Founded in 1950, Elmer Schultz is now a third-generation family-owned business providing service, parts and installation for commercial cooking equipment. With state of the art technology and a vast inventory, the company is the largest authorized service agency in its region with their headquarters in Philadelphia; and other office locations in Delaware and New Jersey. The company’s 20 CFESA trained technicians and 20 person support staff serve approximately 25,000 customers including schools, hospitals, hotels and high-end restaurants.
In a typical restaurant, a piece of commercial cooking equipment will fail on average once or twice a year, says Elmer Schultz President Kirby Mallon. So an equipment failure, while infrequent, is a major disruption for our customers’ business operation. They want things fixed quickly and properly, and they want to know when a technician will be at their door. Mallon estimates his service technicians average five jobs each a day, rolling up to more than 20,000 service calls a year.
Prior to implementing the Webfleet Telematics solution into the business, tracking down service technicians was always a time consuming job. We were relying on a manual method. Drivers would have to call in to give us their location. Some were using pagers. It created big time challenges for us as a business because we never knew where our drivers were at any point in time, says Mallon.
Productivity also suffered because dispatch had no visibility into a driver’s whereabouts. Lack of transparency into service technicians’ activity also impacted customer relationships. Customers would ask us to prove the technician was on the job for that length of time, and we didn’t have an official trail.
The company became a Webfleet customer about 10 years ago, investing in Webfleet’s fleet management system through a long-standing Webfleet reseller and system integrator Traxxis GPS Solutions (Traxxis GPS). With the support from Traxxis GPS, Elmer Schultz was able to successfully implement and integrate the Webfleet solution into the company’s accounting and job dispatch system, which handles sales orders, invoicing, and automates service department workflows.
The addition of Webfleet has helped streamline and expedite Elmer Schultz’s business operations in several critical and important ways.
There are lots of working parts around a service call, explains Kirby Mallon. When a call comes in, dispatch notes the location and issue, then schedules a date and time for service. The backend software assigns a job number and automatically forwards this information to the technician’s PRO 7250 connected in-vehicle navigation device. The service technician then uses the PRO 7250 device to accept the job, navigate quickly to the job site, and record completion of the work performed by pressing a few buttons on the device via the touch-screen interface. Every step is time stamped for reporting purposes.
The PRO 7250 devices help to provide service technicians with a more efficient way to handle dispatched jobs and provides turn-by-turn timely routes. Prior to using Webfleet, our guys would go from one service call to the next using their own understanding of routes. Webfleet has shown many of our drivers a more efficient way to get from point A to point B, so driving times between jobs has been reduced. This has allowed us to pick up on average an extra job per day, per technician, says Mallon.
The ability to track a driver's whereabouts at all times (every 10 seconds) and time stamp their activities in Webfleet has greatly increased the team's productivity. Once the technology was installed, efficiencies tightened and productivity jumped 20%, says Mallon. I believe that improvement alone paid for the Webfleet system in mere months.
The Elmer Schultz team heavily uses the Webfleet reports for improved visibility into their business. We get a daily summary of activities that allow us to be more efficient and proactive, says Kirby Mallon. Information includes excessive speeding, idle times and maintenance reports that let us know when a vehicle requires an oil change or annual safety inspection.
By working with Traxxis GPS and using the Webfleet Telematics solution, Elmer Schultz has been able to improve its business efficiencies, drive more revenue, boost driver productivity, and best of all, greatly improve its customer relationships.
The biggest benefit we’ve realized has to be in the way we are able to now communicate with our customers, says Mallon. When a customer calls in and asks when a technician will be arriving, we are able to give them a more accurate ETA. That’s really important information in our industry because equipment may need to be cold before it can be serviced. So by telling them he’s eight miles away on I-95 and will be arriving at your door in 8 minutes, they can turn off the equipment and clear the area for work to begin.