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Cutting Back in a COVID-19 World

By Andrew Chermark

The Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted the entire world. The predictions are dire. According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy will shrink by 5.2 percent this year. That would be the deepest recession the world has experienced since the Second World War. In the U.S., the second quarter Gross Domestic Product plunged a record 32.9 percent from the previous quarter. Some feel the recession will continue until we have a vaccine, and the pandemic ends.

Andrew Chermark, Smart Fleet
Andrew Chermark

Economic activity is anticipated to shrink 7 percent this year as domestic demand and supply, trade, and finance have been severely disrupted.

The scars will be long-lasting, but there are ways around them. Successful companies are contending with the new normal with techniques that are not only helping them survive but thrive.

One of the most important things that will help with recovery is mindset. Those who emerge successfully will do so with a sense of optimism about what lies ahead. There is no doubt that these are trying times, but it is not the time to give up.

Successful companies have leaders that do just that, lead. They understand the only certainty is uncertainty and use this as an opportunity for reinvention. For example, Smart Fleet used the quarantine when we were forced to close our office and work from home as an opportunity to create a new logo, website, and marketing campaign. We also focused on social media, getting active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Potential customers must understand the value that your products and services provide in today’s changing world. We leveraged our social media accounts to test new messages until we found those that resonated with HVACR contractors and technicians, refrigeration contractors, and other tradespeople.

Now more than ever, it is essential to save when and where you can. The outbreak and mandatory stay-at-home order is unprecedented and has put the importance of having an emergency fund in the spotlight. Conventional wisdom says businesses should have anywhere between three months’ and a year’s worth of expenses set aside for emergencies.

The best way to make this happen is by saving wherever and whenever possible. Many products are worth the initial investment as they will help you save a great deal of money in the long-run.

Fuel consumed from truck idling is wasting money, a whole lot of money. Nationally, trucks burn four billion gallons of fuel each year from idling. The statistic is eye-opening. When a vehicle is left idling, it can consume one gallon of fuel each hour.

Not just that, idling takes a toll on your fleet. The American Trucking Association states that one hour of idling per day for one year results in the equivalent of 64,000 miles in engine wear. Plus, idling pollutes.

Smart Fleet offers a portfolio of products that will notify you when a vehicle of yours has been idling for 30 minutes or more, if it’s operating when it’s not supposed to, or if it needs an oil change. How is that for efficiency?

These alerts put you in the passenger seat of every vehicle in your fleet without you ever having to step foot outside your office. As long as you have a cell phone on hand, you can get text and/or email alerts for what’s going on within your fleet.

So if you’re looking to make your payroll process easier, have the security of knowing where your vehicles are at all times, improve customer satisfaction and wait times, or you want to save money on gas by creating alerts to help you curb idling, GPS tracking is the tool to help you.

During an economic crisis, it’s likely that many businesses will experience some decline in sales and related revenue. That is why cutting expenses where possible is so important.

However, not all businesses have taken an economic hit. Some are actually experiencing increased demand. Think hand sanitizer and EPA-registered disinfecting products, for example. Truckers have worked night and day delivering personal protection equipment (PPE) and have been hailed for their service.

The only thing that is constant in today’s world is change. By being resilient and malleable, you will not only emerge successful from the COVID-19 pandemic, but you will succeed long into the future. Put on your rose-colored glasses and realize that change and disruption can equal opportunity if you look hard enough.

About the Author

For the past decade, Andrew Chermark and the staff at Smart Fleet have been helping HVAC owners, dispatchers and fleet managers get the most of their GPS tracking devices. Smart Fleet combines the latest GPS technology, backed by a reliable manufacturer, with the accountability and dependability of a small, friendly, family-owned business. Chermark has been a fleet management consultant selling GPS software as a service since 1999. He has over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and growing direct and indirect sales teams. Through the years, he has developed relationships with companies such as Carrier Air Conditioning and Mitsubishi Electric. Under his leadership, along with his hard work and honest business practices, Smart Fleet has grown from a small regional based operation to a nationwide organization that is found in more than 6,000 vehicles in 43 states and Canada. For more information, go to www.smartfleetusa.com.

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