Friday, June 26, 2009
Florilli Transportation, focuses on service with IDSC TripAlert.
With a 224-truck fleet and more than 300 reefer trailers, truckload carrier Florilli Transportation, LLC, is in the business of moving temperature-sensitive freight to varying points throughout the continental US. From its hub in West Liberty, Iowa-50 miles from Cedar Rapids-the company runs common routes to and from northern and southeast states, Texas and the West Coast.
With his involvement in trucking advocacy roles, including two terms as past chairman of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, Chief Executive Officer Murry Fitzer was acutely aware that enhancing business efficiencies was a key component to maintaining a transportation company's health and success. Fitzer determined that operational efficiencies demanded elevated attention at Florilli.
The company needed to focus on improving customer service with on-time deliveries, proper trip planning to remain HOS compliant and stemming the loss of time and money from delays where freight was picked up or delivered. It was clear that the company needed help to convert Florilli's challenges into business improvement opportunities.
Back in 2000, Fitzer and his team had implemented IDSC ExpertFuel from TMW Systems. The product is still in constant use and continues to generate significant cost savings for Florilli, in addition to top-notch fuel planning and purchasing efficiencies.
"Some of this savings can be attributed to the discounts that our fuel vendors offer, but IDSC ExpertFuel is ultimately the tool that leverages that savings and produces the plans that our drivers can follow," Fitzer said. "We are realizing as much as 11 cents per gallon savings compared to the average cost of fuel along the route lines we travel, saving thousands of dollars in fuel costs each and every week," he added.
Given the company's satisfaction with IDSC ExpertFuel, it was natural for them to consider the potential benefits of adding IDSC TripAlert from TMW Systems. The product proved to be a solid match for Florilli Transportation.
IDSC TripAlert monitors and helps to optimize a fleet's on-road productivity. Working seamlessly with existing dispatch, routing and mobile communications systems, the software monitors both power unit and trailer positions in combination with order and dispatch data to:
- Minimize out-of-route miles
- Send estimated time-of-arrival alerts
- Trigger geofencing alerts
- Monitor truck detention at customer sites
- Monitor and forecast driver hours-of-service
- Identify swap candidates
- Suggest load-swapping opportunities to prevent service exceptions, get drivers home and increase productivity
- Visualize vehicle location and fleet activities with drill-down capabilities
With its integrated approach to fleet management and monitoring, IDSC TripAlert provides an all-in-one solution for controlling assets to help a carrier provide gold-star customer service, to streamline operations, to improve driver satisfaction and to monitor high-value loads for added security.
IDSC TripAlert integrates tightly with IDSC ExpertFuel for route plan optimization at the time of dispatch that also includes fuel purchase recommendations. "In October of 2007, we implemented IDSC TripAlert. We attribute a steady improvement in our on-time delivery to the use of IDSC TripAlert's ETA. The ETA calculation takes into account what the driver has done in the past. It is able to determine the number of hours that are available for that driver to deliver on-time and within DOT Hours-of-Service rules," said Fitzer with enthusiasm as he described how IDSC TripAlert has helped his company meet its objectives for improvement.
IDSC TripAlert continuously evaluates the position history of trucks in order to calculate each driver's available hours of service. This is a fundamental component of the software's calculations and forecasts for ETAs, late measurements, swaps and utilization figures. Effective management of driver HOS delivers tangible benefits by reducing the likelihood of tickets, accidents, service failures and DOT violations.
"We find the Hours-of-Service segments that IDSC TripAlert calculates to be an extremely helpful planning tool for our drivers," noted Fitzer. "The segments literally spell out a schedule for them. By helping the drivers manage their schedules, we hope to see a further decrease in the amount of logging errors and violations," he added. Fitzer is confident that when-not if-EOBR monitoring of driver hours is mandated by the government, Florilli will face an easy transition because of the experience with IDSC TripAlert, while their competitors will struggle.
HOS sophistication for late arrival calculations gives key personnel within Florilli the ability to head-off service failures well before they can occur. With IDSC TripAlert, Florilli Transportation reports a 40% reduction in service failures compared to the same period the year before.
"Customer service representatives are easily kept in the loop in terms of delay and detainment. With the help of the alerts and follow-up reporting, we've been able to bill 25% more per month for detention incurred at our shipper and receiver locations."
A detention notice from IDSC TripAlert can actually improve the capture of detention charges because it arrives in real-time instead of appearing in billing reconciliations performed days later. Many shippers permit detention to be charged if they are notified of the situation as it happens. At Florilli, a customer service representative receives a detention alert, contacts the customer immediately to notify them of the detention, secures the customer's approval to bill for it and then forwards the details on to billingimmediately. With the support of IDSC TripAlert, Florilli Transportation adds real revenue from detention charges that contributes to their overall margins.
The next big push at Florilli will be to make better use of swap opportunities. While they make occasional use of this feature in IDSC TripAlert, Fitzer sees additional possibilities like reducing drivers from three weeks out to less than two weeks out with the judicious use of swap planning and execution. Other plans include a further reduction in deadhead miles through better load planning and assignments.
From improved on-time performance to increased productivity and profitability, Florilli has employed IDSC TripAlert to bring their operations in line with ambitious customer service and business goals.
To reduce OOR miles and service exceptions while improving asset productivity, contact us.