World-leading company upgrades to better fleet tracking for lower risk and safer operations.
Since its beginnings in 1986, Woods Basement Systems has grown into one of the world’s largest basement systems dealers. This family-run business covers all of Illinois and most of Missouri. Committed to total customer satisfaction, Woods Basement Systems maintains a fleet of nearly 50 vehicles, comprising both vans and trucks. Because the company can handle everything from installing sump pumps and lifting an entire house to fixing a foundation, these vehicles haul lots of equipment.
Knowing that its vehicles are one of its most important assets, Woods Basement Systems has long recognized the value of GPS fleet tracking. However, it was using a system (GPS Insight) that did not guard its assets. According to Markus Petkus, Operations Manager for Woods Basement Systems, GPS Insight didn’t provide visibility into fleet operations and driver behaviors, leaving him hungry for key features, like service reminders and integrated street views. Worse yet, the system was costing the company lots of time and money. Whenever one of the GPS units malfunctioned, Woods Basement Systems was forced to purchase a new unit. On top of that, the company had to install the units on its own. “The expenses were quickly adding up. Plus, handling the installation was taking time away from our business, and every minute costs,” explains Petkus.
A solid foundation for higher productivity
For Petkus, it was a no-brainer to switch to SageQuest. SageQuest provides free installation of its GPS units. And if a unit fails, SageQuest installs a replacement at no cost. But Petkus highlights numerous additional reasons for making the switch.
“GPS Insight didn’t include service reminders so we had to install a separate program that tracked mileage and then we had to track the details in a book. With SageQuest, I’m notified by email when our vehicles are due for service based on the miles driven, and which service is needed,” says Petkus.
Petkus and his drivers also appreciate the detailed mapping in SageQuest’s GPS units. “Previously, we were limited to basic mapping, without even a street view. In fact, we had to separately use Google Maps to get that view. With SageQuest, we not only see the street, we see a photo of the house or building for the job. That helps our drivers get to jobs more efficiently and safely – they can focus on their driving instead of on trying to locate an address,” explains Petkus.
Putting the brakes on speeding
In addition, SageQuest fleet management software tracks speeding and alerts Petkus and the offending driver via cellphone. Petkus can then contact the driver to discuss the violation. “Speeding goes hand in hand with reckless driving, which leads to accidents,” continues Petkus. In fact, one of the company’s drivers was in an accident and sustained a permanent neck injury. “I followed the breadcrumb trail on the SageQuest GPS unit and could see that the driver was the cause of the accident. Now we are just dealing with the insurance company and not a lawsuit,” says Petkus. At the same time, the SageQuest software’s alerts have discouraged speeding overall among the company’s drivers. In 2011, Woods Basement Systems’ drivers racked up 15 speeding tickets, costing the company $3,000. In the eight months since installing SageQuest, only one driver has gotten a ticket and it was not for speeding. “Our drivers know they’ll be flagged – and I’ll be notified – if they speed. It’s a great deterrent,” says Petkus.
Keeping a close watch on operations
Petkus appreciates the fact that with SageQuest fleet management software, as everyday he can keep track of everything happening on the road. “With SageQuest, I can spot trends: who speeds the most, idles the most, is on the road the longest. I then follow up with our drivers to manage their behaviors. By reducing idling and speeding, we can also reduce our gas consumption,” says Petkus.
Woods Basement Systems is very disciplined about compliance and tracks driver times using the GPS units. However, if authorities ever single out one of the company’s drivers for exceeding the limit, Petkus can easily show the actual mileage and time driven thanks to SageQuest. Petkus also uses this insight to make sure drivers don’t encounter issues between home base and their destinations. “Even if drivers are 200 miles away, I know where they are and whether they’ve arrived at job sites on time,” continues Petkus.
Moreover, when issues do arise, the GPS units make it easy to match drivers with the needed resources. When one driver took a wrong turn down a gravel road, the trailer he was hauling suffered damage. Petkus dispatched his mechanic to perform the repair. “Our mechanic would never have found the site without SageQuest because that road doesn’t appear on most maps,” says Petkus.
Keeping business safe for the long haul
All these benefits add up to big business value for Woods Basement Systems. “By knowing where our drivers and trucks are at all times, we maintain tighter control on operations. And by ensuring our trucks are driven safely and efficiently, we reduce the risk of accidents that can negatively impact our company and others on the road. SageQuest fleet management software helps keep our business safer in the long run,” concludes Petkus.