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Masternaut 'Virtual Assistant' cuts induction time of new staff working on the road

Virtual Assistant
1 February, 2004

Masternaut has launched Virtual Assistant, a hi-tech solution to significantly speed up the induction of new staff such as sales personnel, drivers and field service engineers. The innovative vehicle-based system combines satellite navigation, electronic job despatch and data collection as part of a simple-to-use service delivered via the Web direct to Pocket PCs or smart-phones. New recruits access live information that guides them from job to job and replaces complicated paper forms.

Virtual Assistant was developed after Masternaut realised that many of its customers were installing their telematics equipment in vehicles driven by new staff. Further research revealed demand for an automated system that could assist both new employees and the business itself.

New sales staff, delivery drivers and service engineers are faced with the daunting task of learning their patch from the moment they join. Busy businesses do not have the resources to hand hold new recruits, but need optimum productivity as quickly as possible. New recruits are often thrown in at the deep end, risking service quality.

Masternaut’s Virtual Assistant makes life as easy as possible for the new recruit during job familiarisation. It automatically logs all activities, allowing the employer to offer help when required. Virtual Assistant feeds information to a Pocket PC held in a dashboard cradle which links to telematics equipment including GPS satellite tracking and GPRS mobile phone communications.

“An in-vehicle device that receives details of the next address to visit and navigates drivers to the doorstep is a real asset. And its not just the driver who benefits; the office doesn’t have to spend all that time on the phone helping them out and companies piloting the new service have cut induction times by half” explains Martin Port, Managing Director of Masternaut.

All work is scheduled and sequence routed using Masterrnaut’s advanced management software, TourSolver and M-Schedule. Collections and delivery details are transmitted to the in-vehicle device that navigates the driver, using GPS and on-screen street maps and voice commands, to the customer premises.

Virtual Assistant also takes on the role of timesheet keeper and form filler. Paperwork such as timesheets, job forms and proof of delivery are replaced with automated time recording and simpler electronic forms. The device can capture signatures as prrof of delivery or job completion, which is transmitted to central customer service systems.

For employers, Virtual Assistant keeps a constant watch over new recruits so they can be assisted when required. Masternaut e-mail reports provide daily activity time logs and highlights problem areas especially where new staff are struggling to keep up with the workload.

“With Virtual Assistant employers can be assured of prompt arrival and, with an automatic activity log provided by the satellite tracking, any problems with time schedules can be spotted immediately. It even provides a fully automated time log to help work out, mileage, timesheets and pay” says Martin Port.


Masternaut, Priory Park, Great North Road, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3DF
Fax: 0113 281 4009
e-mail: info@masternaut.co.uk


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The Masternaut Team
08444 150 150