BlueLinx Corp., a distributor of building products in North America, recently installed PeopleNet onboard computers (OBCs) in nearly all of its 600-plus active trucks. BlueLinx says the newly implemented system from PeopleNet, a provider of Internet-based and integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems for fleet management, helps expand its distribution opportunities through innovative technology.
BlueLinx says it constantly seeks cutting-edge avenues to improve its distribution services and found exponential benefits in PeopleNet’s in-cab mobile communication system. BlueLinx expects the recent installation of PeopleNet’s onboard computers and fully integrated fleet management system to generate savings for years to come.
In addition to giving drivers a fast, easy way to access information in as much detail as needed, PeopleNet says its Fleet Management open software environment, dubbed “Openicity,” supports custom-tailored applications and can be fully integrated into any dispatch, back-office or enterprise system.
BlueLinx says the OBCs replace analog systems with a more innovative Web-based program, allowing for cross-country mobile communication between trucks, company branches and sales centers; the OBCs also record the time spent at and between each delivery, increasing movement and improving customer service. BlueLinx says it integrated the sophisticated tracking system to create a dynamic and more streamlined supply chain that derives higher productivity by generating efficiencies for ongoing revenue savings.
“BlueLinx is dedicated to serving our customers, and the distribution market as a whole, more effectively than anyone else in our industry,” says Robert McKagen, the company’s vice president of supply chain. “More than just monitoring shipments, PeopleNet’s OBC supplies visibility and alerts, providing our sales teams and our customers with order-tracking visibility in real time, as well as e-mail notifications to customers when the delivery is just 30 minutes from their doors.”
In addition to improving customer service, BlueLinx says this heightened technology supports its continued focus on safety and more sustainable practices, which lower the company’s national distribution fleet fuel costs. Fuel efficiencies are monitored on the PeopleNet Fleet Manager system through PerformX; this information, along with road-shifting metrics, provide driver feedback that, when applied, improves driver safety and generates significant savings, according to PeopleNet. BlueLinx branches also are geocoded to provide the most direct routes to customers in the cab’s GPS system.
“Full integration is the key to helping fleets operate more efficiently,” says Mark Kessler, vice president of national accounts for Minneapolis-based PeopleNet. “We’re responding to both the strong demand by all fleet types for more advanced technology tools and communication systems that are integrated to optimize efficiency.”