By Integrated Solutions Magazine
For the past 12 years, Street Fleet has operated as a courier
service providing same-day delivery and scheduled runs to
Minneapolis and the surrounding five-state region. Street
Fleet has contracts with thousands of companies for the missioncritical
delivery of legal documents, medical supplies, equipment,
and other necessary goods, making more than 1,000 deliveries a
day. The company's interactive website allows customers to place
orders online and track their status in real time, a service typically
only available through large courier services such as FedEx.
With such a service in place, Street Fleet CEO Joe McGraw recognized
the need for real-time data communications between the
company's 100 vehicles in the field –– including cars, pickups,
vans, delivery trucks, and bicycles –– and its dispatching system.
McGraw deployed the internal dispatching system by choosing
integrator Emkat, Inc., a company that automates business
processes utilizing Penchant Software. With that area of the
business addressed, Street Fleet needed a rugged mobile computing
device to tie in to its real-time dispatching system to provide
real-time data communications. The company sought a
device that would incorporate signature capture, would work
well in extreme environments, would integrate with Emkat's
deployment of Penchant Software, and would sustain battery life
through the entire workday.
Street Fleet chose Psion Teklogix Ikôn rugged mobile computing
devices and began deployment in all 90 field dispatch vehicles.
A major factor in Street Fleet's selection of the Ikôn is its
ability to run real-time data. Street Fleet now has the power to
communicate more efficiently and track the GPS coordinates of
all its new drivers. "Real-time data, bar code scanning, and signature
capture not only place us ahead of our competition but
impress our customers and allow them to have immediate status
updates," says McGraw. To communicate with the Ikôn device,
Street Fleet uses Penchant Software's dispatchOffice platform,
which manages Internet order entries and can also determine
the best driver and route with GPS mapping.
"Our customers rely on us to provide timely delivery of medical
devices, lab specimens, and other lifesaving medical supplies on
a daily basis. In order to accomplish this, it is imperative that
we are using the most advanced technology to guarantee each
delivery from dispatch to delivery," said McGraw. These high-priority
supplies and documents require significant attention with
on-time, safe delivery. The signature capture feature ensures the
package has been delivered successfully, and customers can
track status of deliveries online in real time.
Fleet Management Cuts Costs, Eases Dot Compliance
Fluke Transportation is a truckload and less-than-truckload carrier
that provides same-day and next-day delivery for companies
located in southern Ontario and upstate New York. Fluke was
having difficulty tracking its fleet of tractors and trailers and gaining
real-time insight into operations and status. As
a result of this limited insight, Fluke was
directing more budget and resources than were
required to ensure the efficiency of daily operations.
For example, if customer requirements
spiked on short notice, Fluke often brought in
more equipment to satisfy the immediate customer
need. "In our business, we measure
value by how quickly we can ship to customers,"
says Jack Mayes, president of Fluke
Transportation. "In our efforts to consistently
achieve that value, we were experiencing higher costs from obtaining
additional equipment to satisfy customer needs or from sending drivers
out to look for trailers."
With the goal of improving operations, ensuring equipment efficiency,
and reducing costs, Fluke wanted a solution that could provide upto-
the-minute insight into its fleet. Fluke installed the TELUS Fleet
Tracking Bundle, powered by Fleet Complete, in 120 tractors. Fluke
then began to focus on the reporting capabilities inherent in the system.
"We run daily speeding reports and do random audits on speeding.
If we see a trend with any one driver, we can report back to him
right away. But the drivers know we have implemented this process,
so we rarely see anyone speeding, which improves fuel economy,
ensures driver safety, and reduces accidents. Those things alone are
worth the cost of the system," says Mayes.
Fluke is also running samples of drivers' performance
to show activity over any period of
time. On a weekly basis, Fluke's safety and
compliance department compares those
reports to driver logs. This accountability has
motivated drivers to be more accurate in their
logs, which assists in DOT (Department of
Transportation) regulation compliance and
reduces fines. For Mayes, the biggest advantage
has been reducing overtime. "One of our
largest revenue challenges is the amount of
overtime we need to run to meet our just-in-time commitments. Now we
can track hours and find ways to replace those drivers before the overtime
kicks in. With our previous system, we wouldn't know that information
until payroll. Having proactive insight has helped us significantly,
and those changes have an immediate impact on the bottom
line." The next step is to roll the GPS systems into its trailer fleet, starting
with the reefer trailers. "I estimate a 20% reduction in the number
of trailers we run. Reducing our trailer fleet from 400 to 325 will create
an immediate cost savings of $375,000 — and that's just from having
insight and information that we can act on," says Mayes.
Used with permission from Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine.