North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC)

Background

The North American Chassis Pool Cooperative (NACPC) is a chassis manufacturer and lessor. High-quality chassis are in high demand in the United States as Chinese-manufactured chassis face high tariffs. Plus, today’s burdened supply chain and customers demanding lightning-fast delivery requires that truckers transport payloads as efficiently as possible.

In August 2022, following its acquisition of Pratt Intermodal Chassis, NACPC expanded its partnership with Powerfleet to assist in tracking its growing fleet. Even though they can measure up to 40 feet long and weigh tons, chassis go missing all the time in the nooks and crannies of crowded ports. With over 22,000 chassis to keep tabs on, NACPC recognized the critical need for real-time monitoring and smart fleet management systems.

 

The Challenge

NACPC leaders knew they needed excellent data analytics services. Mountains of data does no one any good without a meaningful strategy to interpret and act upon the trends it reveals. Thus, they were in the market for knowledgeable support that could help them decipher and make the most of their telematics investment to produce better insights and improve decision-making.

On top of that, NACPC sought an advanced GPS chassis tracking and monitoring solution to best serve its truckers and remain ahead of competitors and anticipate their members’ future needs. The company realized that investing in the best technology would increase retention and appeal to new members.

Finally, NACPC knew that the latest technology was key in smoothing out inefficiencies at crowded ports across the country, so its leaders wanted to explore real-time tracking on new builds as well as container on/off detection – a particularly important upgrade for NACPC. While NACPC hadn’t faced significant challenges yet in missing or unused chassis, leaders wanted to head off any financial and operational headaches that would follow such an incident.

 

The Solution

To make its fleet “smarter” and give the company a competitive advantage with value-add technology, NACPC engaged Powerfleet to provide:

  • Data analysis for real-world, decision-grade insights – enabled by Powerfleet’s fleet intelligence platform
  • Asset Gateway – Powerfleet’s product for container, chassis, and trailer tracking
  • Mount and Load Sensor – Powerfleet’s product for chassis and container availability and status
  • Top-notch customer service

 

“[Powerfleet’s GPS portal] is probably one of the easier ones to manage. But, it’s the people who make the company, in addition to a quality product. Our goal is to keep trucks on the road with quality equipment and not on the side of the road getting repaired. Powerfleet helps us do that.”

Jeffrey Dudenhefer
Chief Operating Officer
North American Chassis Pool Cooperative

 

Results

Thanks to their partnership with Powerfleet – which included an additional 10,000-unit order across its nationwide network – NACPC is confident in its ability to achieve its mission: Support truckers and keep truckers moving. Right off the bat, NACPC Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Dudenhefer remarked that the Powerfleet services were simple to implement, and the third-party integration was seamless.  “[Powerfleet’s GPS portal] is probably one of the easier ones to manage.” This is a testament of how Powerfleet puts people first, taking out the complexities behind the technology and putting the needs of its customers first.

Further, Mr. Dudenhefer was impressed with the ongoing customer service. “It’s the people who make the company, in addition to a quality product.”

Perhaps the most valuable result is the real-time visibility provided by Powerfleet. Tracking and monitoring has been a cornerstone of Powerfleet and the NACPC’s relationship. Helping truckers stay as efficient as possible, especially in today’s demanding supply chain climate, is a priority. They have a stressful job, and NACPC seeks to make truckers’ days as seamless as possible. Maximizing equipment utilization, powered by Powerfleet’s visibility, maintenance, and performance insights, is a large part of boosting efficiency and removing the guesswork of chassis locations and usage.  This is especially beneficial within the first and last mile, providing increased value and even security.

Overall, working with Powerfleet empowers the NACPC to stay ahead of the curve for its members – increasing revenue opportunities as the need for and complexity around chassis grows.

 

Conclusion

With thousands of units in use today, NACPC sees significant value in the partnership with Powerfleet. Mr. Dudenhefer and his colleagues are grateful to the people at Powerfleet who keep the IoT solutions running optimally, adding value to NACPC, and continually improving the experience of truckers. “Powerfleet has been instrumental in helping NACPC achieve its goal of keeping trucks on the road with quality equipment and not on the side of the road getting repaired”, Mr. Dudenhefer said.

Powerfleet truly takes to heart its tagline of “People-Powered IoT.” There’s always a human on the other side available, working with our partners to provide helpful insights that drive continual improvement. We value creating positive experiences around our industry-leading technology to ensure our customers exceed their productivity and growth goals.

Blackburns Chimney Services

Blackburns Chimney Services

Our asset monitoring capabilities helped Blackburns Chimney Services’ stolen utility trailer be recovered in less than 24 hours.

Background

Blackburns Chimney Services has been the trusted chimney sweep company of central Ohio residents for over 30 years. Offering chimney sweeps and inspections, masonry repair, caps, leaky chimney solutions, fireplace service & dryer vent cleaning, and more. Active members of both the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Chimney Sweep Guild, Blackburn’s Chimney Sweeps aims to set the standard for professional chimney care.

The Challenge

Blackburns Chimney Services started looking for an asset monitoring solution after one of their utility trailers was stolen. In addition to the cost of the physical trailer, the company had to replace all the expensive equipment and tools in the utility trailer at the time. Despite having security cameras on premise, they had no way to monitor their vehicles, track their assets in real-time and also have a way to quickly be alerted if the asset was moved during non-working hours or stolen.

The Solution

Prior to Powerfleet, Blackburns relied solely on the memory of the last person to physically move a utility trailer as to where it was located. They needed not only a system that would allow them to see where a vehicle or high value utility trailer was, but one that could be configured to send an alert when the trailer was moved unexpectedly during off hours.

Powerfleet’s solution implementation:

  • Provides Track & Trace for the exact location of assets in real-time
  • Aids in the almost immediate recovery of a stolen, high-value utility trailer
  • Generates automated alerts for asset movement during set non-working hours

Results

In a bizarre happenstance, less than a month after signing on with Powerfleet, the replacement utility trailer for the one that was initially stolen was stolen again. The trailer was taken in the early morning and recovered within a few hours. As the asset monitoring system is designed and configured with multiple “on” and “off” hour working schedules, an alert was sent out as soon as the “unplanned movement” was detected, alerting the company staff in an instant rather than waiting to be discovered.

“The Powerfleet solution is easy to use. The Powerfleet team is helpful and has follow-up meetings after installation to make sure we know how to manage it. At the time our utility trailer was stolen and equipped with Powerfleet technology, I was out of town (not in the office), but

the system was easy to use remotely. I was able to log-in and track our assets from anywhere,” said Debbie Wiedwald, Owner, Blackburns Chimney Services.

“The Powerfleet solution is easy to use. The Powerfleet team is helpful and has follow-up meetings after installation to make sure we know how to manage it. At the time our utility trailer was stolen and equipped with Powerfleet technology, I was out of town (not in the office), but the system was easy to use remotely. I was able to log-in and track our assets from anywhere,”

Debbie Wiedwald
Owner
Blackburns Chimney Services

Conclusion

Powerfleet was able to provide true real-time asset visibility to the company and improved the overall utility trailer fleet security. With access to on-demand tracking, Blackburn’s Chimney Services are now fully capable of recovering an asset if it were to be stolen again, while providing valuable information to law enforcement and their insurance provider.

In addition to being able to monitor asset locations, the office team at Blackburns Chimney Services can now get a deeper insight into the utilization of their assets, which helps control operating costs while improving efficiency.

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Kavak

KAVAK

Kavak is a Mexican company that operates an online marketplace for used cars. Using connected cars and real-time data, they are reimagining maintenance, upselling, safety, and customer loyalty. Moises Flores Botello, Kavak’s Chief Financial Officer, speaks about how valuable Kavak’s relationship with Powerfleet has been during the past four years. Kavak relies on Powerfleet for developing recovery strategies, analytics, and using data processing to continue developing new revenue streams.

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Church Transportation

Church Transportation

Background

Church Transportation & Logistics is a Birmingham, AL based truckload transportation provider. The company was founded in March 2000 with one truck and one trailer. Over the years the company has grown to 70 trucks and 125 trailers and expanded its business services. Church Transportation turned to Powerfleet in 2014 to help transform how the company maintains reliable asset visibility and increase utilization.

Situation

Church Transportation was having an issue with reliable visibility of their trailers which resulted in trailers going missing or being misappropriated by their customers as storage units. While they conducted physical asset checks, these were infrequent and time-consuming. Between yard checks, drivers and other employees manually tracked the company’s assets, which was not only prone to human error but also consumed valuable labor hours that could have been better utilized elsewhere.

Church Transportation needed a real-time visibility solution for their fleet that could improve their day-to-day processes and tracking capabilities.

Task

The following areas of concern were presented to Powerfleet to solve:

1. Increase utilization of trailers

2. Reduce the need for manual and time-consuming yard checks

3. Improve visibility, reliability, and frequency asset reporting

4. Improve customer accountability through more accurate data

Church Transportation relies on a quick turnaround for their trailers since they work with a smaller but more efficient asset pool than most companies in the industry. A trailer sitting idle in a customer’s yard is an asset that can’t be utilized elsewhere. Without better visibility, assets could, and have, ended up lost, which costs Church Transportation valuable time and money.

Action

Church Transportation and Logistics operates its fleet with good tractor to trailer ratios, lower than most companies in the industry. Their profitability comes through a fast turnaround time for their trailers to keep the pool moving. With access to Powerfleet’s increased reporting capabilities, Church Transportation can see when a trailer is idle for longer than ten days and reach out to the customer to better understand the situation.

Powerfleet’s solution:

· Provided frequent and accurate visibility of trailers

· Reduced the need for time-consuming manual yard checks

· Provided intuitive reporting features that can be tailored to customer specifications

· Improved trailer turnaround times and utilization

· Reduced the overall risk of theft or misuse

“Two years ago, we could buy a dry van trailer for $30,000 – today, they are $50,000. Some receivers use our trailers as an extension of their warehouse. One of our customers has 20-25 of our trailers at any given time. Powerfleet’s solution has allowed me to see when a trailer has been dropped for more than seven to ten days. Powerfleet’s solution lets us see where our trailers are at any time and enables better communication with our customers because we are armed with accurate data to hold them accountable,”

Fenn Church
President & CEO
Church Transportation & Logistics

Results

Church Transportation saves over $9,000 a year in yard check labor costs alone!

With the help of Powerfleet, Church Transportation has achieved the following additional results:

· Saved valuable labor hours by eliminating the need for manual yard checks

· Improved asset utilization and tracking

· Now receives daily reliable reporting on Dormant Assets and Landmarks

“It’s a 30-minute drive away to look for our trailers, which our staff was doing three times a week for a minimum of 3 hours. Now, instead of wasting time doing manual yard checks, they can stay in the office working on value-added tasks,” says Mr. Church.

Additionally, part of Church Transportation’s business model is to use the latest technology and equipment for their fleet. They maintain a relatively short use time for their trailers at 14 months, giving them spotless DOT Inspection records and helps the company to maintain a very high safety score. Through Powerfleet’s easy-to-install trackers, the devices can be removed and reinstalled on new trailers quickly for seamless transitions. Easy installation was also a helpful factor when the company upgraded its fleet from 3G devices to the latest 4G/LTE products in 2021.

Conclusion

Powerfleet was able to improve asset visibility and utilization with accurate automated reporting for Church Transportation. Equipped with real-time tracking capabilities, Church Transportation can decide when they want to receive their dormant asset reports, changing the reporting intervals from 30 days down to ten. This information provides a significantly more accurate snapshot of their operations and drastically reduces trailer dwell time.

“Powerfleet offers an affordable solution that provides the visibility we needed to know where our trailers are so that we can get more utilization out of them,” said Mr. Church. “I enjoy working with Powerfleet, the team is responsive to my needs and their system is easy to use.”

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Walter P. Rawl and Sons, Inc.

Walter P. Rawl and Sons, Inc.

“This solution has more than helped cut costs and increase productivity and safety. The data and reports we receive provides our team with more knowledge than we ever knew possible.”

Tony Hoffman
Driver Advocate/Manager,
WP Rawl

Walter P. Rawl & Sons is a multi-generational business that started as a local crop farm in the 1920s that has grown into a larger farm selling greens and specialty vegetables. It continues to operate as a “family farm” with twelve members still working in the business along with an additional 650 employees.

They rely on their own transportation fleet to offer dependable, overnight delivery to the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, and Deep South. This means delivery within hours instead of days. In addition to their dedicated fleet they also own a state-of-the-art distribution facility that allows for cross-docking and load consolidation.

To see that the business continues to thrive for future generations, Walter P. Rawl & Sons puts innovation and sustainability at the forefront of business while also giving back to the industry and continuing to live by the company motto “Our Business is Growing”.

As W.P. Rawl’s transportation fleet continued to grow alongside the business, their management team was tasked with finding a reliable and dedicated technology company that would provide monitoring and analyzation features. They were interested in not only increasing efficiencies and productivity on the road, but to simplify manual processes that left room for errors. After much research, Powerfleet was selected based on their customer reviews, wide range of features, and price.

Situation

WP Rawl has been continuing to grow demand and began to offer overnight deliveries to their customers. They were losing valuable time and money by manually logging day-to-day routes. The management began looking for ways to move more loads, increase profits, and cut down on communication time and tracking errors.

WP Rawl needed to optimize their fleet and was looking for a minute-by-minute visibility solution that could help manage its overall truck and driver performance.

Task

The following areas of concern were presented to Powerfleet to solve:

1. Compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and Hours-of-Service (HoS) mandates

2. A solution that supports the Agricultural Exemption for HoS

3. Increase visibility throughout the supply chain

4. Improve fleet utilization times

5. Improve on-time delivery services for overnight deliveries

6. Reduce the need for manual processes for route planning

7. Increase communication capabilities between drivers and distribution centers

For WP Rawl, communication with their drivers is an absolute necessity. Knowing where drivers are on their route at any given time allows WP Rawl to provide accurate estimated arrival times to their customers and allows for better route tracking and planning. Without improving their visibility, they would quickly become inundated with orders which couldn’t be fulfilled in a timely fashion.

Action

After listening to the customer’s needs, the Powerfleet team provided immediate support by equipping WP Rawl trucks with ELDs, which improved the monitoring capabilities of the WP Rawls logistics team, improving the overall productivity of both the office and the fleet itself. WP Rawl was also able to increase communication between drivers and its distribution centers.

The Powerfleet solution provided:

  • Controller Area Network (CAN bus) metrics to improve billing, and service
  • Smooth integration with existing Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) systems
  • Accurate and consistent data flow
  • Improved driver safety metrics by monitoring unsafe events such as “harsh breaking”
  • Agricultural exemption features

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) grants exceptions from the HoS rules for the transportation of certain agricultural commodities within a 150-mile radius. Powerfleet’s Ag Exempt feature in the ELD creates smooth reporting for drivers, allows them to receive status updates, and provide management with tracking for all Ag Exempt loads under FMCSA required guidelines.

Additionally, Powerfleet provided tablets that feature a simplified data input that allows drivers to communicate with the office while reducing the reliance on their cell phones.

“One of the reasons we partnered with Powerfleet is because of the opportunity to grow with their evolving systems. The tablet is a great example of that. In the near future, we plan to optimize the use of the tablet with our team of drivers. Currently, our drivers do not have a company email because not all have access through their phone. With the help of the Powerfleet tablet, it will give our drivers a direct line of communication with the team in the office or to their families back home” said Tony Hoffman, Driver Advocate/Manager, WP Rawl.

Results

With the help of Powerfleet, WP Rawl achieved the following results:

  • Simpler reporting and reduced data input, allowing drivers to focus on their load
  • Real-time tracking and delivery updates
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved maintenance schedules to keep the fleet rolling
  • Improved compliance with the HoS mandate

“This solution has more than helped cut costs and increase productivity and safety. The data and reports we receive provides our team with more knowledge than we ever knew possible. Idling time, engine run time, duration of high acceleration, fuel consumption, and the number of harsh braking events are just a few off that list. Each of those contributes to saving costs, increasing productivity, and keeping our drivers safe,” said Hoffman.

“Across the board, reporting is much simpler,” Hoffman continued. “It has reduced the amount of data input that was once the driver’s responsibility and allows them to focus on their load. Hours of Service reporting has given us the ability to strategically assign more loads, increase driving time, and receive delivery information in real-time. Communication with our customers has greatly improved as we are now able to give minute by minute reports on where our drivers are and what’s happening with the load.”

Conclusion

While the original concern was to maintain compliance with the ELD and HoS mandates, Powerfleet’s solution provided a better overall level of efficiency for WP Rawl and improved communication and visibility throughout the supply chain. Because the implementation of the new technology was easy to adapt to WP Rawl’s current systems, the customer was able to continue operations smoothly while enjoying the benefits of markedly improved and automated processes. In addition, WP Rawl partnered with Powerfleet to take advantage of its new innovative solutions and product developments as WP Rawl’s business needs grow and evolve.

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Electric Moped Rideshare Company

Electric Moped Rideshare Company

Powerfleet provided access to important telemetry data and enhanced connectivity for a Pittsburgh-based mobility company with the mission to provide an efficient, alternative mode of transportation with an on-demand, zero-emission electric moped rental service. The Powerfleet team listened to what criteria was needed from the customer and determined that our Open Protocol Standards (OPS) data streaming solution, which offers a collection of scalable and secure data exchange options, could enable the customer to access device data quickly and efficiently to meet their business needs.

Situation

The customer recently acquired a fleet of electric mopeds equipped with telematics devices that were integrated with a custom software application, which was not included in the acquisition. This left a huge gap in their business model as the data collected by the devices provided critical operational metrics needed to run their business. In addition, cellular service for the devices was due to be shut off within 30 days of being contracted.

With the mopeds essentially inoperable, and only 30 days to collect valuable telemetry from the existing devices, the customer turned to Powerfleet for help.

Task

The following areas of concern were presented to Powerfleet to solve:

  1. Ability to access data from current devices on the mopeds
  2. Integration of new mopeds and raw data into the customer’s current Fleet Management System (FMS)
  3. Improve overall data transfers with relevant telemetry such as GPS location, odometer, maintenance information, and battery charge percentage
  4. Make it all happen within 30 days

Overall, the customer relies on Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help them gain visibility over their mobile assets. They need visibility of where their rented assets are located, battery life information, and maintenance information so they can get more efficiencies out of their operations, maintain accurate billing, increase security or, in the worst case, recover their mopeds. Without this information, they can’t put mopeds into their rental service because they would have no way to accurately bill customers or know where mopeds are located if they need to go get them.

Action

Powerfleet provided immediate support in providing cellular connectivity, device reprogramming, and the reverse-engineering of these metrics previously being captured by the custom software application. In addition, Powerfleet provided a highly scalable data streaming connection that allowed all of these metrics to flow directly to the customer’s backend solution using MQTT (a standard messaging protocol for the IoT).

Powerfleet’s implementation of software included:

  • Access to mission critical metrics to enable billing automation, and fleet management services
  • Reverse engineered raw vehicle Controller Area Network (CAN bus) data (previously being parsed by predecessor’s software) within the limited time frame
  • Integration with existing systems
  • Real-time accurate and consistent data flow
  • MQTT transfer protocols for enhanced IoT capabilities

Results

The customer’s newly acquired electric mopeds are now able to send invaluable data such as location, ignition status, diagnostics, and over 20 CAN bus-related metrics. The CAN bus-related metrics provide critical data that provides accurate billing, inventory management, maintenance of the mopeds, and provide better overall customer experience and service. In addition to the direct savings, the customer was able to prevent lost revenue by the mopeds that wouldn’t have been put in service.

“For us, time was of the essence as we were on the verge of losing visibility on our newly acquired equipment when we initiated collaboration with Powerfleet. What we find impressive is Powerfleet’s ability to have implemented everything we wanted within a tight deadline, be it providing connectivity or the system reprogramming. This saved us a lot of trouble with potential idling of our equipment,” said the CEO at Customer Company

Conclusion

In less than 30 days, Powerfleet was able to provide new SIM cards, a competitive cellular connectivity plan, and professional services to assist in reverse engineering raw data into the required metrics for the customer’s operational needs. Additionally, Powerfleet assisted with the setup of the OPS solution using MQTT, a cutting-edge IoT data transfer protocol, to stream data directly to the customer’s backend FMS platform.

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Walmart Spearheads Another Best Practice in Supply Chain Execution

Walmart Spearheads Another Best Practice in Supply Chain Execution

“Walmart’s choice was an application-specific wireless system from Powerfleet.”

Walmart Executive

Walmart Stores, Inc. is the world’s largest retailer, with nearly 6,200 stores and wholesale clubs across 26 countries, more than 800,000 associates worldwide, and revenue of more than $486 billion in fiscal 2014. The company has been termed “most admired retailer” by FORTUNE magazine.

Walmart also enjoys a reputation as a leader in supply chain technology and efficiency. It invented the practice of sharing sales data via computer networks with major suppliers and has been a global innovator in the use of wireless technology – warehouse management systems (WMS) and radio frequency (RF) data communication systems, for example – to track and manage the flow of goods though its distribution centers.

Never satisfied with the status quo when it comes to improving operations, Walmart began looking at wireless technology for another application: controlling and monitoring forklifts and industrial vehicles that move merchandise inside its distribution centers. More than 100 such vehicles are utilized in a typical Walmart distribution facility.

System Requirements

Walmart developed a list of required and desired functions for the “ideal” industrial vehicle management system.

For productivity management, Walmart wanted to implement new activity metrics to better analyze and optimize the utilization of vehicles and operators. Management also wished to achieve better asset visibility, including a more detailed understanding of time- motion history. In addition, Walmart wanted to enhance work assignment communication, especially in response to unexpected changes in task priorities.

Intelligent Control

What behavior do you want to manage, and what reaction to that behavior would you like?

For safety management, Walmart wanted to establish reliable vehicle access control, to ensure only properly trained operators could use equipment. A more easily managed method of completing, recording and archiving vehicle inspection checklists was also required. Impact sensing was also on the wish list, to increase visibility of unsafe driving and reduce accidental damage costs. Finally, Walmart wanted to consider how a fleet management system might influence maintenance efficiencies (for planning and executing preventive maintenance schedules, identifying emerging vehicle problems earlier, and establishing a better way to lock-out/tag-out equipment in need of maintenance).

Picking the Right Wireless Technology

Because industrial vehicles are mobile, they are inherently difficult to track, especially in a large distribution center (where they can easily “disappear” among rows of tall, merchandise-filled storage racks). It was obvious to Walmart that an automated wireless technology was needed to manage its many mobile industrial vehicles.

Walmart conducted an extensive review of available wireless vehicle tracking solutions, including those that could use Walmart’s existing wireless local network (2.4 GHz), those that used a cellular- based subscription service (like GPRS), and those that used a standard RFID spectrum (900 MHz).

Using the existing wireless network seemed logical and convenient on the surface, but it would have required every vehicle-mounted device to have its own network IP address, which has significant cost and labor implications for technical support and network upgrades. Furthermore, it was deemed desirable to keep vehicle management data signals segregated from the data transmissions of mission critical applications, like the WMS.

For wireless systems using cellular-based services, the main problem was ongoing cost – a per-asset, per-month payment that never ends (and that rises if data transmissions exceed a minimum level).

Such systems also rely on GPS receivers for asset location, which do not work indoors, where GPS signals are blocked by the roof of the building. Although cellular-based systems are common for over-the-road vehicle tracking, they are unsuitable for tracking vehicles in and around a distribution facility, where localized, no-cost RF communications are possible.

Ultimately, Walmart’s choice was an application specific wireless system from Powerfleet that uses the same unlicensed, cost-free 900 MHz radio frequency spectrum utilized by the RFID systems widely deployed in Walmart’s supply chain.

Picking the Right Vendor

Powerfleet is a leader in wireless asset management solutions, with a robust, technically advanced system specifically designed to manage fleets of industrial vehicles. Technical innovation, however, is not enough when it comes to deploying a wireless vehicle information technology at the world’s leading retailer. Just as important: experience installing hardware on a wide range of vehicle types; system configurability and flexibility; quality and user-friendliness; implementation and post-implementation support capabilities; and, perhaps most of all, demonstrated success partnering with customers to produce a solid bottom-line return on investment.

Powerfleet, a NASDAQ-listed public company, has the experience, financial strength, and human resources – including extensive engineering, training, and field support teams – to configure, deploy, support, and sustain its systems effectively across large- scale enterprises as well as individual facilities. In addition, Powerfleet helps customers generate a significant return on investment through a process of close, proactive engagement known as AdvantageTM support service.

The Solution

Walmart deployed its first wireless Vehicle Management System (VMS) from Powerfleet in a single facility as a pilot program to measure system benefits. After an extensive evaluation, the VMS was expanded across multiple distribution facilities. “The VMS delivered not only the promised safety and control benefits, but also significant incremental productivity improvements, above and beyond what our WMS was providing,” explained one Walmart supply chain executive.

As a productivity system, the VMS provided:

  • Unique data on peak vehicle utilization that enables optimal fleet “right-sizing.”
  • Unique metrics on operator activities that identify opportunities for productivity improvement and help optimize labor allocation across periods of varying activity levels.
  • Software that displays a graphical facility map, which enables not only near real-time visibility of vehicle/operator location and status, but also the ability to play back a “breadcrumb trail” of vehicle movement over any slice of time.
  • A two-way text messaging system that enables management to divert material handling resources effectively to the point of activity where they are needed
    the most.

For safety management, the VMS provided:

  • Electronic vehicle access control with an independent, on-board database of driver training authorizations, which establishes and maintains operator accountability whether or not the vehicle has a live communication link to the rest of the system.
  • An electronic safety checklist system with a patented, hierarchical, question- and-answer architecture, which can be configured independently for any number of different vehicle types, and which lets management choose a variety of both on-vehicle and system-wide responses to vehicle problems.
  • Impact sensing that provides a broad choice of automated management responses, from alerting a supervisor with visual or audible alarms, to generating a warning icon on a graphical software display of the facility, to sending an email or text page to management.
  • Automatic reporting and prioritization of emerging repair issues identified
    on electronic safety checklists, where operator responses are flagged by severity of vehicle condition.
  • Wireless remote lock-out/tag-out of equipment that is unsafe or in need of repair.

The Return on Investment

Together, these tools have provided Walmart (1) new ways to drive continuous improvement in material handling operations for increased productivity
and throughput and (2) new process controls for safety management. Just as important, the VMS has proved easy to use for the many Walmart stakeholders who interface with the system – vehicle operators, facility line management, information technology staff, and corporate management alike. In addition, from a technical operating perspective, the system’s wireless communication system has worked effectively alongside other wireless systems and processes, including Walmart’s extensive WMS and RFID systems.

“While we will not divulge the exact return on our investment in the VMS,” said the Walmart supply chain executive, “suffice to say we have found it well worthwhile to invest further in this technology.”

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Xerox Increases Safety and Industry Vehicle Use with Powerfleet Vehicle Management System

Xerox Increases Safety and Industry Vehicle Use with Powerfleet Vehicle Management System

Xerox Corporation, is the world’s leading document management, technology and services enterprise, providing the industry’s broadest portfolio of color and black-and-white document processing systems and related supplies, as well as document management consulting and outsourcing services. (NYSE: XRX)

The Xerox Corporation operates over 100 distribution centers; this study focuses on their Groveport, Ohio DC. This facility throughout supplies over 70% of the Xerox equipment shipped through the country. The Groveport DC is just under 500,000 sq. ft. and utilizes a mix of industrial vehicles, including reach trucks, counterbalance trucks and an order picker.

The Xerox team, led by Warehouse Manager Jerome Osborne, identified several key benefits a VMS would provide his operation, inlcuding: automated, electronic vehicle checklists for OSHA compliance; obtaining data… different areas; improving the overall…vehicle fleet.

Xerox, in partnership with Yale’s Hy-Tek Material Handling, evaluated several systems and ultimately chose the Powerfleet® Vehicle Management System (VMS) from I.D. Systems.

Safety First

One of Xerox’s key principles is “We value our employees,” so continually monitoring and investing in thesafety of their employees and DC is a top priority.

Access Control

Xerox wanted to ensure that each type of vehicle was only operated by a trained driver, a situation Xerox had found difficult to control. With Powerfleet, the site now only grants drivers access to vehicles they are trained to operate.

For instance, if an operator is not trained, or has an accident and needs to be re-certified, Mr. Osborne can easily restrict that operator from driving via the software, until certification is complete. Authorizing vehicle access for a new hire is just as easy.

Automated Vehicle Checklists

As with most companies, Xerox had manual, paper-based vehicle safety checklists that had to be completed for each vehicle daily. While this process followed their safety procedures, the paper-based process required valuable management time to monitor.

Operator compliance was often impossible to verify, and when issues were identified on checklists they could often not be rectified in a timely manner. Also, an extensive archive of the completed checklists was necessary to maintain OSHA-required history. Xerox had 3-4 years of paper checklists stored on-site using valuable storage space.

The on-vehicle Powerfleet device prompts each operator to complete a checklist; failure to do so disables that vehicle. This not only increases operator accountability, but also alerts management if operators are not completing the process. Since the checklist results are captured and stored electronically, Mr. Osborne can now review the checklist answers and operator compliance through an easy, automated report from his desktop.

Also, if a vehicle problem is identified on any checklist, he can simply lock out the vehicle from Powerfleet’s VisionTM software, instead of having to walk the floor, find the vehicle, and then lock it out physically. After deploying Powerfleet, the DC now can ensure that they have 100% compliance for their pre-shift checklist, completion.

After deploying Powerfleet, the DC now ensures 100% checklist completion.

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

Continental Tire Reduces Fleet & Increases Safety with Powerfleet Vehicle Management System

Continental Tire Reduces Fleet & Increases Safety with Powerfleet Vehicle Management System

This case study focuses on Continental Tire’s Mt. Vernon, IL, manufacturing plant and warehouse for passenger, light truck and commercial tires. This facility manages the complete tire development process, from design to production to delivery. The Mt. Vernon manufacturing facility is one of the largest within Continental, with approximately 70 acres under one roof.

The Continental Tire team, led by Fleet & Rolling Stock Manager Nathan Baugher, identified several challenges that could be resolved with a Vehicle Management System (VMS). Initially, Continental Tire management wanted to reduce the abuse and damage associated with industrial vehicles within their facility. But after seeing the different capabilities that Powerfleet’s system had to offer, they realized the system’s potential to improve safety, productivity, and efficiency as well.

Consequently, Continental Tire chose the Powerfleet VMS from Powerfleet.

Safety Improvements

Industry-wide, industrial vehicle operators often use vehicles carelessly and managers are often not notified of unsafe conditions that may result, including facility, rack and inventory damage. Powerfleet solves that problem by establishing accountability for each and every vehicle. An operator must log in using Powerfleet to drive a vehicle. This ensures that only trained drivers can operate vehicles, and that each operator becomes responsible for the actions that follow.

Continental Tire has forecasted a 33% improvement in vehicle-related damage costs in just the warehouse alone.

“An increase in safety and awareness is definitely our number one priority,” said Mr. Baugher. “Near misses are just as bad as actual accidents. It is our goal to do everything in our power to create the safest working environment possible.” Since operators are now accountable for their vehicles with Powerfleet, there is heightened awareness and drivers are more careful of their surroundings. Continental Tire has forecasted a 33% improvement in vehicle-related damage in just the warehouse alone.

OSHA Safety Checklists

Continental Tire previously used paper checklists to complete their vehicle safety inspections. They had a common industry challenge where operators were not actively evaluating the vehicles and were blindly completing the form. Additionally, it took extensive administrative effort from the Production and Safety Departments to collect and manage the checklist paperwork.

Now, the on-vehicle Powerfleet device prompts each operator to complete a safety checklist prior to each shift or vehicle use; failure to do so can disable that vehicle. This not only increases operator accountability, but also alerts management if operators are not inspecting their vehicles. Since the checklist results are captured and stored electronically, Mr. Baugher and the safety team can now review checklist answers and operator compliance through an easy, automated report from their desktop.

In addition to increasing operator accountability, checklists have also increased vehicle maintenance efficiency. By looking at the answers the operators have given, maintenance can now quickly identify any issue with the vehicle and perform the needed work, before it becomes a major repair.

Fleet reduction goals were met within 4 months; within one year, the system will have paid for itself.

Fleet Reduction & Productivity

Without a vehicle management system, there is no way to consistently and accurately gather data on industrial vehicle use. With Powerfleet, the Continental Tire team captures comprehensive, detailed vehicle utilization data over time and makes fleet “right-sizing” decisions. They have also increased productivity by evaluating and benchmarking the activity of vehicles and personnel. “The data we are gathering is invaluable,” stated Mr. Baugher. “It’s like having an industrial engineer riding on every fork truck 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

By evaluating their vehicle use and productivity data, Continental Tire was able to eliminate a truck from their warehouse. In addition, they were able to reduce the headcount associated with the vehicle by eliminating three vacant staffing opportunities. This change alone resulted in over $100,000 in total savings. Mr. Baugher said, “the only reason we were able to make that change is because we could see the productivity data from Powerfleet. It’s challenging to remove vehicles from departments without data to prove that it won’t impact their day-to-day operations.”

Continental Tire has also increased industrial vehicle productivity by using the Powerfleet text messaging module. Managers in the warehouse send real-time text messages to operators dynamically as work requirements change – for example, if a fork truck is needed unexpectedly at a certain dock door. The operator can instantly answer back to confirm that the task is being completed. This change has virtually eliminated the need for 2-way radios in the warehousing facility.

Maintenance Benefits

Continental Tire deployed the Powerfleet Maintenance module to schedule preventive maintenance based on actual vehicle use, instead of on a calendar basis. Continental Tire’s maintenance is outsourced; when a vehicle is coming due for service, the module lets the service provider know, and the vehicle is scheduled accordingly. “It’s crucial to have a strong notification system in place to make sure we maintain our vehicle warranties,” noted Mr. Baugher.

To avoid work disruption, Powerfleet’s automated preventive maintenance notifications allow the service provider to pro actively plan the best day and time with a department to free up each vehicle. On the day of service, the service provider can use Powerfleet’s Vision software to instantly see the real-time location of the vehicle on a map of the facility. This means more time is spent servicing vehicles with less time spent searching
for them.

The Bottom Line

Mr. Baugher stated, “Our goal is to have a plantwide fleet management program based on utilization and hours, which would be impossible to achieve without data. Powerfleet offers the perfect solution because it tracks exactly the data we need and is one of the key building blocks to obtain our overall goal for the facility.”

Mr. Baugher continued, “We want to be the #1 tire manufacturing facility in the world and the plant of choice for the introduction of new products. Powerfleet helps drive process costs down and increases productivity, which ultimately lowers our cost per tire and positively impacts the bottom line.”

Powerfleet transforms the way organizations manage mobile business assets — like forklifts, cargo trailers, and connected cars. Our technologies control, track, analyze, and optimize hundreds of thousands of these assets all over the world. We help organizations be safer, improve efficiency, and cut costs.

Let us help transform your business.

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