We work with AT&T in the United States to offer complete solutions to AT&T customers. Recently, Oscar Chavarria, Webtech Wireless Inside Sales Representative traveled to Houston, TX. Working with AT&T Mobility Application Consultants Mclean Babineaux, Bryan Vest, and Kurt Liebendorfer, we offered a lunch and learn session to over 40 AT&T account representatives.
Our mobility account representatives, like those from AT&T, are often the first people that potential customers go to for information. In 2013, we are participating in a series of road shows to help our mobility account partners understand the depth and breadth of our product offerings and capability to help their customers. Oscar demonstrated that our platform provides four commercial solutions:
His presentation also outlined the biggest business challenges that our customers overcome with our solutions:
Many of the AT&T representatives were interested to learn about three of the major industries we service:
Transportation: We look after electronic Hours of Service, fuel tax reporting, lower operating costs, increased fuel economy, and automated dispatch to save time every day for drivers. We also offer solutions for trailer tracking and temperature monitoring of cargoes.
Construction: Strike, one of the largest pipeline construction and maintenance companies in Texas, uses our solution on over 1,000 assets. Whether it is $500,000 “dozers”, generators, light towers, or pickup trucks, customers know where their assets are at all times. We prevent theft, maximize equipment utilization, which in turn increases billings, reduces operating costs, and ensures billing accuracy.
Oil & Gas Servicing: As we have proven with Troyer Ventures, a Webtech Wireless solution can increase revenue without increasing staff. Know where your vehicles are at all times while automatically dispatching them for the next customer and automating Hours of Service so drivers can provide service to their customers instead of completing paperwork.
While the AT&T account managers gained a lot of new understanding of what Webtech Wireless offers its customers, what they really appreciated was how easy it is to do business with us. Whether you are an AT&T account rep or a business owner with a fleet challenge, a simple email or telephone call is all it takes to get the process started. We look after the rest and focus on making it easy to work with us. We’ve solved business challenges for thousands of customers and we want to help you.
Thanks to Mclean, Bryan, and Kurt for facilitating the event and to Oscar for sharing the knowledge of how we make it easy for fleets to be productive.
You can be a global leader in technology, such as GPS/AVL, and yet few in your home town, province, state, or country know about your success. And the people who make that possible. Scott Edmonds, President & CEO of Webtech Wireless is a tireless promoter of technology in BC. Not only does he serve on the board of the British Columbia Technology Industry Association, he attends events and engages with people in the community to talk about these amazing facts:
We recently hosted a visit by Adrian Dix, Leader of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, along with several Members of the BC Legislature. Our goal was to showcase a BC technology success story that has been part of the overall growth of the technology sector in BC. We shared our success stories such as how Dement Construction Improves Productivity, Canadian Pacific Drives Efficiencies with Quadrant, and Award Winning Solutions Win the Day…and the Night! The last is the story of how we jointly won the BCTIA Adoption of Technology 2013 Award by helping Troyer Ventures stay competitive in the oil and gas sector.
All this growth and success is only possible because of the people that work in the technology sector, including here at Webtech Wireless. We thank Bill Tam, President & CEO of the BCTIA for letting us showcase our facilities and successes as part of the amazing BC technology growth story.
Images courtesy of Port Metro Vancouver
Vancouver has always prided itself as a livable city. Year after year, Vancouver tops the list as “world’s most livable city”. One unintended result—stemming from its freeway wars of the 1960s and 70s that put a finish to highway construction—was that the city’s residential streets would find themselves hosting long queues of Port container and long-haul truck traffic.
While Port Metro Vancouver does not operate container trucking companies or container trucks of its own, with 149 privately-owned trucking companies sending over 2,000 trucks to the Port, it has found itself at the diplomatic center of a delicate balance between trucking and city politics.
Last year after Port Metro Vancouver closed its receiving entrance on Clark Drive (a designated truck route), residents quickly noticed a huge increase in container truck traffic on Nanaimo Street (a primarily residential street). With complaints flooding in from constituents, City Hall put pressure on Port Metro Vancouver to do something to reduce this congestion.
In a special pilot program, Port Metro Vancouver equipped 300 container trucks with GPS tracking devices to send information to Port authorities about what routes Port-bound trucks were using. In a recent interview with The Vancouver Sun, Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester described the pilot program as having “already brought results”.
As with CP Rail (another customer of the Port), it vastly improved turnaround time at the Port. “It’s really looking at having a minimal number of trucks in the Lower Mainland,” Sylvester said, adding the Port hopes to reduce the number of trucks leaving without cargo by 30 to 40 per cent. “That would be fantastic. We’re building the tools to move toward that goal.” Based on the improvements in efficiency, the Port is looking to outfit all licensed trucks to its facilities with a GPS solution soon. The program is voluntary and free to licensed trucks serving the Port facilities.
While the City of Vancouver is always keen to retain its “most livable city” designation, it also has big incentives to see trucks and commercial vehicles move efficiently. With over $200-million worth of cargo moving through the port each day, the City must balance the needs of trucks and commercial vehicles positively with the overall health of the city.
The City enforces truck route regulations based on public complaints and safety inspections, but now Port Metro Vancouver can be pro-active. “The GPS (units) will create a system where we’re more pro-active rather than waiting until a community raises a concern”, Silvester said.
You need to have some forbearance for municipalities that raced to keep up with demand for web-based communication systems suitable to desktop computers only to watch their constituents abandon fixed computers in favor of mobile devices, particularly smartphones. While the trend toward increased mobile device usage by constituents is only speeding up, the core theme (beyond the flip flops in technology) continues to be toward citizen-driven real-time communications.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
Municipalities are now embracing new technologies (such as smartphone apps) not just to keep up with their constituents, but as a means to making their services readily available and scalable to people’s diverse needs. For example, municipalities must respond to a pro-active population that takes for granted the ability to see details about snow plow route completion, traffic congestion, parking restrictions and emergency situation alerts. Constituents want to live in intelligent communities. But what makes a community intelligent?
Martin Duggan, vice president of market strategy at IBM, recently described in The Atlantic how public-sector departments must depart from the old service-delivery models and become more collaborative with their constituents. He stresses that “Today there is a shift toward citizen-centered services…” which in effect is saying communication has left push mode (government) and entered pull mode (citizen) as never before.
In Drawing Intelligence from Data, I described how business owners are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of data that’s now being collected—93% of CEOs believe they are losing opportunities from a lack of tools to handle this data. While constituents demand information at ever-increasing rates—and in real-time—organizations and businesses must make sense of it all.
One of our customers, Ville de Québec, sought to make sense of it all by tying the data it gathered from its snow plows using Webtech Wireless’ InterFleet solution to how it communicated with its constituents. It had large amounts of information it could use to inform constituents via an interactive web map and provide real-time locations of the city’s snow plows. For this, and other intelligent initiatives, Ville de Québec was nominated as an intelligent community.
What’s next for communities with data on their hands? Could past seasons of weather data be layered to forecast upcoming budgets for salt requirements on city roads? What are municipalities doing to become intelligent communities with business intelligence?
While Webtech Wireless’ Customer Care supports two main communication tracks (email and a Customer Care website), it’s the latter track that is winning over our customers. The reason? The Customer Care website is designed expressly with the customer in mind.
“From the point of view of the Technical Support Team, it doesn’t matter if customers email or use the Customer Care website”, says Andrew Hwang, Technical Support Lead, “because we have our own internal process that ensures we track customers however they contact us. But to our customers, the Customer Care website gives them much more visibility into the status of their technical requests than sending us an email.”
And that’s the beauty of the Customer Care website. Customers have extensive visibility, or as Andrew puts it, “they know where they stand”.
Having a single place for communication is ideal for trucking fleets that may not have extensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to integrate internal and external information across their organization. In plain language, that means it is better than relying on email, and as everybody knows, email gets lost, is tied to individual users, and if not continuously culled, becomes overwhelming.
Customers who have technical issues can log in, create a new ticket, search and view the status of tickets (even for tickets submitted by other employees at the same company), view the history of closed tickets, and even attach documents (such as PDF and Excel files) to tickets.
Just as Webtech Wireless excels at providing visibility to fleet management—from finding trucks on the road to business intelligence drawn from data gathered by GPS fleet tracking—customers can expect the same level of visibility when getting technical support.
If you’re not already signed up with the Customer Care Website, what’s stopping you? Visit http://www.webtechwireless.com/en/contact/ and sign up today!
The air is colder, holiday themed songs are playing on the radio and images of St. Nick are everywhere. Yes, it is that time of year. With the holidays just around the corner, it really is time to think how we can enjoy the festivities while saving a few bucks. So stop looking under the driver’s seat, office desk or couch for a few extra pennies and try a few simple techniques to save a few dollars during the holidays and after!
If you are a fleet owner, you know that the cost of running an operation is rising drastically. Monitoring driver behavior, optimizing fleet performance and trailer tracking are just a few things that can leave a bit more money in your pocket.
As a fleet owner, finding ways to run your operations efficiently while using your resources effectively saves you money. Most drivers aren’t aware that harsh breaking, sharp turns and speeding account for most fuel wastage. Identifying poor driver behavior with reporting tools in Quadrant Manager will help you pro-actively train your drivers to reduce fuel consumption.
Drivers spend a significant amount of time waiting for dispatch to manually send driver instructions for their next pickup or delivery. All that wasted time turns into dollars and adds to the cost of running a fleet. Webtech Wireless’ Job Management solution allows dispatch release instructions automatically, getting drivers off their phone (saving talking time and talking minutes) and sending them to their next destination quicker.
Equipment that isn’t monitored is at the mercy of trespassers and kleptomaniacs. The Quadrant Trailer Tracking solution can detect unauthorized movements and show you where your trailers are in real-time.
Multi-zone temperature monitoring is a small solution that reaps huge benefits. Did you know that 40% of all food produced in the United States is wasted? And of that 20% is wasted through spoilage during distribution? Prevent food wastage and save dollars by getting real-time alerts when temperatures go above or below a set threshold.
Whether you are in a large building or a basement suite, office space and equipment costs money, a lot of money. Being pro-active and cautious can easily help you reduce overhead and see savings.
Turn the computer off. That’s it. Turning off the computer at the end of the day is the easiest thing you and your staff can do save money and energy. If you work off of a power strip, don’t forget to turn that off as well. According to a 2009 survey, a company with 10,000 desktop computers (powered up but not being used) will waste $260,000 in energy a single year. It is simple, easy and a great step to going green in the office.
Think twice before you print that document in color on a single side of paper. Printing one or two sheets is not expensive, but when you are going through boxes and boxes of paper, printing becomes a pricey line item. Set your printer’s defaults to economy, black and white and double sided and watch your ink and paper consumption go down. Awesome way to save a few bucks, and you probably save a few trees too.
Competition is steep and the market is competitive. A great strategy to save money is to keep true to your vendors. Long lasting relationships with various suppliers and vendors result in multiple benefits including great customer service, bulk order discounts and promotions for loyal customers.
December brings along a lot of happy moments, holiday parties, Christmas trees, great food, desserts galore and a couple of extra inches around the hips. However, every January you pay the price—those jeans feel a bit snug and have burned a little whole in the pocket. Here are a few easy tips to help you save during the holiday season!
If you are like me, the sight of beautiful wrapping getting torn off a present and then immediately getting dumped into the recycling bin makes you cringe. I am all for great packaging (I’m in marketing after all—and a graphic designer) but trust me, you can achieve the same visual appeal in other ways. How about using brown paper bags? Or a few pages from a magazine or the comic section of the newspaper? Re-using things that you already have around the house is a great way to get rid of junk and save money.
If you are part of a large extended family like me, buying presents for everyone can increase the digits on your credit card bill. Why not try Secret Santa? It allows you to focus on getting something special for that one person and also adds the extra fun of who has whom.
Hit the malls early, I mean really early. By shopping early you are able to compare prices, avoid impulse buys and get quality gifts without settling for whatever is left at the store.
This winter, thousands of locals and visitors alike will don their skates and glide effortlessly along the Rideau Canal Skateway, a highlight of winter in Ottawa and the world’s longest skating rink. At 7.8 kilometres long, the Rideau Canal is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s best known as a winter wonderland as it wends its way from the steps of Canada’s majestic parliament buildings through the heart of downtown Ottawa and finally winds up at Dows Lake skating rink.
Unlike many cities, Ottawa comes to life in the winter when the frozen canal becomes the focus of winter festivities such as its Christmas Lights across Canada, featuring over 300,000 multi-coloured lights, and its popular Winterlude, held in February, make Ottawa a winter destination. For most city Public Works departments, winter is the time to prevent streets from becoming the world’s longest skating rink. But Ottawa’s got that handled too.
In 2009, The City of Ottawa implemented the Webtech Wireless InterFleet winter operations solution for government fleets, because it supports an extensive array of sensor integrations (road temperature sensors, spreader controllers, plow sensors) and boasts ten-second reporting and turn-by-turn navigation. With InterFleet, it gained visibility into how much salt its third-party contractors were using and with that came the ability to identify excess salt. Not surprisingly, by reducing excess salt usage, the City reduced its salt costs by 20%.
“Installing GPS technology in our salt spreader vehicles is a great way to help us reduce the amount of road salt we use, and reduce costs at the same time,” said Mayor Larry O’Brien, “By installing these systems, we will both prolong the life of City infrastructure and keep more money in the pockets of Ottawa taxpayers.”
Due to its negative impact on the environment, particularly drinking water supplies, the City of Ottawa actively encourages residents and snow removal contractors to reduce the rock salt they use. Ottawa’s Public Works Department is always looking for innovative means to reduce salt usage and it found GPS technology linked to its electronic salt spreader controllers to be one of the most effective ways to track salt usage. It actively promotes the Smart About Salt Council to increase awareness about eliminating rock salt and using resources more effectively.
Ten-second real-time reporting provides supervisors with the information they need to handle winter effectively. No matter where they are—the office, home, or vehicle—supervisors can respond immediately to events as they unfold, confident that the information they are looking at in their InterFleet solution is completely accurate and up to date.
So, when the temperature drops this winter, it’s time to celebrate!
Check the skating conditions on the Rideau Canal Skateway.
Find out more great ideas about things to see and do when you visit Ottawa and Gatineau this winter at Canada’s Capital Region!
Photos courtesy of National Capital Commission
When parts of New York’s subway system sank beneath the waves, and lower Manhattan’s Wall Street district became awash, and when the most reliable solution for getting basic supplies like fuel and food to city dwellers was cargo bicycle, and when the city’s airports inundated up to the aircraft loading bridges, it became deeply apparent how important a great city is dependent on one thing for its survival—the transportation routes feeding it.
Most major airlines repositioned their planes away from the storm’s wrath well in advance and even after the storm Associated Press reported that airlines “are carrying extra fuel when they fly into the New York region in order to ensure they have enough to leave the area without filling up”. Moving all these planes was a good idea, although it meant 20,000 flights were canceled, because it saved the planes even as the airports themselves all but disappeared beneath the waves.
As Sandy bared down on the East Coast of North America, the traffic ban amplified the already crowded truck stops—particularly those from New Jersey to Massachusetts. And with Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts already considered by many truckers to be “the least friendly states to the trucking industry because they don’t provide enough truck stops and parking”, the crowding was amplified.
According to one lucky driver, on route from Florida with 23,000 pounds of refrigerated goods, who got through, “If I was here when they shut down the roads, I would have been screwed. Those winds would have knocked me all over the place.”
Hours before Hurricane Sandy arrived, many truck stops were already full and with the travel ban affecting commercial trucks, drivers started filling up parking spots normally reserved for cars and even the bays used for diesel fill ups. Storm conditions at various truck stops lit up the Twitter waves with storm-related tweets, such as Travel Center of America’s “TA Lamar, PA #068 does not have hot water due to weather issues“.
While Sandy hasn’t affected diesel prices adversely, The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it would ensure efficient movement of fuel to the region devastated by Hurricane Sandy. According to the DOT, “The team will serve as a single point of contact for states, the trucking industry, and other agencies to assist in the removal of barriers to the quick delivery of fuel.”
The DOT has set up a hotline (800 832-5660), and is using an innovative strategy of providing waivers to a number of transportation regulations for the most impacted regions, including the following waivers:
Alkesh Dhak, Installation Support Specialist at Webtech Wireless, spends his day coordinating installations throughout North America, training and supporting third-party service providers, performing installations for local customers, assisting with beta testing and new developments. Here is his story about how the Webtech Wireless Locator helped saved the day when fighting a case in a motor vehicle claim.
As Webtechers, we hear every day the remarkable things that our telematics solutions have done for our customers. From saving money, to increasing productivity and even helping to comply with government regulations, we know the great value our solutions have to offer.
On his way home from the grocery store one evening, Alkesh was hit by an oncoming minivan that failed to stop at a four-way stop. Luckily, Alkesh did not experience any major injuries and reported the accident immediately. However, the impact had done a significant amount of damage on the passenger side of the vehicle.
When he called his insurance agency to report the accident, the adjustor claimed that the lack of witnesses, the location and nature of the impact did not provide enough information to recreate the accident nor provide enough proof that he had made a complete stop and that the minivan had ran through the stop sign.
He knew that he had stopped, looked both ways and proceeded through the intersection within the speed limit, and wanted to prove that he was not at fault. After the collision, Alkesh signed on to Quadrant Manager and pulled up the Trip Recorder report on his vehicle.
Alkesh—along with several other employees—often test out our products by placing them on their vehicles and running tests and pilots to ensure the products Webtech Wireless delivers to its customers are of the highest quality.
Attached to Alkesh’s car was the WT7000 Locator that was recording his direction, speed and location, second by second. When he pulled up the Trip Recorder report, he had hard proof that his vehicle had made a complete stop and had proceeded through the intersection at a safe speed.
Alkesh provided this evidence to an external agency that judged the case. The agency included former adjustors, traffic cops and several other professionals from road and safety. They were all fascinated with the data that the Locator was able to produce and amazed at the level of accuracy and detail. They claimed that it was sufficient information to recreate the accident and prove that the driver of the minivan had not made a stop at the four way intersection.
With the Locator, Alkesh was able to extract the information he needed from Quadrant Manager to prove his safe driving habits. Quadrant Manager’s Trip recorder report along with its several other reports can help monitor driving habits such as speeding identify GPS location and to provide performance information from the vehicle’s ECM.
Since the release of last year’s Annual Trucking Industry Survey (in early October 2011) researched by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the average price of a gallon of diesel has climbed 33.7 cents to $4.086. Yet fuel prices rank only fifth on ATRI’s ranking and even the economy lagged behind two critical issues for 2012. The two biggest issues for this past year both revolve around regulatory compliance: CSA and HOS.
Some accounting for the ranking pre-ambled the results. For example, the high elevation of HOS was thought to result from “a final rule on federal Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations…issued at the close of 2011 and the degree to which the changes will impact the industry has yet to be fully understood.” Similarly, CSA’s rise to first place is thought to be the result of “uncertainty and dissatisfaction with the impacts of CSA” throughout the industry.
The ATRI survey is distributed to a large sample of more than 4,000 trucking industry stakeholders from both the U.S. and Canada (including motor carriers, commercial drivers and other industry stakeholders) to measure the importance of each issue. As with previous surveys, respondents are asked to rank a list of ten issues. This year, a record 943 respondents completed the survey.
As with our assessment of the 2011 ATRI survey, many of the issues most concerning to trucking fleets are in the domain of solutions Webtech Wireless provides:
#1 CSA – Two years after first debuting on the top-ten list, CSA has reached the number one position for the first time. Our customers report how their Webtech Wireless solution helps them meet CSA regulatory compliance in three key areas: unsafe driving, fatigued driving, and vehicle maintenance.
#2 HOS – Our Quadrant solution specifically targets both the US Department of Transportation and Transport Canada’s Hours of Service regulations. Quadrant’s Driver Log feature provides instant access to driver information enabling transportation companies to meet regulatory requirements, maximize driver efficiency, and eliminate manual errors.
#5 Fuel Prices – Our customers tell us how their Webtech Wireless solution significantly improved their fuel economy through reduced idling, decreased speeding, and route optimization.
#6 EOBR – By automating log books, telematics and EOBR solutions ensure drivers aren’t out of hours at the wheel. The evidence from our customers is overwhelming: their managers sleep soundly at night. With the increase in no-cell-phone laws, our customers are also happy that their EOBR solution eliminates the need for cell phones. This ensures drivers are neither fatigued nor distracted at the wheel.
#7 Driver Retention - A telematics solution levels the playing field for all drivers. Rather than bad drivers getting away with things they shouldn’t, all drivers are held equally accountable. Good drivers are more likely to stay and an in cab communications and EOBR device attracts young drivers, while reducing the number of times vehicles are stopped for inspections. That makes both drivers and management happy.
The complete results were released at the 2012 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in Las Vegas, NV, the nation’s largest gathering of motor carrier executives, which David Greer attended and shared in last week’s blog post.
“ATRI’s primary mission is to conduct transportation research with an emphasis on the trucking industry’s essential role in a safe, efficient, and viable transportation system.”