Sterling Oil Saves on Labor Hours and Drive Employee Safety with Automile


Sterling Oil Co. has been doing heating, air, and oil in and around the Lynchburg, VA area for over 35 years.  It is made up of a team of passionate managers and employees who ensure customer’s needs are met regularly. The company has grown, as they put it, “Sterling Strong,” with a full team of active professionals.  To power their positioning, Sterling Oil teamed up with the Automile fleet tracking box to help continue their growth.

We got on a call with Donna Hensley to learn more about her journey with Sterling Oil and how technology has helped transform their business.


What challenges have you seen from your mobile workforce?

Well, there are really 2 things that come to mind.  The first is making sure everyone is safe out there.  I wanted to know my crew is safe on the road.

The second was being able to communicate appropriately when misunderstandings arise with customers.

I had no visibility until we introduced Automile.


What triggered the need for a Vehicle GPS Tracking system like Automile?

Well, what we wanted was to know where our crew was so we could help them get between jobs efficiently.  Be at the right place at the right time. At this point in the game, I have the best employees I ever had.  They are trustworthy, good men. I wanted to be able to help dispatch trucks faster and find ways to save on fuel.

I told my guys to follow their daily habits, swing by the store if they want.  The devices are there to simply enhance the offering of Sterling Oil.

When I first saw a gps tracker as an option, I thought it’d be really good.  It would be great for the folks in the office to look and see where the trucks are.

It took a while to find the right company.  Price was a factor for us to determine the right partnership.  We feel like we made the right choice. The onboarding service Automile provided was top notch and you all made sure that we had everything set up right. It’s been a great fit.


What ROI have you noticed from using Automile?

Savings on labor hours: I can always make sure everybody gets exactly what they earned which saves us from paying more than what was worked.  It also helps employees stay confident knowing they won’t ever be short-changed on hours. Sometimes my guys forget to write on the timecard or aren’t very clear. Now I can use the gps for payroll purposes so everyone walks away happy.

Increasing employee safety and reducing business risk:  I wanted to make sure all our employees are taken care of and are safe when they are out in the field.  I didn’t have any visibility to do this before. When I see my guys speeding it’s just nice to send a friendly reminder to slow down a bit.  I don’t want to be a “big brother,” just don’t want anyone getting hurt.

Proof of employee presence at customer sites:  A few weeks ago, we had a customer saying that the technician never showed up.  We jumped into our Automile account and saw that he was there for over an hour. We communicated back and forth and everyone left satisfied.

Proactive maintenance of vehicles: We also are able to keep up maintaining our vehicles.  It’s great with all the busy schedules to get reminders to check the oil or other simple maintenances.  

Savings on Insurance rates:  Soon we will be getting our renewal rates and should be getting some form of a kick back due to the trackers improving safety.  

I would honestly just say that I would recommend Automile to any company with vehicles.  Everyone is doing his/her best to save on cost and Automile can help keep costs low.


What type of marketing do you do to grow your company?

We use word of mouth marketing and have presence in social as well.   The time of year will dictate whether we run heat or cooling ads. We’ll soon start running ads like “Got Oil” in the newspaper for people to remember to fill up their tanks for the winter.


What best practices do you have that you would like to share with the greater small business industry?

Look for ways to improve and grow your business.  I’m just ecstatic with introducing technology like Automile. I think Automile does a great job of helping our business and Automile’s customer service is just far ahead of anything else.


Well thank you for taking the time to meet with us Donna.  Best of luck with your future endeavors and we will continue to help in anyway we can.