XataNet: Mile by mile, giving shippers the data to succeed
Concerned about the safety record of the fleets you hire?
Shipping, insurance and other costs eroding your bottom line?
Spoiled goods rotting your profits?
Management demanding better data?
Want more visibility into every aspect of your carriers’ operations?
If so, your company is a lot like mine, a leading foodservice distributor that provides quality food products to schools, hotels and restaurants across the country, including some of the most recognized names in the fast food business.
As a provider of frozen and refrigerated products, safety, quality and reliability are my top concerns. They’re also my customers’ top concerns.
Whether our products are going down the street or across the country, our customers depend on us to get their goods to them safely and on time. And today, as we’re faced with reduced capacity, higher costs, increased regulation and greater uncertainty, we’re looking to create more constructive and productive relationships with our carriers.
In short, we’re looking for opportunities to win in the marketplace, and the carriers that can help us do that are the carriers we’re going to be doing business with.
That’s why we—and so many other private and for-hire foodservice fleets—are intentionally seeking carriers that have fleet management solutions, such as XataNet or Turnpike.
Recently, I was asked to chair an internal team focused on two important goals: improving customer satisfaction and setting ourselves apart from our competitors. Naturally, our team zeroed in on safety, quality and reliability as these areas are most important to our customers.
We examined several years’ worth of customer feedback and decided to concentrate on the two Cs: compliance and costs. These things are important to us today—and they’re going to be even more important in the future.
With CSA (2010) and distracted driver legislation on the horizon, it’s critical that the fleets we hire are in compliance. While we may have tolerated HOS violations in the past, today such violations could result in legal issues and millions of dollars in liability—and that’s unacceptable to our company.
So, we’re in the process of revamping our carrier qualification process. We’re putting even greater emphasis on carrier safety—and choosing carriers with electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs). Not only do these carriers tend to place greater emphasis on safety and compliance, they have the real-time data and hard numbers to back their claims. In fact, according to a study by Aberdeen Group, carriers using onboard technology increased regulatory compliance by 25.8%.
A carrier that helps us control costs is our carrier for life
As a shipper, we’re like everyone else in the trucking industry—concerned about our bottom line. Transportation costs are a big part of that. And we know from experience that carriers running fleet performance software are better able to reduce costs. That same Aberdeen Group study showed that carriers using onboard technology, such as XataNet, cut operating costs by 10.4%.
Carriers that run fleet performance software also help us cut our costs in other ways. Take liability insurance. When we can show our insurance company that the fleets we hire use a system such as XataNet to manage both driver and vehicle performance, we’re able to negotiate better rates. This is especially true when it comes to the cost of liability insurance.
As Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only 5 minutes to destroy it.” That’s why food safety is such an important issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 76 million Americans get sick each year from eating spoiled, contaminated or adulterated food—liability that can quickly erode the bottom line of a company like ours.
Because there are no second chances when it comes to food safety and freshness, we’re increasingly looking to our carriers to provide proof of temperature throughout the cold chain. Carriers that use XataNet have instant access to real-time temperature and location information. So when I ask, “Did my products arrive on time and were they kept at the proper temperature the entire time they were in your possession?” not only do they say yes, they show me easy-to-read graphs and charts that prove it.