National HME, founded in 2006, started as a local medical equipment company serving the Dallas and Fort Worth area in Texas. Since then, the company has evolved into the nation’s largest and most comprehensive durable medical equipment (DME) solution with 60 locations across the country. They operate a fleet of approximately 450 vehicles made up mostly of box trucks.
A horrible experience with a previous provider
Joe Blanks, Fleet Manager at National HME, knew he needed some type of maintenance tracking program for his 450-vehicle fleet. But when he asked his previous GPS vehicle tracking provider for assistance, they weren’t able to help. “There was no structured maintenance program. When I talk them into sorting out some type of maintenance program, they pretty much said ‘no, it’s all on you’. They didn’t provide any type of templates, the program was just horrible,” says Blanks.
National HME was also having other problems with their previous provider. “There were system lags, vehicles would disappear for hours at a time, bad customer service, sloppy installations, rude customer service, I could keep going,” comments Blanks.
In addition, they experienced constant hardware upgrades from their previous provider. “They told us we needed to upgrade to a new system and pay more money. We just said no,” says Blanks.
After experiencing so many problems with their previous provider, National HME put in their due diligence into finding the right provider for them. After visiting with several different vendors, National HME decided to go with Verizon Connect. “Verizon Connect was just the best all around fit,” says Blanks.
The switch to superior maintenance tracking
One of the main draws for Blanks was Verizon Connect’s maintenance tracking program. For years, he was personally responsible for tracking all the vehicles himself. “It was extremely hard to keep track of all of our vehicles with only a spreadsheet. What Verizon Connect offered was spectacular.”
With Verizon Connect, Blanks has seen a decrease in their maintenance costs and an increase in the lifespan of their vehicles. “Everything is being serviced when it should be. I’m not having near as many problems down the road.” Although the company hasn’t been able to put an exact number to it, they say they have seen a significant decrease in service calls.
In addition, Blanks has only had positive experiences with Verizon Connect’s customer service. They are always there when he needs them. “They are extremely kind people from the minute they answer the phone. They are prompt and every single one of them knows what they are talking about. I don’t get the ‘let me get you to this person who will get you to another person’ reply. Each person can get you fixed right away.”
Addressing driver safety
National HME has already seen less accidents since using Verizon Connect. “Being able to go down to ground level and see what is trending on the dashboard has been really amazing. We’ve been able to give each driver a safety score and that has been wonderful. We are building incentive programs around that.” On the flip side, how each driver is assessed could also lead to online classes for offenders in the future.
Improved ease of use
“Verizon Connect's software is much easier to use. From setting up geofences to fuel tracking, you guys are far superior on features like that.” Blanks has also been impressed by the appearance of the system. Their old provider was very plain and Blanks found Verizon Connect’ software to be much more appealing on the eyes. “It’s vivid, bright, everything is there. The dashboard is extremely helpful. You guys hit it on all points.”
And yet, more cost savings
National HME gets more benefits from Verizon Connect at a lower cost. “What I get from Verizon Connect, I get for a fraction of the price I was paying the last provider,” comments Blanks.
Faster response time
Blanks has also found it easier to serve his customers quicker. “My trucks aren’t down nearly as often as they used to be and that helps the whole process. Time is everything in our business.”