PeopleNet talks real-time paperless workflows, Vusion update

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Updated Mar 18, 2011

PeopleNet, a provider of Internet-based and integrated onboard computing and mobile communications systems, announced at the Truckload Carriers Association Annual Convention in San Diego that it will offer new real-time paperless driver/vehicle management workflows designed to automate driver performance, violation management, DVIR (driver vehicle inspection report) and Compliance Safety Accountability management. PeopleNet also provided an update on its Vusion division, which provides products to help fleets make smarter, more predictive decisions about buying equipment and managing people.

Ron Konezny, PeopleNet chief executive officer, says the company’s new workflows are intended to automate repetitive labor-intensive tasks. “They’re tickets to more accurate business processes that improve vehicle and driver performance, compliance, safety and customer service. It all adds up to a better performing fleet and greater profitability,” Koneznt says.

PeopleNet says EBE has developed these workflows on its SHIPS platform using its data that integrates with third-party systems:

• Driver Performance Monitor tracks vehicle management data for each driver and assigns points for each driver regarding MPG, idle time, over speed, excessive speed, hard braking, swerving and excessive acceleration. When a driver falls below a fleet-defined performance standard, this workflow initiates and sends a letter via the driver portal, schedules meetings with drivers, suggests training and recommends suspension and/or removal from service based on subsequent performance over established time periods. The SHIPS software monitors all tasks through completion. Should a task not be completed in an appropriate timeframe, alerts are sent and additional tasks are assigned, including the consequence of taking a driver out of active status through dispatch integration.

• Violation Management generates and sends letters through the driver portal to drivers with on-duty time violations and other out-of-standard driver behaviors. If required signatures or acknowledgements are not returned on time, this workflow sends an alert and assigns other corrective actions. Electronic images may be sent to the driver portal for electronic signature or verification that the recipient has opened a document. Interfacing with PeopleNet EOBR and vehicle management data, this workflow also assigns and tracks points for each driver’s performance, suggests training and recommends suspension and/or removal from service based on subsequent performance over established time periods.

• DVIR Management creates an electronic DVIR form based on PeopleNet vehicle management data for maintenance to complete and track. Repair status notification is sent to the driver via the driver portal. This workflow can interface with third-party maintenance applications for generating and tracking repair orders. It will monitor the submission of DVIRs to ensure compliance. Drivers not complying with predefined business norms can be sent alerts, assigned points to their driver scorecard, sent electronic warning letters, scheduled for training and/or recommended for suspension or removal from service when appropriate. An optional interface with chassis.com populates the website with required information when a DVIR with chassis-related items is submitted, and monitors response from the submission.

• CSA Management, tied to eDriver Logs, monitors each driver’s activities for both positive and negative hours-of-service behavior and trends. When a driver exceeds a specified behavior threshold (percentiles, points or frequency in BASIC categories, violation types or crash incidents), this workflow executes activities based on the identified behavior. This can include training, warning letters or termination. Behaviors such as clean inspections can generate positive activities, such as letters of commendation or notifications to payroll about a bonus. All activities are monitored through completion, and the driver is not removed from the workflow until the activity is completed. Users may choose between a complete CSA dashboard and one for only log violations.

“The challenge carriers face today is not only monitoring all of the data available to them to determine potential problem areas, but in being able to react and take the appropriate action as quickly as possible to ensure they are operating a safe and compliant fleet,” says Larry Kerr, EBE’s president and CEO. “We partnered with PeopleNet because of its robust data offering through its fleet management solutions that, combined with workflow, will help companies create and apply standardized consistent processes to out-of-standard behavior in near real time. Fleet managers can spend more time working with their drivers than sifting through reports and deciding what to do for those at-risk situations.”

PeoplenNet says Vusion, launched last year, incorporates predictive analytics to provide a clearer, more accurate understanding of fleet operations by integrating existing data from equipment manufacturers with fleet performance data and applying proprietary technology, proven processes and industry expertise.

“We understand that fleet management technology provides an ocean of vehicle and driver performance and safety data that can be overwhelming, to say the least,” Konezny says. “Add the data from equipment manufacturers, and it’s downright tedious, if not impossible, to connect the dots. Our new division is helping fleets blend information from multiple sources and interpret results so management can really use it to their advantage and get more insight from their technology investment. Vusion reaches across the entire onboard technology industry to present all fleets with a deeper, more accurate understanding of their operations.”

Tom Fansler, Vusion president, has been providing information to the trucking industry for the past 15 years. The former co-founder and managing partner of Inter-Tax built that company into the largest fuel tax service provider in the United States before selling it in 2007. Fansler says Vusion has worked with more than 50 clients to date.

“We’re taking onboard data from all providers to a whole new level,” he says. “Our data integration and modeling exposes excess fuel events and theft. Our statistical tools measure how different variables – load, distance, idle rate, aerodynamics, vehicle age, driver behaviors and more – affect fuel economy, so management clearly see which vehicles are underperforming. The use of models also eliminates data anomalies and false positives, resulting in actionable reports that deliver real-world results.”

Vusion currently is providing Fuel Tax and Fuel Theft Reporting, and Driver and Vehicle Performance Reporting. Integration with electronic logs for hours-of-service utilization and violation reporting, Safety Analytics, as well as an online reporting interface will be available later this year.