Fleet management case study: Olson Electric

Peter Saunders
April 12, 2019
Fleet management case study: Olson Electric
Photo by Verizon Connect
April 12, 2019 - To help its electricians in work trucks service everything “from plugs in walls to shopping malls” in an efficient and adaptable manner, Olson Electric—a residential, industrial and commercial contractor based in Sechelt, B.C., that has been in business since 1990—relies on fleet management technology and telematics software to save time and fuel.

Electrical Business recently interviewed project manager Tom Lund about the company’s experiences to date.

How did you find out about this technology and what was involved?

We did some research on the Internet about the best fleet technologies on the market, spoke with a few different companies and then ultimately chose Verizon Connect.

When did you begin?

We began using it in May 2017.

Why were you interested in implementing it?

We do residential, industrial and commercial electric projects and we realize there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to ensuring our electricians work to the highest standards at competitive rates. Our number one reason for implementing fleet management technology was so everyone in the company could know where everyone else was, in case help was needed on a job.

For example, if one of our electricians is missing a $5 part, they can now easily look and see if another of our electricians working down the street has it on hand, rather than having to drive all the way back to the distributor to buy it.

Similarly, if someone is doing a job and ends up needing an additional set of hands, they can use Verizon Connect to quickly find who else is nearby and can get them to come over to help.

Were there any challenges in changing the way you managed your fleet?

The biggest challenge was getting our team’s buy-in and reassuring them this would not be about ‘Big Brother’ watching over their shoulders. To get everyone on-board, we had to communicate clearly about why we were doing it and to show them how we would be using the technology and how it would be beneficial to their work.

What were the benefits to your business?

It has made a huge difference when our team members are seeking help or materials. In addition to the previous examples, being able to see if someone is already heading to a distributor and being able to ask them, "Hey, can you get me this item, as well?" saves both time and the extra fuel of going there separately. So, we continue to use it and are happy with it.

What are your future plans with regard to managing your fleet of work trucks?

Our future plans are to add more vehicles to our fleet. One of the reasons we chose Verizon Connect is it was developed with enterprise-grade application programming interfaced (APIs) that allow us to easily scale up our telematics software as we grow our fleet.

With files from Verizon Connect.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Electrical Business magazine.

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