Time is a valuable commodity for most small businesses, and Cloud #9 Enterprises, a family-owned provider of concrete and paving services based in Mooresburg, TN is no exception. According to office manager Angie Ramsey, their livelihood relies on prompt delivery for their customers. “We work with ready-mix concrete, so our loads are perishable, especially in extreme heat,” she says.
Unfortunately, not every driver of Cloud #9’s 18 vehicles has been as concerned about promptness. “Our drivers were going outside of scheduled routes to run personal errands,” says Ramsey. “We were catching drivers sitting here or sitting there, saying they took ten minutes for lunch when they really took a lot more. A lot of times they were sitting there talking but telling us that they were still working on a job.”
To cut back on system abuse, Cloud #9 began looking into fleet management
options, but didn’t have to go far. “Fleetmatics was highly recommended from a company we do a lot of business with, so we didn’t look into any other systems,” she says.
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To manage her drivers, Ramsey begins with the Daily Report, which provides information on the daily movement of every vehicle in Cloud #9’s fleet, including ignition on-time and off-time, location arrival and departure, idling time, drive time and distance travelled. “We can go back and pull up where our guys were and how long it took to get from A to B,” she explains.
The mapping capabilities in Fleetmatics, which utilize Google Maps for 24/7 accuracy, have also helped Cloud #9’s day-to-day operations. “We use the system for dispatching to take our drivers on the best routes, and get them directions that may be different from directions the customer may have given, to get them to the job site faster,” she says.
Of all the features offered by the Fleetmatics vehicle tracking system
Ramsey considers Live Fleet to be the most useful. “The live tracking has been very helpful when customers call in wanting to know where one of our guys are. We can look up and see exactly where he is and can relay the arrival time to the customer with certainty.”
Besides ensuring that the drivers arrived to their destinations on time, the system also helped out when a driver is, as Ramsey puts it, “overzealous.” She’s set up an e-mail alert system that notifies her whenever a driver goes over the speed limit. “If I catch one of the guys going over, I can give them a buzz and tell them to slow down,” she says. Luckily, that doesn’t happen as often anymore. “I still have a couple speeding alerts every now and then. When we first started, they nearly filled my inbox!”
Ramsey did get some resistance from her drivers when Cloud #9 first implemented the Fleetmatics system. “ Some of them were fine, some of them didn’t really want it at all, but overall we had a pretty good response,” she says. “A couple of them had to be reprimanded, but after the first month or so everything calmed back down.”
Ramsey has also seen improvements in the company’s fuel bills, which she says is to be expected “when the drivers are only going where they are supposed to!”
Overall, having Fleetmatics has been a benefit for Cloud #9. “You can tell a big difference for our business,” says Ramsey. “It makes it easier to find out who is talking, wasting time, or is somewhere else rather than the job site. Our productivity has sped up quite a bit, at least 20 percent. We’re pleased with everything!”