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Customer Service

The Challenge

A national pharmaceutical company operating 1,000 light and medium-duty vehicles for delivery struggled with lowering their fuel consumption, along with managing their idling and driving behavior. As a self-insured company, they also needed to improve their overall fleet safety, and limit financial exposure and liability. 

The Merchants Solution

By tapping into the company’s overall culture that had a strong tendency toward internal sales and service competition, Merchants came up with several strategies to use to the pharmaceutical fleet’s advantage. Starting with just the service vehicles, the fleet started tracking vehicle and driver behavior through telematics and tied that to a driver scorecard and organizational goals. By doing so, drivers could be better incentivized to improve behavior and MPG. This fleet also changed vehicle selectors for improved fuel efficiency and integrated a mobile application so drivers could locate the best fueling locations.

The Results

Using the competitive nature of the company made for drastic results within safety and driver behavior. The fleet saw a significant reduction in speeding incidents: At 570 speeding incidents in just a single month, incidents dropped down to 243 within five months. The company also wanted to know not just how many times someone was
speeding but for how long they drove over the limit. The number of miles in the “speeding zone” started at nearly 2,500 miles per month, but in the same five-month period, the “speeding zone” monthly mileage dropped to just over 500 miles per month. These results continued the dialogue with Merchants and the pharmaceutical company decided to roll this out to its entire sales fleet as well. The second goal in wanting to improve fuel efficiency, the company also saw an increase by using the driver scorecard system. At the start of the program with Merchants, the pharmaceutical fleet had an average of 13.97 mpg, but in five months that increased to 14.85. This resulted in a savings of 6.5% in fuel at about $140,000 in savings. Part of this was due to a reduction of 633 hours per month in idling. In another fuel savings metric, the fleet saw an average savings of $.06 per gallon by optimizing how drivers select fueling stations. These results are just the beginning of all the benefits this fleet will gain by having a strong partnership with Merchants.

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