Magazine Article | August 24, 2006

Workforce Management Solution Adds $1 Million In Productivity

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, September 2006

Stock Building Supply is a $3.58-billion supplier of building materials to professional home-builders in the United States, with more than 200 locations in 24 states. Stock Building Supply in Raleigh, NC consists of five stores serving the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) communities. Seventy pickup and delivery drivers transport construction materials, including lumber, windows, doors, and roofing and siding material, to residential home builders at their job sites.

Nine months ago, this division of Stock Building Supply began using Xora GPS (global positioning system) TimeTrack, a location-based workforce management technology solution, to improve the efficiency of pickup and delivery activities. Each driver carries a mobile phone equipped with a GPS chip and notes the progression of their routes. Back in the office, managers have access to Web-based reports that show the status of drivers in real time and maps that detail the location of drivers throughout the day.

For example, when a driver leaves a Stock Building Supply yard he clicks a button on the phone for ‘travel start.’ When he arrives at his destination, the driver clicks ‘travel end’ and ‘job start,’ along with the job number.  Once the driver has completed the delivery, he punches the ‘job end’ button. When a driver has completed each of his stops and the truck is empty, he codes the job number for his Stock Building Supply store. This way, when the driver arrives back at the yard, the company knows how long it took to return and refill the truck. The GPS-based mobile solution can also be used to track the speed at which drivers are driving and to reroute drivers based on traffic and weather conditions.

Stock Building Supply analyzes the driver data on a daily basis, searching for potential bottlenecks in the process, such as how long trucks are in the yard, how long they are at a particular job site, travel time from one customer to another, and how long it takes for trucks to reload. While the company primarily looks for driver inefficiencies, it also examines how to avoid factors outside the control of the drivers, such as traffic and weather conditions, or when a driver has to wait at a job site for another subcontractor to complete his delivery.

Stock Building Supply is redesigning its dispatch and delivery processes based on the data generated by the workforce management solution. The goal is to add one more truckload (or route) per day per truck, which he hopes to achieve by the end of the year.  Today, the 70 drivers operate 50 trucks, with each driver completing four routes per day. On average, each route represents $4,000 in sales. Fifty additional routes per day works out to $1 million in additional revenue per week for Stock Building Supply or approximately $50 million for the year — while the cost of the location-based workforce management solution from Xora is less than $50,000 per year.