Boston Pizza: Keeping track of drivers
Published on May 8, 2015
The challenge: Keeping track of drivers
Being able to track your drivers is a necessity in the world of pizza delivery. Jim Mercier of Boston Pizza Nanaimo has dealt with his fair share of customer calls about cold pizza and was sick of paying out of pocket to make his customers happy.
With 14 drivers and a total of five smart cars, Mercier was looking to gain efficiency with his existing number of vehicles rather than adding to his fleet. “On Saturday nights we are slammed. Occasionally, I would have to reimburse our staff to use their own vehicles so we could still make all our orders on time,” he says. “We didn’t know how long it would take for a driver to return so it was either wait or send another driver.” After looking into five different telematics systems and testing out two, Mercier was underwhelmed with his options. “They all pretty much did the same thing. Either they did way too much for too much money or there was nothing special about them,” he says. “When I found Geotab, they sent me one for a trial run and I immediately ordered three more.”
On busy nights when Boston Pizza Nanaimo is averaging 40-45 deliveries a night, Mercier can check the status of his drivers and prepare the food ahead of time. Once a driver is close enough, he saves even more time by bringing the food directly to the driver. “It was an expense that at first I thought was a luxury, but as I got the system going I grew my business because of it.”
With drivers who have had two or less years of experience on the road, Mercier wanted to check and see if they were being safe in the cars. “Most of our drivers are between the ages of 17 to 20, so I want to make sure the vehicles are being taken care of and that they are doing what they should be doing on the road,” he explains.
Although Mercier was only looking to track his drivers, he ended up discovering that being able to track his drivers had a direct impact on the amount of delivery orders. “After I got my system, my business began to grow,” he says. “The volume of our deliveries has doubled. I know the system is only one of several reasons, but it is a large contributing factor.”
Improving driver behavior
Telematics and GPS reports helped Mercier not only track his drivers and coordinate delivery times, but also improved the driving behavior of his delivery staff. “You can see in the reports if the drivers are turning too fast, braking too hard, or not wearing their seatbelts, so I can just let our drivers know that, which makes them a little more aware of what they are doing.”
Geotab also supported him with the data he needed in confrontational situations. “We had one incidence with a driver who got into an accident, and her mom came in to question the safety of our vehicles,” Mercier says. “She told her mother the brakes did not work which caused the crash. All I had to do was pull up the records and I was able to show the mom statistically what happened on the report. It diffused the situation very quickly.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mercier also used the reports to reward his drivers. “The reports were a good motivator to get my staff driving better. The girls wanted to drive so they could get better tips.”
From the fleet manager
“After I got my system, my business began to grow, the volume of our deliveries has doubled.”
- Jim Mercier, Boston Pizza franchisee
Food and beverage
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