Steve Taylor Excavation is a California-based excavation construction company and is based out of Cloverdale. The company has 40 employees, with 88% of them employed as the mobile workforce, and owns over 50 vehicles.
The company is jointly owned by Steve and Sage Taylor and has been in business for over 13 years. We had the opportunity to talk with Steve Taylor, Co-Owner/ CFO, Steve Taylor Excavation.
Tell us a little bit more about your company.
We mainly do commercial work for a leading telecom provider and focus on underground utility jobs. Sometimes we also work on smaller residential jobs and routine maintenance jobs.
What does your typical day look like?
I oversee the operations and management of the company. My day usually starts at 6:30 am. The key aspect of our business is to ensure that the crew is sent to a job area where it is most needed. Since we are usually required to work on-demand, we need to be very proactive in monitoring & scheduling jobs, and in dispatching crews.
What is the biggest challenge you face with your mobile workforce?
As I mentioned, scheduling is an important aspect of our work. Not knowing what is going to play out tomorrow, and scheduling resources to make sure we have the right people, at the right location, at the right time, is challenging.
What technology solutions or tools do you use to manage your business?
Automile– for real-time location tracking & monitoring labor hours.
Quickbooks– for bookkeeping and job tracking.
Smartphones– for emails, to exchange pictures of jobs completed, texting, and for the GPS functionality. All our drivers have smartphones.
Fuel cards– to track the company’s fuel spend. Our drivers are provided with a fuel card.
What made you start using Automile?
One of my customers brought it to my attention that my workers weren’t at the job location at the agreed time. However, my workers were saying otherwise. That’s when I decided to find a tracking solution for the company vehicles. I found Automile on Amazon, and after more research ordered 20 Automile boxes. I received the boxes on time, and setup was also easy.
What advantages have you seen with using Automile?
Labor Hours– Based on the trips that are tracked by vehicle and driver I get an accurate understanding of hours worked by my employees.
Vehicle tracking– I know exactly where my vehicles are at any time, and this gives me peace of mind. I can also track where they have been in the past, and what job locations they’ve been at. For example, we had a truck that didn’t come back as expected and realized that the employee had mistakenly driven it home without letting me know. But we could track this truck using Automile within seconds, and that saved us the panic of calling the cops.
Job scheduling– When we have multiple jobs show up within a short span, I can view vehicle location on the live map, and accordingly dispatch the right resources.
What ROI do you see with Automile?
We’ve already had an estimated 10%+ cost savings through accurate labor hour tracking and avoiding payroll discrepancies. Also, the price we pay for Automile per month is about 50% cheaper than other GPS solutions that our competitors use.
What sort of Marketing strategies do you use?
Word-of-mouth has been our strongest source of marketing & advertising. We also sponsor and advertise at local games & events.
What learnings would you like to share with other businesses?
One learning strategy that has worked really well for us is learning from our employees. The industry we’re in doesn’t have too many competitors. So when we hire new employees, it is typically someone who has worked with a competitor. There really is no rule on how you learn as long as you do.
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