of hardworking would-be competitors that come and go.

A big contributing factor to the success of any company lies in the ability of its owner to adapt and make needed updates, particularly as the times change.

So what exactly are some changes that can contribute to a more profitable business?

According to Rob and Sean Van Lingen, third generation leaders of one of the more successful tow operations in Southern California, success is found in attention to detail. The Van Lingen brothers have the good fortune of having been taught by some of the best in the industry—their grandparents and father.

The new managers at the helm were focused on examining old operations and changing them to become more profitable, thus improving the company’s bottom line. They saw the opportunity to get better by adding automation to their office and fleet. Though they already had excellent communication among the family members, they realized that automating certain aspects of their business procedures could greatly improve communication throughout the company.

The brothers tackled this key management issue head on, discussing how to achieve better communication with and among their dispatchers and drivers, as well as between workers and management. The company had started out with good communication, but as its fleet and locations grew, so did the communication challenges. If Rob and Sean were going to make a difference to the bottom line, they had to do some things differently.

Soon they were able to achieve noticeable improvement in the area of communication by utilizing industry leading TomTom technology interlinked with a Tracker Management System. Because the software used by the Van Lingens’ company had been custom built with features designed around TomTom, this was an excellent match.

With the new tools in place, the Van Lingens have been able to achieve substantially
better communication within their organization, giving them an advantage over the

The improved communication that can be gained through automation tools makes a big
difference in reducing mistakes, and with fewer mistakes your company becomes even
better at what it does.

An added benefit arises when you get the right tools to help manage your business:
customer service is improved. With automated services, dispatchers have more time to
talk with customers and obtain more thorough information. When the dispatcher has
better information, it can then be communicated to the driver. When drivers do a better
job, customers are happier. And when customers are happier, profits go up.

Let’s take a look at a few more examples of how company owners are putting their
businesses on the cutting edge.

Craig Goldstein, owner of Westway Towing in southern Florida, uses the same
TomTom Tracker Management System that the Van Lingens use. Craig says this
system is incredibly valuable, and he decided to add one more feature—he asked the
program to generate a report that lists out each of his drivers and shows any
unauthorized driving time and distance.

“This dispatch system flashes a truck red when it’s moving but should be sitting,” Craig
explains. “Now I know exactly what my drivers are doing and when. No more
unauthorized driving around—and the fuel savings are unbelievable.” Craig used
technology available through Tracker to make changes within his company, and the
results have been amazing.

Shane Anders, owner of Area Towing in Michigan, is a longtime Tracker customer who
has taken advantage of opportunities to automate his processes. Two specific
procedures he has upgraded with automation are release window processing of
impound cars and total documentation.

By having these two processes completely thought out and automated through Tracker,
Shane has been able to achieve higher profit levels by using less labor, but he’s still
getting stellar results. Now tasks can be accomplished more quickly, with fewer
mistakes and less liability. His investment in automated tools has been well worth it.

To wrap this all up, think about the fact that all your money is made in the office. You
might be shaking your head right now, but it’s true. The changes you make in your office
directly translate to what happens out on the road and with your customers.

By doing things differently, making needed changes, and embracing improvements, you
can make your company more efficient—and thus more profitable. Plus, when you
change things up by adding some of the tools mentioned in this article, you take a load
of stress off yourself, making the management of your business much easier.

Here’s another way to say it: if you do some of the smaller things differently, such as
automating some of your back office processes, you will enjoy the rewards of running a
more successful, more profitable business.

So sharpen your pencil and make a plan. Take stock of what needs to be changed; go
through your books and look closely at your day-to-day logistics. Take a month to track
things in a spreadsheet—you can’t manage (or improve) what you don’t measure!

Investigate what tools might be helpful for making the changes you need. Take time to
talk to others in the industry to see what they use.

It’s all about working smarter, not harder. Run your office well, and your fleet will follow.
If you make the needed changes by investing in the proper tools, your bottom line will
just keep getting better and better.