|By Joyce Tam||
|February 3, 2014 11:21 AM EST||
Lane Valente is one of the largest retail maintenance service providers in the United States. Founded in 1989, it caters to high-volume remodels, for which the company provides retail project management and energy services, sending a skilled mobile workforce to service everything from plumbing and electrical to retail lighting and refrigeration. Its clients include well-known brands such as Wal-Mart and Chevron.
Recently I sat down with Michael Moran, field quality control officer and fleet manager for Lane Valente, to talk about how fleet management helped them streamline operations by maximizing efficiencies, improving scheduling and driver safety, and how these improvements allow the company to exceed customer expectations. Here is what we discussed:
Before deploying Fleet Management, what challenges did Lane Valente face?
As our business continued to grow, so did our fleet of cargo vans and bucket trucks. With this expansion, we wanted to monitor the productivity of our fleet, including the time it took techs to arrive on the job and how long it took for job completion. In addition, we wanted to monitor unauthorized use of vehicles and ensure the accurate billing of hours and payroll.
We turned to a cloud-based fleet management solution that gave us visibility into day-to-day field operations so we could identify, manage and improve areas such as driver safety, customer service, back-office administration, fuel use and fleet efficiency.
Why Fleet Management?
We started using fleet management to keep track of our vehicles and to ensure that we met our estimated time of arrivals. We can also easily look up who is in an area to service emergency calls. Since implementing fleet management, we have improved safety by monitoring mobile worker status and reducing risky driving behavior. We’ve also expanded business intelligence by enabling data-driven decisions. Fleet Management has increased our workflow productivity, reduced fuel costs and improved asset utilization. One unexpected way that fleet management has helped us is its ability to help in tracking stolen vehicles. Four trucks were taken, but with fleet management the vehicles were located within minutes or hours of when they were reported missing.
What did the company use before fleet management?
When I started with the company, we were using two different tracking devices. I determined that Fleet Management was not only more accurate but also had many other features that would enable us to be more cost effective, and be able to better meet our clients’ expectations.
We now use fleet management to monitor drivers’ locations so they know immediately who to send for emergency calls, as well as ensure that techs are servicing customers fully. Our new units are much more accurate in managing vehicles’ positions. Using fleet management, we can evaluate the effectiveness of our work by analyzing fuel usage, number of hours on the job, scheduling and dispatch time, and other metrics.
We use fleet management to monitor unauthorized use as well. Each morning, I receive an exception report via e-mail showing all vehicles that were used during off hours. I check this report against the dispatch report to confirm the use was warranted.
How did drivers initially react to implementing fleet management?
At first, drivers thought the GPS system was a way for us to check up on them, but after some time they saw how it could help them. No more questions about what time they got to the job and how it could take so long to get to the site. We monitor this information daily to ensure an accurate payroll and client service logs.
Has fleet management helped you to optimize efficiency?
Fleet Management has allowed us to better understand the effectiveness of our fleet, which helps us reduce costs. The solution is very scalable so there’s no big initial investment, which means we quickly reaped a number of benefits. For instance, we improved driver safety by monitoring speed and harsh maneuvers, which helps to decrease accident rates and, ultimately, mitigate liability.
I will continue to streamline operations so I have the most efficient fleet possible and continue to provide excellent service delivery. I’d recommend fleet management anytime to anyone.
For more information about Trimble field service solutions, visit www.trimble.com/fsm.
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 188
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 179
The APN DevOps Competency highlights APN Partners who demonstrate deep capabilities delivering continuous integration, continuous delivery, and configuration management. They help customers transform their business to be more efficient and agile by leveraging the AWS platform and DevOps principles.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 220
As-a-service models offer huge opportunities, but also complicate security. It may seem that the easiest way to migrate to a new architectural model is to let others, experts in their field, do the work. This has given rise to many as-a-service models throughout the industry and across the entire technology stack, from software to infrastructure. While this has unlocked huge opportunities to accelerate the deployment of new capabilities or increase economic efficiencies within an organization, i...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 237
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 258
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 201
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
Oct. 8, 2015 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 259
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,081
Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, has over 20 years of experience in IT and Software. Since joining Red Hat in 2005, he has been architecting solutions for strategic customers and partners with a focus on emerging technologies including IaaS, PaaS, and DevOps. He started his career at Intel in IT and Managed Hosting followed by leadership roles in services and sales engineering at Loudcloud and Linux startups.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 171
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Oct. 8, 2015 09:00 PM EDT
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Oct. 8, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 262
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, al...
Oct. 8, 2015 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 144
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. Migration to cloud shifts computing resources from your data center, which can yield significant advantages provided that the cloud vendor an offer enterprise-grade quality for your application.
Oct. 8, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 231
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
Oct. 8, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 205