Manage Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

A GPS System Helps Drive Efficiency

A Global Positioning System (GPS) may seem like a Big Brother threat when the technology is deployed expressly for keeping tabs on truck drivers. But Metal Management Inc., a $1.6-billion Chicago-based metal recycler, has a workforce that gave a thumbs-up to the newest GPS-enabled Nextel cell phones deployed with software from Xora Inc. and routing software from QuickRoutes Scalable O.R. Solutions. Now Metal Management's 85 drivers complete an average of 95 more pickups and deliveries each week. That translates into $14,000 in billable hours over seven days.

Director of IT Steve Phillips implemented the GPS system to reduce data entry for both drivers and office personnel and to improve service by providing real-time information about truck locations and traffic conditions. Dispatchers can reroute drivers, and drivers don't have to scribble notes -- times, dates and workloads -- on paper. As for the implementation itself, Phillips says it was pretty painless. And drivers, whose pay is tied to the number of pickups they complete, appreciate the system.

Megan Santosus, a former senior editor at CIO Decisions, is now a features editor for Write to her at

Dig Deeper on Small-business infrastructure and operations

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.