HomeResourcesCase studiesFiber Optic Solutions prioritizes safety while changing lives.

Case study

Fiber Optic Solutions prioritizes safety while changing lives.

Their fleet management system has definitely helped us manage our fleet better, manage our assets better, make sure that we’re making wise business decisions out there with our equipment and know where all of our equipment is.
Cliff Churchill

Fiber Optic Solutions does more than just design, maintain and install fiber optic networks throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. CEO Cliff Churchill explained, “We bring broadband to rural communities and connect them to the internet. We change lives every day.”

And safety is at the forefront of their mission. “Our core value system here at our company, we use an acronym, SIT: safety, integrity and transparency,” Churchill said. “We want to be able to be proactive in our safety. We want to be transparent in our safety, and we want to have integrity in our safety.”

Between in-house employees, subcontractors, vehicles and expensive equipment, the business has a lot to protect. Churchill said, “We want to have a safety culture ingrained 
in everybody, and we want everybody to get home safely
every day.”

To support their core values, Fiber Optic Solutions partnered with Verizon Connect to implement the Reveal fleet platform. Churchill described its benefits, “Their fleet management system has definitely helped us manage our fleet better, manage our assets better, make sure that we’re making wise business decisions out there with our equipment and know where all of our equipment is.”

The Verizon Connect software is intuitive, so the company was able to integrate it into their daily operations with ease. “We really didn’t have a fleet management solution before,” said Churchill. “And we investigated, we did our due diligence and we know that we have found the best solution out there, which is Verizon Connect Reveal.”

Finding new ways to mitigate risk and improve fleet visibility

Fiber Optic Solutions, like many growing fleets, saw accidents and unsafe driving rising as they added more vehicles and equipment. Human Resources Manager Mat Lear said, “Safety is on my mind, not only in the field but on the road. Our biggest liability as a company and our biggest threat to our guys’ safety are the vehicles they drive on a daily basis. We have guys commuting up to four hours to get to the job sites and that is a lot of time for something to happen.”

In the past, it was difficult for the company to get the whole story or prove that their drivers were not at fault when accidents did occur. Executive Vice President Taylor Brown knew they needed dashcams. “We’ve had more than a few incidents where one of our vehicles was damaged because of the behavior of another driver, someone external to our organization,” he said.

Locating vehicles and assets, and communicating with employees was becoming a time-consuming issue as well. In the rural Southeast, phone reception can be spotty, so workers often couldn’t provide job status updates back to the office. “Previously, the best way to gain insight into where a piece of equipment was or what it was doing at any given time would be to physically go to that location,” Taylor Brown explained. “But as you scale a business and grow your geographical footprint, that’s not the best use of your time.”

The company also knew that without GPS tracking, they had little chance to combat theft of their assets—some of which cost up to $300,000. Lear said, “We’ve had pieces of equipment and vehicles stolen, and we had no clue where they’re taken to. They’re just gone, out of sight, out of mind.”

Taylor Brown added, “Having a platform like Reveal gives us the insight to be able to track our assets and then make informed decisions about how we can best utilize those assets.”

Fiber Optic Solutions needed reliable technology to help promote safe driving, improve fleet visibility, protect their valuable assets and grow their business. Verizon Connect was ready to help.

A total fleet platform to manage fleet operations

Fiber Optic Solutions was able to quickly integrate the Reveal platform across their organization. Lear said, “We have the fleet department monitoring where the vehicles are. We have operations monitoring if the vehicles are idling or burning fuel. We have the safety department making sure that our guys are in compliance. We have human resources who can assist in coaching employees and allowing them to correct these patterns before they become severe. It even goes all the way up to the top of the company, where the CEO and the president can view vehicles moving around in the middle of the night, because these assets are very expensive.” 

In support of the company’s safety mission, they installed AI-powered dual-facing cameras in addition to GPS tracking devices to help protect their drivers. They knew that dashcams could be an advocate for their drivers and help deflect false accident claims. 

The live map and route replay features in Reveal were also an important factor in choosing to partner with Verizon Connect. Taylor Brown explained “We’re able to view what progress has been made on any given job, because as this equipment moves geographically along any given route, we’re able to check in on where work was performed at any given time.” 

Fleet Manager Ceaira Bullock especially liked how easy it was to install the vehicle and asset trackers. “The tracking hardware is very easy to put in. They’re very self-explanatory,” she said. “You just plug it in and you’re good to go.” 

Fewer accidents and more transparency to help change lives

It wasn’t long before Fiber Optic Solutions began seeing results. Lear said, “Since we’ve implemented Verizon Connect dashcams, accidents and incidents involving vehicles have gone dramatically down. It’s great to have that level of accountability and transparency. 

“Every week, I look through the dashcam footage for major infractions, which can be seatbelts, speeding, hard braking or distracted driving. We review the footage, and we can alert the project managers or even the leadership of this company if we believe there’s a threat to our guys’ health.” 

The dashcams were also well received by the drivers. Churchill said, “Nobody wants to think that Big Brother is watching them, but everybody has bought into the system. They know it is not for someone to spy on them. It is to protect them.” 

AI-powered dashcams are giving the company the technology they need to protect their employees and grow their business. Director of Safety and Quality Skip Brown said, “Having dashcams clears up doubt. When there’s an accident, you can sit around and discuss and speculate what possibly happened. They can measure the skid marks. They can look at where the sun was at that time. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth?” 

Taylor Brown added, “We’re able to review that footage and provide it to law enforcement and insurance companies to help mitigate liability.” 

The Reveal platform has helped increase visibility throughout the fleet as well. They can use a single live map to track all their vehicles and assets. Churchill said, “Before Verizon Connect, a customer would say ‘Your truck is speeding,’ or ‘Your truck is parked in my yard,’ but we didn’t know for sure. We would have to make a phone call to find out from that driver. Not anymore. Anybody on our team can see where that truck is, what’s going on and if the complaint was verifiable. I love that we have that transparency now.” 

The company also has utilized Reveal to help recover stolen equipment. Skip Brown said, “If anything is moving after a certain time, it catches my attention. One day, I got on the phone and asked, ‘Are we supposed to have a mini excavator going down Highway 25 at 12 miles an hour right now?’ Somebody had stolen it. So, we used Reveal to track it and notified the law.” President Russell Brown added, “I can tell you 100% that we could not have found that equipment without the tracking device on it.” 

Fiber Optic Solutions was built on prioritizing safety. With the help of the Reveal fleet management platform and easy-to-use AI-powered dashcams, they are now able to better protect their employees, vehicles and equipment. By partnering with Verizon Connect, Fiber Optic Solutions has the tools they need to strengthen their mission and continue changing lives, one project at a time.

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