By David Quin, ALK Technologies

As companies tighten their belts during this economic downturn, they need to find new ways to save money whilst maintaining, or indeed increasing, productivity in the workplace.

Satellite navigation for company cars is one area which will come under scrutiny to prove its worth, and this is where leading sat nav provider ALK Technologies believes that navigation-enabled mobile phones have the ability to transform the industry.

As GPS becomes a standard feature on many mobile phones, the need to provide a stand-alone navigation device is negated. By integrating sat nav into a device which staff already have — their mobile phone - companies do not need to invest additional capital into new hardware. Employees are already comfortable using their smartphones for email, and keeping in touch with the company by reading and editing documents on the move. ALK believes that sat nav will become another ‘must have’ for mobile workers, especially field staff, making it easier for them to carry out their work efficiently.

For example, ALK worked with Severn Trent Services, a leading supplier of water and wastewater treatment solutions, to incorporate ALK’s leading sat nav software, CoPilot Live, into employee’s smartphones. By combining a mobile phone with sat nav, the company can now more easily organise the operations of their staff by sending detailed appointment information to field engineer’s mobile phones which then links with CoPilot Live to automatically direct them to that appointment using the most efficient route.

This removed the need for staff to carry around multiple pieces of technology or manually enter address details into a separate device, thereby simplifying the process and improving productivity. The business benefits of this have been clear with Severn Trent Services’ field workers travelling some 6,000 miles per week less than before leading to fuel savings of £80,000. Productivity also went up with daily customer visits increasing by 15%.

David Quin, Marketing Director of ALK Technologies explains: “By integrating sat nav into staff’s mobile phones, companies can save significant money both in up-front costs as there is no need to buy additional hardware, and in the long-term as sat nav software like CoPilot Live can be integrated with other software on the device to streamline business processes. So as well as saving businesses money, CoPilot Live can also help increase productivity and thereby potentially have a positive benefit on the environment and bottom line.”