Benton Express needed to streamline the routing of its 350 drivers working out of 27 terminals throughout the southeastern United States. The goal for the Atlanta-based less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier was to increase the number of pickups per day, and in the LTL business pickups determine profits.
After extensive evaluation, Benton deployed Cheetah Freight Enterprise, a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution from Cheetah Software Systems. The hosted SaaS model, which entails a "nominal setup fee" plus a monthly per-driver payment, enables Benton to make the switch to an automated solution with a minimal upfront investment and zero additional equipment expenses.
Drivers use the same GPS-enabled Sprint Nextel phones they've been using all along, which helps ease the learning curve.
Deployment involved downloading a software application to each phone, which now automatically presents each driver with his or her list of deliveries each morning. In the afternoons, when pickups are performed, the drivers work more directly with dispatchers, who now have a mobile portal through which they can track driver locations and offer customers more accurate arrival times; customers can also access this information themselves.
Two years into deployment, drivers are transitioning from Sprint Nextel i355 models to the i615; updates are pushed to devices by Cheetah; Benton has increased the number of stops without adding drivers; and Clete Cordero, VP of business improvement at Benton Express, is fully living up to his title.
"Our operational efficiency has greatly improved because of Cheetah Freight," Cordero says in a prepared statement. "Drivers are able to complete their routes quickly and get back earlier [than they used to] due to improved routing. This shows up in payroll savings and happier staff."