Company uses telematics solution to reduce labor, fuel costs by minimizing idle time and total mileage for a lower total cost of ownership/operation.
By Michael Loo, Senior Marketing Manager, Telogis
Technology has caused a shift in business. The availability of data provides companies large and small with powerful tools to make smarter business decisions. Technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an organic food distributor, but Global Organics has transformed its fleet activities with the power of Ford Telematics.
“We have hundreds of assets deployed throughout our operations, but we maintain a fleet of over 20 vehicles, and we track them through the Ford Telematics portal online,” says Jeff Hoelzel, chief operating officer, Global Organics.
One of the biggest challenges Global Organics faced was not knowing where their products were at a specific time – they were unable to see which driver had what product and where it was.
Ford Telematics allows fleet managers to see an entire fleet of vehicles on one screen and drill down to a single vehicle almost immediately. Using the software, Global Concepts is able to keep track of their whole inventory, see where it’s located and how long it took to get there.
“If you know where your product is, if you know what your product is doing, if you know how much product you have, then you know your company [better than ever],” says Jim Mitchell, fleet director of Rodeo Ford.
Telematics can also be used to help drivers solve unexpected emergencies on the road. For example, Global Organics had a situation where they needed equipment in a certain area; one of their drivers, located on the other side of town, had the equipment to solve the problem.
With Ford Telematics, users can quickly locate and dispatch the nearest mobile worker with the right skills and tools for the job, which reduces per-mile costs and double handling of jobs.
Another problem Global Organics encountered was losing money and gas due to idling. Idling can cause excessive wear and tear on a vehicle, resulting in expensive and time-consuming repairs.
The company found out that many of their employees were eating lunch in their trucks, while keeping the truck running. Those lunch breaks were burning fuel, which meant they were burning company money.
“If they don’t know that idling vehicles is going to hurt the company as far as fuel economy, and if they don’t know it’s going to hurt the company as far as excessive wear and tear on the vehicle, then the telematics software will alert the company,” Mitchell says. “Using this software, the company can alert the driver and educate him. It’s all about educating the [drivers], and if they know more, they can be a better asset to the company.”
All-in-all, the addition of the technology to the fleet has proven beneficial.
“I wasn’t aware that that device existed,” says Hoelzel. “We started using it online, and I liked it, so every truck we bought thereafter had the device installed, and then again, as we moved forward, we decided to retrofit all of our other vehicles with the device, and it has proven to be a worthwhile experience for us.”