ACRT, Inc., founded in 1985, is an employee-owned, independent and client-focused utility vegetation management (UVM) consulting firm. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, the company has additional offices in Nashville, TN; Arlington, TX and Stockton, CA. They are the largest and only independent UVM consulting company in the nation and first ACRT Urban Forestry Training school accredited by the state of Ohio. ACRT specializes in proactive programs, disaster response and landowner relations. Managing a nearly 1,000-vehicle fleet made up of mostly pickups spread across the United States.
ACRT’s Priorities Were Employee Safety and Vehicle Tracking
ACRT knew they needed an improved GPS fleet tracking solution to meet their unique circumstances. “We work in extremely remote and rural areas, so having a GPS fleet tracking solution on the vehicle really helps ensures the safety of the employees,” comments David Adams, Corporate Fleet Manager. “With 98% of employees taking their vehicles home, the company and our customers needed a way to know where the vehicles were, to ensure proper usage and safety.”
The company previously used another telematics provider whose equipment and data were unreliable--there were lapses in coverage, and the equipment plugged into the dashboard of the vehicle so employees would purposely unplug the device when they didn’t want to be tracked. “We are trying to hold our employees accountable for cost-savings and fuel-savings data, and it just throws the plan out the window when the data is inaccurate. That’s why we were looking for a hardwired system,” says Adams.
The company looked at a variety of providers. “It was probably a 90-to 120-day evaluation process where ACRT put together a detailed checklist to compare vendors. It was a huge investment for our company, and we wanted to make the right recommendation for our present and future needs,” says Sean Maczko, Fleet Coordinator.
The company ultimately selected Verizon Connect based on multiple aspects, including being a hardwired system, having driver-tracking key fobs and one simple out-the-door price. “A lot of providers really nickel and dime you a lot, so when the dust settles it is very pricey,” says Adams.
Verizon Connect Provides Excellent Customer Service
The installation also went very smoothly. “It’s not easy to coordinate 700 installations,” notes Maczko. “This was an enormous initiative, but with the support of Verizon Connect customer care and sales team, it really helped us get our fleet up and running in a very timely fashion. Equally important was that Verizon Connect had installation technicians across the country who could serve ACRT’s fleet, which is spread across the nation.
Verizon Connect customer service has also been a nice change from ACRT’s previous experience. “If you have an issue that isn’t being resolved, you can go a bit higher within the customer service organization. We’ve done that,” comments Adams. “We had a meeting, discussed what was wrong and everything was fixed. We had no more issues.”
“The data we get from the dashboard leads to drivers being aware and safe, and we also experience cost savings from less idling and fuel savings,” notes Adams.
ACRT observed drivers who were getting the most frequent speeding occurrences over 16 miles per hour were also those reporting more accidents. “It enables us to be proactive to try and mitigate an accident before it happens,” says Adams.
Less Unscheduled Breaks
The company has also been able to cut down on unscheduled midday breaks. “Field managers have liked the ability to be able to put geofences around employee’s homes in order to see if employees are stopping at home or restaurants throughout the day,” says Maczko.
Time Sheet Fraud Prevention
“We have utilized the usage report a lot,” comments Maczko. “We have even involved HR because we’ve seen people reporting hours worked when Verizon Connect shows their vehicle sitting at home.”