Business Spotlight: The Brick Paver Dr. Achieves Cost & Time Savings With Automile

BrickPaverDr

The Brick Paver Dr. is a full-service brick paver hardscape company that offers a complete range of brick paver hardscape design, brick paver new installation, brick paver restoration, landscape and maintenance services, and is based out of the Detroit Metro area. We had the opportunity to talk to Vince Griffiths, Owner of The Brick Paver Dr. to hear his story about his company and its success.

Vince, tell us a little bit about your company, and your role there.

I started The Brick Paver Doctor in 2005, and we serve the Detroit Metro area. We do brick paver restoration, new installation, maintenance, and anything else that falls in what we call the hardscape category. We currently have 6 employees and 4 vehicles.

Over 95% of our customers are primarily residential, but we have also worked on commercial projects. There’s no customer we say ‘NO’ to. The way I look at it is, everybody needs a plumber, everybody needs an electrician, and when you have brick pavers, you need a brick paving company.

That’s great! How do you keep your mobile workforce engaged?

In this industry, it is very hard to find good hard-working people. When you first hire an employee, you take some time to train them and bring them to a certain point in their career. And if they prove to be reliable and work very hard, then that’s worth something. My mobile workforce appreciates the benefits I provide for them, and I appreciate what they do for me.

All my employees are trained to do every aspect of the job that includes power washing, installation, cleaning up after the job, etc. Essentially, an employee who has been here for months can do almost all the tasks that another employee who has been around for years can do.

What challenges do you see while managing your mobile workforce?

My biggest challenge is managing my employees’ time on their jobs, and making sure the jobs get completed on time.

How has Automile helped address your challenges?  

All my employees are aware of Automile being used to track our company vehicles. The goal is to help us manage our time better, and be more productive.

Looking at the Live Map, I know where my vehicles are at any given time. If I notice a vehicle that is off route on the way to a customer site, I can interject and make sure they’re on the right course. I can see when they’ve reached a job-site, and how long they’ve been off a job-site.

There was one particular instance when I noticed one of my vehicles was off route for several hours on the company clock, and the location it was stopped at multiple times wasn’t a customer location. When I noticed it through the Automile Trips feature, I sent that employee images of this trip and explained why I had to dock his pay. But he is a good worker and still part of my workforce, and I haven’t had to deal with a similar situation since.

I have geofences set up around my shops to keep the employee hours in check. I can tell when they’re leaving our shop, and when they arrive back at the shop, which lets me monitor when they punch in and punch out their time cards.

I also have speeding notifications set up on my app. I receive text messages when my drivers are speeding. So, if my drivers are driving recklessly, I will know.

Vince, what is your ROI with Automile?

Automile easily saves me at least a few hours a week in labor hours, and pays for itself. As a company owner, having Automile gives me tremendous peace of mind. I know exactly what’s going on with my vehicles, and where they’re at. I use the app for accountability, and it is pretty powerful in helping me manage my fleet.

How did you decide to invest in a fleet telematics solution?

About a year into starting my company, I realized that I needed a way to track my fleet. With more vehicles, it was one step in getting smarter about my business. I did a lot of research online and talked to people in the industry. There was a period of time when companies from all over were contacting me, but none of their solutions worked out for me— either my fleet was too small, or their solutions were too expensive. That’s when Automile happened— it just lined up. The expense wasn’t bad, and it didn’t outweigh the advantages. I use Automile 100% through the mobile app, and after testing it on one vehicle, I decided to put it in all my vehicles.

How are you growing your business?

A lot of our growth and business is through word of mouth, referrals, and through online searches. The name of our company is also very catchy, almost like that of a franchise, and paints a clear picture of what we do. When it comes to our services, we believe that when people have the need for it, they shouldn’t have to think too hard to find it.

Our success is all about trust, doing what we say we’re going to do, and doing a good job of it. From when we started 12 years ago, business has picked up tremendously. We’re starting to see return customers, and our work now includes a cycle of maintenance and repairs.

Vince, what advice do you have for other business owners like you?

When you’re first looking to start a business, look for something that is in demand, and maybe something where you don’t need a lot of connections to get customers. Pick a niche that has the highest rate and chance of success.

When you start your business, you have to worry about the details. You have to watch your employees, train them on all the critical things, and don’t send them out before they are ready. You also have to present yourself well to your customers, have good communication skills, treat them well, and work hard!

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