Since Bill Howe Plumbing’s inception in 1980, the family-owned and operated plumbing, heating and air conditioning, restoration and flood services company has focused on reliable service to its customers with an emphasis on safety. With its fleet of over 150 vehicles in San Diego, the company completes more than 400 jobs a day, and technicians drive three to four million miles annually, making technology the core of its business.
Before 2020 and the challenges of the global pandemic, Bill Howe Plumbing implemented the Verizon Connect Reveal fleet management platform in 2017 to help understand drivers’ behavior, promote safety and protect its reputation, after an increase in road accidents nearly totaled $1 million in damages. Within one year, the company saw an almost 88% drop in accidents because of the visibility and data analytics behind the platform’s driver safety scorecard.
This year, with a greater proportion of people now using home plumbing, there has been an even greater need for plumbing services, and the technology investment the company took on earlier is returning benefits again.
Technology features help navigate through change
“Honestly,” says Rhett Wheeler, risk manager of Bill Howe Plumbing, “we couldn’t operate without it,” reflecting on record month after record month of business the company has had this year.
Some of the standout technology features that have helped Bill Howe Plumbing navigate this extraordinary year include:
Live maps and reporting: Wheeler has used vehicle location data and activity reporting to help verify time cards remotely, since the company works to decrease in-person contact.
Geofencing: When drivers need to pick up equipment or tools at the local hardware stores, sometimes receipts get lost or trips can be forgotten. Bill Howe Plumbing placed geofences around these hardware stores, so the platform tracks when a driver goes to the location, which has helped verify when and where purchases are made.
Video Data: The business has installed video dashcams in a number of vehicles to help alert the business when a harsh driving event occurs and gather video footage for review afterwards. So far, this has helped the company get discounts on auto insurance and promote driver safety.
“The whole platform provides visibility,” Wheeler says about the core benefits of fleet management software and how critical it is to every aspect of the business.
With countless sectors having to rethink business from the ground up, technology has been the solution for some to not only survive, but even thrive in 2020.