Fleets talk transformation at Telogis conference

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Updated Nov 3, 2015

During the Telogis Latitude conference, held Oct. 26-28 in Dana Point, Calif., a number of fleets shared their experiences using connected vehicle technologies and the results they have seen in customer service, asset utilization and driver performance. In this video, CCJ asks PG&E, one of the largest electricity and natural gas suppliers in the country, for a quick overview.

The Telogis Latitude conference, held Oct. 26-28 in Dana Point, Calif., brought together fleet executives from a diverse group of industries. Each had a story to tell about how their businesses have been transformed by technology.

The annual meeting drew more than 500 attendees this year with some coming from far-away New Zealand, Australia, Germany and other countries where Telogis has expanded its global presence.

Speakers at the conference were mostly fleet executives from public and private utilities, construction and transportation firms.

The transformation of ProBuild, for example, started by installing a telematics system from Telogis in 2013 to solve the immediate needs of tracking the locations and mileages of vehicles and to capitalize on an opportunity to improve fuel costs and driver safety.

As one of the nation’s largest suppliers of lumber and building materials, ProBuild has 360 locations in 40 states with a delivery fleet of 2,400 vehicles. The company started by deploying the Telogis Fleet application with electronic logs and driver vehicle inspection reporting (DVIR) features.

ProBuild has deployed the Telogis suite of software on Apple devices.ProBuild has deployed the Telogis suite of software on Apple devices.

Telogis is a SaaS-based connected vehicle technology provider. Fleets have the flexibility to use any device they choose to deploy the suite of Telogis applications that include navigation, compliance, telematics, route optimization and work order management along with mobile integration services.

As part of its decision to deploy a new telematics platform, ProBuild is using iPhones and other Apple iOS devices.

“We had a blue collar workforce. Our industry is not technologically advanced,” said Tom Gustafson, IT director for the Denver-based company. “Whatever we picked we knew it better be easy to use, as that’s the only way we are going to get it out to the field.”

The Apple iOS platform is not just the easiest for drivers to use; it fits the company’s long-term vision for mobility, he said. “Telogis will not be the only application on our devices.”

Another reason for choosing Apple is its device management and security features. Apple iOS is better than Android in those areas, he added. The Apple platform also opens up future possibilities to use wearable devices, like the Apple Watch, to process credit card payments from customers, to perform vehicle inspections and for drivers to clock in and out from work, said Tim Kellog, ProBuild’s IT and mobility supervisor.

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During the conference, Telogis announced a partnership with Apple that will deliver multiple benefits to its customers. A dedicated team from Apple has already been helping Telogis enhance the user experience of its mobile apps.

Another fleet that spoke of transformative change is Poolsure, a pool water management company based in Houston.

Alan Falik, president of Poolsure, talked about the game-changing benefits of route planning tools.Alan Falik, president of Poolsure, talked about the game-changing benefits of route planning tools.

Alan Falik, a former investment banker, joined the family business in 2009 when the company had 40 employees and no technology beyond e-mail and spreadsheets. Dispatchers were handing out job orders to drivers on paper each day with no visibility of what was happening in the field.

In August, 2013, the company began using Telogis’ full suite of applications. One of the main benefits has been the automation of its route planning activities. The company can now optimally route hundreds of job orders each day and proactively respond to customers’ needs by using the information captured by the monitoring devices it installs in customers’ pools.

When the monitoring devices detect a situation where pools need immediate service, the company is able to proactively route trucks to the locations to deliver chemicals.

“If you are proactively responding to your customers, it is truly a game changer,” he says.

Today, Poolsure has 130 employees, 60 delivery trucks, and delivers 10 million gallons of bleach every year. Since August, 2013, sales have increased by 26 percent and earnings are up 55 percent.

“There is nobody our size in the pool business,” he says. “We’ve been able to capitalize on our efficiencies and our technologies and really take that industry by storm.”

Representatives from the largest natural gas and electric utilities company in the United States, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), spoke about recent technology projects to improve safety, customer service and its environmental leadership.

By using Telogis Coach, a scorecard and gamification application for drivers, PG&E has been able to decrease unsafe driving behaviors — speeding, hard acceleration and hard braking events — by 70 percent in three months.

Going forward, the company plans to use Telogis as a mobile hotspot to monitor data collected by various sensors on its vehicles to improve utilization and productivity.

“We are doing certain things now, but we really are planning to do even more in the very near future,” said Dave Meisel, senior director of transportation and aviation.