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Computer aided dispatch and tracking

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JimMarshall, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    Anyone doing this?

    What programs are you using, and do you feel the investment was worth it?
     
  2. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    As far as plowing? No. For the times I've worked as a dispatcher and firefighter, all the time. If you're running a huge company or several crews there might be an advantage.

    Normally, if you run a route or crew send them out with a route sheet, then a page for each site. Showing them when to stack the snow. What they need for salt. Trigger amounts. Obstructions and lot layout. Keep it in a 3 ring binder.

    For billing you use a sheet or spreadsheet to log start time, completion time and materials used (salt). Normally a route should be preplanned to make it most efficient. I am thinking that could be done without a dispatcher or a computer aided dispatch.

    CAD programs are more suited to public safety IMO. The programs are expensive. The first system I used was a half million dollar program. The second system was 1.3 million I think. If you want it to be effective you'd want to have computers in the trucks to keep track of it. I'd think with data cards or smart phones, radios or something along those lines would be a more efficient solution. I don't think you'd be able to save anything, when you factor all the costs.
     
  3. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    I would think that the cost of the system would be proportionate to the size of the company/operation and complexity....
     
  4. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    I think you'd be better off with route sheets and two way radios. First, what CAD are you looking at? If everything is integrated, fleet maintence, fuel, gps tracking, invoicing it would be a money saver. I could see the cad being really handy if you dispatch units on service calls.

    You might be better off with fleet managment software.
     
  5. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    Not looking at any specific one. This post is the first research I have done at all.
     
  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    wow... just.... wow. that price is insane. anyone paying that doesnt know how much they are getting ripped off. one of my pals built one of those systems. and it did not cost no dang million dollars.

    we are actually thinking of starting a company building one. they do work great for tracking vehicles n such. even covers your maintenance schedules and employees and many things. i believe the company charges 30 dollars per month per vehicle.

    1 million dollars you can hire your own programmer and build your own system a few times over.
     
  7. 02Silverado

    02Silverado Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yeah county wide public safety EMS/FD dispatch systems....what a rip. :dizzy:
     
  8. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    i dunno. they do alot for 30 bucks a month. tho i dont know what they charge for the higher end systems that do your payroll and everything else.

    if i make one myself it will only be a small monthly fee. not some frickin huge 1 mill price tag to buy it. which would also mean free on the fly upgrades as the system is developed
     
  9. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    The system is first, is statewide. It provides records, maps, protocols, tracks where field units are. For 911 services it gives all the 911 data. It is far more complex than anything you or your buddy could ever write. It takes ample support staff, not just a programmer in your mothers basement to put this all together.

    For the OP to proceed, he needs to decide what he wants to do. If he wants fleet management (service records and fuel use) GPS locating of the units and routing, materials and time spent on site... Spec out what you want before proceeding. Find a vender that provides all the information you're needing. Also do you want to have it track service calls and invoicing?

    Technology is great, when it works. There are times when a simple low tech solution is best. Sometimes a combination is needed. Is the motivation, finding a way to save money or have the latest greatest toy that may not recover the cost of the investment.

    If it were a sizable fleet, I'd want fleet managment software for fuel and maintenance. I'd want something that offers a good routing solution and the ability to make invoicing efficient. Some of the logistical CADs are more geared towards service calls and might not work the best on a set route.
     
  10. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    Check out Operasoft. It does everything you want, however I feel the monthly price is just nutty..

    They should cut the price in half, and then every guy on here will buy it.
     
  11. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    also http://www.traumasoft.net/ they may have better prices.

    its worth giving each a call asking about their prices and capabilities. info is free.
     
  12. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Pot calling the kettle black here if I ever heard one.
     
  13. RJ lindblom

    RJ lindblom Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    We need a like button. :laughing:
     
  14. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    Not really. I dont need this prodiluct so do kot need to shop around for it