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Garage Door Maker’s Semi Drivers Stay Safe, Efficient with Help from Mobile and Cloud-Hosted Application

Wayne-Dalton lowers transportation and delivery costs; improves customer service with Xora.

Vince Pizzoferrato, traffic manager at the garage-door products maker Wayne-Dalton in Mount Hope, Ohio, starts his workday before 6 a.m. by logging into a Google Map from his desktop computer.

But this is not just any Google Map — it’s Pizzoferrato’s command center. The map — part of a business application called Xora — shows the exact location of Wayne-Dalton semi-truck drivers in near real time. The map is populated with location information automatically collected and transmitted by Xora’s mobile business app, which has been downloaded onto drivers’ mobile phones. The Xora management application included in the solution is accessible from any Internet-enabled computer or device.

When asked why he uses Xora rather than some other application to manage Wayne-Dalton’s drivers, Pizzoferrato is blunt: “I need to know where they are and where they’re going – not where they were a few hours ago.”

That’s because the drivers of Wayne-Dalton’s private fleet of 40 leased semi trucks makes approximately 800 pickups and deliveries per month. Their loads consist of raw materials transported to and from the company’s 16 Midwest manufacturing facilities. Once manufactured, Wayne-Dalton doors and automatic Genie openers are delivered to dozens of company stores and distributors east of the Rockies. The volume and complexity of these fleet activities are what demand near real-time visibility.

Before switching to Xora, Wayne-Dalton had used a fleet-tracking system from another vendor that didn’t meet its business needs. When Pizzoferrato first tested Xora a few years ago, he was immediately “impressed with its serviceability and reliability.”

Satisfied that Xora could do the job, Wayne-Dalton gave drivers Samsung handheld feature phones preloaded with the Xora mobile app. Now, when drivers climb into their cabs, they simply turn on their phones. Xora tells Pizzoferrato and his colleagues in the office the location of any Wayne-Dalton driver.

Pizzoferrato notes that the location feature is a huge benefit when he gets phone inquiries of the “when-will-he-be-here?” variety from customers. “I have the information at my fingertips,” he says. “That’s the number-one reason I like this app.”

In addition, Wayne-Dalton’s previous system did not include messaging. So when Pizzoferrato or other company personnel needed to find a driver, they had to use the telephone. Sometimes this resulted in awaking someone who was off duty and asleep. Moreover, Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines require that drivers cannot answer a mobile phone with more than a one-button push, and all communications must be hands free while they’re driving.

So now when Pizzoferrato wants to get in touch with one or more of his drivers, he’ll use the Xora messaging feature to send a text to their mobile phones. Then, during a subsequent stop, a driver can read the text and respond.

Staying on the right side of enforcement is critical to running a large fleet – especially one as visible as Wayne-Dalton’s yellow and black tractor-trailers. The rigs prominently display Wayne-Dalton’s telephone number and invite fellow motorists to call if they observe bad behavior from one of the company’s drivers.

According to Pizzaferrato, even the best fleets generate complaints from time to time. But Xora’s historical reports of near real-time activity have helped Pizzoferrato get to the bottom of alleged bad driving. He tells of one instance in which Xora upheld the account of a Wayne-Dalton driver whom another motorist had accused of leaving the scene of an accident. A Xora report showed that the driver indeed had turned around at the next exit and returned to the scene.

“The highway patrolman told me that without our Xora report, our guy could have been in jail,” Pizzoferrato says.

Xora also has had at least one unexpected benefit in that Pizzoferrrato can assign “third-party” freight loads to drivers who would otherwise have returned to headquarters with empty trailers. Through his Google Map command center, Pizzoferrato can see if there is a Wayne-Dalton driver close to where the truck can pick up an extra load to be dropped at a destination on the way home. Wayne-Dalton uses these third-party loads to defray approximately $1,000 per-load in operating costs.

“We live and die by Xora,” Pizzoferrato. “I absolutely love it.”

“I have the information at my fingertips. That’s the number-one reason I like Xora.”

Vince Pizzoferrato, Traffic Manager, Wayne-Dalton