How do you measure the productivity and efficiency of your mobile workforce? Your organization's mileage log may be an underutilized tool to provide the data necessary to improve productivity and efficiency.
How mileage logs can measure productivity
If your organization pays a mileage reimbursement, you want to know that every mile reported for reimbursement has contributed to the company's mission. But that level of visibility is often difficult to achieve. It all depends on how much data your mileage log tracks and how accessible that data is.
If your mileage log is an IRS-compliant Excel or Google spreadsheet with columns for dates, miles driven, locations, and trip purpose, then you have some helpful data to start with. But you also need a way to figure out how productive these various trips have been and whether employees are reporting extra mileage.
Wouldn't it be nice if you had software that could analyze trip data and deliver reports? And if you could integrate that report with productivity-related data, such as sales? The fact is, you can achieve this level of data accessibility.
The solution is to adopt a mileage log that uploads data into a system that delivers reports via an easy-to-use dashboard. Even better, if your mileage log integrates with CRM software such as Salesforce, you can find out not only whether all the mileage reported was truly business mileage but also which trips were most productive in terms of sales.
How a mileage log can promote efficient driving
One way to maximize your mobile workforce is to promote efficient route planning. When routes are not optimized, over time your organization ends up paying for extra miles that add up across the company. This requires access to data that includes not only the number of miles driven but also the routes taken.
A standard spreadsheet mileage log will not provide that information. But a mileage tracking app can. With today's GPS-based mobile apps, you can get records of actual routes taken for trips. Some employees will be better at taking efficient routes than others. You can use their approach to help coach employees who are less effective in their route planning.
With increased efficiency in driving routes, your organization can cut mileage reimbursement costs while maximizing employee productivity.
Data accessibility and privacy protection
With a real-time mileage capture device, you gain visibility into employees' driving habits and can increase their productivity and efficiency. However, you do not want worries about "big brother" to emerge.
The solution is to choose a mileage tracking app that provides a layer of separation between employees' driving and the reporting of their trips. While real-time recording of routes and mileage are necessary to produce accurate data for both reimbursement and coaching purposes, real-time reporting of trips is not necessary.
You don't want employees feeling like they are being watched while carrying out their jobs. But you do want the accountability and productivity data that can be provided with the right kind of mileage tracking tool.
Obtaining data for mileage reimbursement forecasting
In our posts about creating and maintaining a vehicle reimbursement budget, one principle we stressed was the need to obtain accurate data about business vehicle travel expenses. When you use the optimal mileage capture tool, you gain the ability to forecast your employees' reimbursement needs more accurately.
A mobile app that automates the process of logging mileage reduces the chances that mileage reports will become inflated over time. Self-reporting of mileage is far more prone to this problem.
By switching from a spreadsheet mileage log or other self-reporting system to a cloud-based, GPS-enabled mileage capture system, you not only get access to data that can increase productivity and promote route efficiency but also enable you to set a vehicle reimbursement budget that will be sustainable.