April 17, 2014 In Letterbox Distribution
GPS Tracking Systems for Letterbox Distribution – Fad or Fact?Some companies have invested heavily in GPS tracking systems for monitoring the quality of letterbox distribution. However, does it really work?
GDR has been in the letterbox distribution business for over 32 years. In that time we have worked tirelessly to improve our field operations to ensure that your material is delivered to letterboxes and not dumped.
Over the years we have tried and tested, witnessed and experimented with many different methods of monitoring and improving distribution levels. Why because, it has always been our mission to provide you, our client, with a level of service that gives you confidence and certainty that your material and hard earned money will not be wasted.
When GPS tracking systems first became fashionable even the biggest players in the letterbox distribution industry – Salmat Limited and PMP Limited – among other smaller players, invested heavily in the monitoring technology to demonstrate to their clients that they were keeping up with the trends and doing everything to offer their clients certainty that their material would be distributed correctly.
Smaller businesses such as GDR, watched and studied the results before making a decision. We researched and liaised with the software developers to determine whether to invest in the technology or not.
It was after all the reports and research came back inconclusive and negative about 4 years ago that GDR decided against using GPS tracking systems for distribution monitoring.
Instead, we relied on a system that has been tried and tested and invested more heavily in this component rather than GPS technology.
Invest in people
GDR invested in people, in human beings – GDR instead chose to educate and train its distributors on the best methods of distribution to ensure they were optimising their time and efficiency and we recruited more wisely selecting people with the right attitude and commitment that would protect our hard-earned reputation and serve our clients at the highest level.
In addition, we paid them an appropriate fee for the important work they were doing and rewarded them with praise and gifts that demonstrated our gratitude for their hard work.
The return to GDR and its clients has been extraordinary and very humbling.
GPS tracking systems vs Field Investigators
At the same time that we invested in our strike force in the field, we also invested in our Quality Control processes and the people that administer it by going out and getting the proof that the work was done.
These are our team of Field Investigators who work tirelessly from 6.30am until the job is done checking letterboxes, rummaging through recycling bins, checking parks, alleys, knocking on resident doors, interviewing residents and meeting with clients to ensure their concerns are dealt with.
It is these people the Field Investigation Team who provide GDR and its clients with the irrefutable evidence that allows us to sleep at night.
Because of when they go into the field to start their investigations, they are often preventing problems before they occur because they are witnessing the distribution whilst it is being undertaken.
This way we know and you know that the job will get done right.
Whilst our Field teams try to cover as much ground as they can it is physically impossible to cover every street but based on our performance and the results – we know that it is only a small number of items that get distributed inappropriately and we correct that as soon as it is identified.
GDR knows that the only thing that is 100% irrefutable proof is seeing the brochure in the letterbox or if a resident confirms that they have received the flyer.
This is the only form of supervision, reporting, monitoring that actually really works and that is why GDR has chosen to invest in People and not technology.
What Should a Genuine G.P.S. Tracking Report/Map Look Like?
For those clients who believe that having a G.P.S. report is important, we recommend that you make sure that you are actually getting a genuine G.P.S. report and not a FALSE one.
So how do you know what is false and what is genuine?
What every person who is considering using letterbox distribution and engaging a company that claims to use G.P.S. tracking to monitor their distributors must make sure they receive, is both a map and a statistical report that identifies time, distance, location, address and other relevant information for the specific areas that their material has been distributed to.
Anything less than this is not worth the paper it is printed on!
You can use the following checklist for a comparison of what you should get and what some companies are supplying customers whilst claiming they are genuine G.P.S. tracking reports.
> Map should clearly mark out a route taken by the distributor and the route should resemble what a normal person would do when they are walking.
> It should mark a start point so a route can be visualised.
> Route indicators usually are coloured using a generic colour and not different colours to indicate travel or movement or tracking of a person/vehicle.
> If there are patches in the route an explanation should be provided and a solution or rectification plan provided and undertaken by the distribution company prior to submitting the report to the client.
> A genuine G.P.S. report must come with a list of statistical data detailing the times that the G.P.S. device was in a street and plot the person’s walk down that street providing live data including addresses or streets as per the sample report below.
From the map you can see where the G.P.S. tracking device has dropped pins down on a map every 10 or so metres and only when the device was activated indicating the delivery to that letterbox had been made.
The spots where no pins can be seen indicates where the walker possibly did not deliver the material. If this was the case then a Field Investigator should be sent out to monitor the distribution and confirm or deny delivery to the streets/houses in question.
ONLY by sending a person out to the street can 100% irrefutable evidence be obtained to prove that the distribution took place or did not take place.
At GDR we are very serious about accountability. If you say you are going to do something – we will hold you to your word. If you don’t keep your word you will be made to keep your word because the processes and systems that we have in place make it very difficult for people to cheat the system. It might be easy to get around a machine or a device or technology – it is much harder to cheat a human being who has been to a street and collected information that is unquestionable!
In addition, a GPS map must come with its report as stated earlier. Whilst the addresses do not match the streets in the map, as they are taken from two different reports, we are only trying to demonstrate to you that the client must receive two pieces of information that match: A Map and a Statistical Report – if you are to be convinced the G.P.S. report is genuine.
At GDR we aim to arm you with the knowledge you need to avoid being deceived by people claiming to be offering something they actually might not. In the end you can make the best possible decision that suits your needs and we can feel comfortable we have played our role in serving you even if you don’t choose GDR.
What is most important to us is that you are protected or provided with enough information to make the best decisions.