Teniff Transportation Systems is a bulk carrier from the United States which is in the list of top 20 carriers. Located in Chicago, this company has terminals across Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas and Louisiana, handling roughly 30% hazardous and 70% non-hazardous materials.
Teniff was among the first companies to consider technology as a benefit in their operations. They made a leap forward in 2010 and started using an older fixed mounted fleet management system for their computing and mobile communications. However, this system was found to be problematic and filled with complex hardware and software issues which were hard to solve. On top of that, that system was not meeting their company’s business needs – but on the opposite, was causing the units to fail. This led to a lot of customer support issues.
Fortunately, the Director of IT at Teniff, Joe Neal, saw this flaw and knew that it was time for a change. They needed a system that will track their shipments and provide real-time delivery status to its customers. The truck monitoring needed to switch to portable, with a computer for truck inspections, proof of delivery and other mobile applications. Teniff was looking at a system that is reliable, safe and providing 100% uptime – which in other words meant that it had to be rugged.
This was the opportunity Neal and his team saw in PeopleNet, a leading mobile and computing platform for communication solutions along with Bright Alliance, the leading provider of robust tablet PCs for transportation services.
The Challenge: Scaling Teniff Transportation Systems
The IT director at Teniff Transportation was aiming at a system that would enable the company to provide its customers with real-time and accurate data on loads and scheduling as the company’s main processes. Alongside this software, he wanted hardware that is portable and can be used for data collection at customer sites. After all, he knew that this will cut down the administrative process and scale his business operations in the end. Therefore, reliable tablets were Teniff’s focus at that point.
This was a smart move from the company. As Neal states, he saw that the world is shifting to mobile and portable – and the only thing they could have done at this point was to catch the train to that revolution and take part in technology that will let their customers sign in for shipments in real time. The PeopleNet & Bright Alliance combination looked as the most promising solution that includes both hardware and software and makes their operations fully portable. The rugged tablets as devices were perfect, having rubberized corners, being sturdy and fully portable. Easily, the rugged tablets were the best solution that can handle the rough vibrations, shocks and rough terrains their trucks are used to – and never worry about any failures or drivers dropping them.
Knowing that Teniff does business in several locations was the other factor that was important in the story at that point. This meant a huge difference in high and low temperatures – something that the rugged devices can withstand without a problem. Whether it’s the hot summers in Texas or the cold winters in Chicago with temperatures down to zero degrees, the rugged tablets work in every weather condition.
How the Bright Alliance Solution innovated Teniff’s Industry and Ramped Up the Company’s Efficiency
Teniff Transportation entered a new era of productivity once incorporating the Bright Alliance solution. The new tablets offered reliability, productivity, options and accessories but also a Windows operating system which supported the fleet management applications which were key to improving the efficiency, saving money and operating under the safe regulatory requirements. On top of that, the Intel processing chips ensured that other data and applications such as the Navigo mapping software run seamlessly on these tablets.
As soon as they were put to practice, the tablets showed as extremely practical. With accurate pickup and delivery times, it was easier for the company to track the drivers and resulted in literally no hardware issues. Next on the list was the messaging feature – as Neal says, they wondered if this was possible. As soon as it was developed, the messaging showed as a huge benefit for communication purposes. Drivers were able to let the company know of any problems with the trucks and identifying them in real-time was a big benefit.
Technology has moved forward from that point. After the messaging, electronic logs were the feature to be implemented next. The Bright Alliance solutions implemented it and gave Teniff the ability to look at logs in real time, rather than waiting for each driver to submit the paper. Again, the real-time information sharing was accurate and eliminated any human error, not to mention that it scaled the efficiency to a new level.
The real-time communication, data sharing, electronic logs and tracking made the rugged tablets ideal for a large transportation company like Teniff. But most of all, it helped the business in reducing fuel costs, eliminating any double costs, looking at operations and customer service in real time – but also work on more features in the near future including signature capture, bar code scanning and color camera as the next ones in the queue.
Teniff Transportation figured that there will always be some problems worth solving with this new form of technology. For instance, sometimes drivers take the wrong trailers. The rugged solution for this is bar code scanning – where the driver scans the bar code of a trailer before attaching it to the truck. Color cameras, on the other side, work great in case of accidents – taking pictures of damaged shipments or any damage to the truck which may determine the liability for insurance claims.
What the Robust Tablet meant for Teniff Measured in results
Today, Teniff has around 150 units installed and is roughly 60% through deployment, anticipating full deployment this quarter. The benefits of the new technology have spread like wildfire. The Bright Alliance and PeopleNet applications represented by rugged tablets are not anymore a costly investment or an opportunity for the company – but reality which has helped Teniff to save million dollars and more on fuel and possible issues.
The simple math is that if the company saves half-mile per gallon on consumption, it can save million dollars or more in the future. The most important benefits that the rugged tablets introduced as a PC system include:
- Cost savings through fuel performance, where the rugged tablets give Teniff real-time insights on the mile-per-gallon performance and offer tremendous ROI
- Better communication through dispatch planning, introduced by the Bright Alliance communication system in real time and the maximized hours that result in greater productivity
- Reliable navigation, having in mind that a lot of the loads are hazardous and finding the right route can often be challenging
- Innovative eLogs, which dramatically reduce the administrative review process and offer a level of accuracy that was never reached before
- Automated trip sheets, which are one of the productivity boosters and eliminate the administrative nightmare of the reporting miles driven in each state by paper
- Maintenance, where rugged tablets capture key performance data with the xTablet solution
- Customer service with proactive monitoring, which eliminates the need for delays or other customer issues
The bottom line is that this system has not only helped Teniff and their business, but introduced them to technology in the best way possible. Being savvy and ready to change the way they do business was their bravery – and the end results have been rewarding. Rather than reactive, the drivers are now proactive and have yielded long-term cost savings. According to Neal, the IT director at Teniff, the company predicts that it will save $1,150,1000 every year with a full ROI and VOI (value on investment) by using these model.
At last, rugged tablets were the right fit for Teniff, and a solution that the company is planning to use in the future as well. In fact, they announced a lot of new additional features next quarter – which makes the rugged tablets not only devices that can withstand shock and vibration, but fully transparent and real-time data sharing solutions that drastically helped Teniff as a business.
|Client||Teniff Transportation Systems|
|Location||Oregon 97330, USA|
|Projects||Transportation System Management|