Jamar Power Systems (JPS) is a California-based company that performs solar power installations, general electrical wiring, and electrical integration. They are headquartered in San Diego and have 50-60 employees working out of offices covering San Diego County and Inland Empire. With about 20 vehicles, and more being added each month, they are taking strategic steps to grow their business.
We had the opportunity to talk to Desmon Edwards, Vice President at Jamar Power Systems.
Desmon, what is your role in the company?
I am the VP, and have been at Jamar Power Systems for the past 20 years. I manage and oversee day-to-day operations, along with managing the crew and our field workers, at our Inland Empire office location.
What is Jamar Power System’s top priority?
We pride ourselves on being a 5-star rated company. And I’m not talking just Yelp. Every solar industry website you visit, you find Jamar represented very well. We care what our customer says and feels about our work ethic and our service. Even a small dip in a single customer’s experience is taken very seriously and addressed right away.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face on a daily basis with your mobile workforce?
Most of the work we do is electrical and solar work. For all of these jobs, I have managers out there dealing with projects, and workforces managing each job site. They each have vehicles they use on the job. For years, we weren’t able to locate where they were or when they were available to take on new jobs.
For example, if we heard about a job nearby, we couldn’t allocate resources accordingly because we didn’t know who was around or near the job site, or who was available to take on the job. We also weren’t able to correlate time logs for worker hours. It got very frustrating.
What are some of the other technology solutions you use?
Every employee within the company is provided with an iPhone with iOS.
Automile– for fleet management, along with real-time location tracking & monitoring time logs.
Quickbooks– for payroll, in combination with excel where I track worker times
Insightly– for Customer Relationship Management
Drones– to monitor solar panel installations with photos.
What is your marketing strategy?
85% of our marketing happens through word-of-mouth and has worked great for us. We have also done advertising through radio and home magazines.
How are you using Automile to tackle these challenges?
To be able to overcome the challenges I mentioned earlier with the technology of Automile is fantastic.
Real-time Location tracking- I can look at the map and know how many vehicles are available and at exact locations. We have a 50″ monitor at out headquarters, which is constantly airing the live map, and everyone is able to keep a pulse on the whereabouts of our vehicles.
Geofencing- We have created a geofence using Automile technology at every work location. This way we know when our workers have arrived at the destination in a timely manner, and it also helps monitor the accuracy of time logs.
Accountability- I trust our workers, but they are human, and it’s not possible to constantly keep track of time-logs accurately. When our men are supposed to be at a job site at a given time, I can monitor to make sure they are. When they work overtime, I can see trip logs to make sure that I receive accurate information before payments are made.
Security- If any of our vehicles got stolen, we’d be able to track it.
Works on the cellular connection- This is my favorite feature- when the device arrived and we saw that there was a SIM card already built into the device, and we didn’t have to rely on cellular phones for a data plan- that was a huge advantage for us.
The price we pay for Automile is much lower than some of the other products we used for the same purpose. And starting from exemplary customer service to easy installation, Automile has been a great solution for us. The customers are happier; we get better reviews; there are savings in both time and money for the company; the solution is well worth the price we pay.
How were you solving for these challenges before Automile?
We initially used a different software that could only connect with Bluetooth, which made it hard to communicate all the time. We also tried Verizon’s Networkfleet, but we ended up switching to Automile because the price per month was very affordable, and we weren’t forced to sign any long-term contracts. I also really like the fact that we were allowed to try Automile free of cost for a few months.
What is your ROI with Automile?
We’ve had a 66% cost savings merely by switching to Automile. But the true savings in terms of money, time and resources are way more. In monitoring a 15-minute discrepancy in tracking a worker’s time log, what seems like pennies turns into thousands of dollars saved.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to other SMBs?
Going back to what I mentioned as our top priority, we definitely value customers. We are constantly testing new technologies to improve on customer experiences. We believe that you’re going to get a 5-star review for your business by exceeding expectations, and not just by meeting them.
Automile is revolutionizing fleet management with it’s innovative, cloud-based, mobile, and design-first experience.
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