Based in Markham, Ontario, Williams Towing Service is a family owned and operated company that has been providing experienced, professional towing services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 1976. As one of the top towing companies in the region, the business continues to grow. The firm presently has a fleet of more than 40 vehicles, servicing the needs of all major Canadian auto clubs, and is contracted by Toronto Police Services and Toronto EMS.
For Williams Towing, business is 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. With the number of motor vehicles on the road growing exponentially, towing and roadside services are in demand more than ever before. The call volume from drivers needing assistance is steady and consistent – and the company does what’s necessary to keep up.
"We dispatch our trucks from a central location, but it’s often difficult to know exactly where trucks are at any given time in the day,"
- Jack Blue , VP and Manager of Operations
“The towing business is an extremely competitive one and we’re proud to have built a strong reputation for staying ahead of the game,” says Jack Blue, VP and Manager of Operations, Williams Towing Ltd. “These days, customers expect a fast response time and, usually, don’t want to wait.”
A lot of towing firms still rely on old-school two-way radios and paper-based processes to dispatch calls to towing operators. These days, however, response times need to be immediate or you risk losing customers in the process. Williams Towing determined that it needed to use the latest technology tools to gain greater efficiency and a competitive edge.
“We dispatch our trucks from a central location, but it’s often difficult to know exactly where the trucks are at any given time in the day,” says Blue. “It has really become critical to us to know where trucks are in real-time, so we can maximize the productivity of each vehicle and improve our response times out in the field.”
The implementation of tracking system began in January of 2009 deploying Fleet Trackers across 38 of Williams Towing trucks. The Fleet Complete IoT platform collects vital in-field information on vehicle status and location and displays it to the dispatchers stationed at the firm’s head office. This has significantly reduced the amount of time and effort spent on locating and dispatching the closest available vehicle for a job. Having real-time tracking and status reporting information at the tip of their fingers, dispatchers make quicker on-demand decisions and are able to handle more tasks.
Williams Towing is using Fleet Complete’s customized alerts that appear on the fleet manager’s screen and are sent to an email and a mobile phone when a triggering event occurs. This keeps the fleet managers in the loop when adverse driver’s behavior may be detrimental to the overall vehicle’s health.
Williams Towing saw immediate results in the way dispatching process has evolved. There was no more time spent on two-way calls and radio communication between the drivers and the dispatchers. The fleet’s location now became fully visible to the dispatchers who wasted no time on organizing most productive work flow.
“Dispatcher feedback is excellent, because they live and die with it every day, they know exactly where their trucks are and they can dispatch them much more efficiently than they could before. And our drivers now know that they can be more accountable and productive,” says Blue.
The fleet managers are motivating the drivers to be more responsible for their actions and the level of productivity by overseeing the reports on each vehicle’s activities, such as speeding, idling and unauthorized use. Drivers are now more conscious of the effect that seemingly little details have on the overall state of the vehicle and company’s expenses. This reinforces all employees to follow the company procedures and helps reduce undesirable expenditures.
"Dispatch can quickly enter the address of the call and we know exactly which tow driver can respond to calls the fastest. In a fast-paced industry, we’re confident in saying that using Fleet Complete makes us more competitive and 50% more efficient,"
- Jack Blue
“I like the idea that Fleet Complete sends real-time alerts to the head office and lets me know where the trucks are at any given time,” says Blue. “What’s also great is that we can track speed, idling and also closely monitor which trucks are due for service. This ensures that our fleet can be in top operational condition at all times.”