6 Fleet Management Software Solutions for Dealers and Distributors

Fleet maintenance software from Fleetio

In an economy where every dollar counts, business efficiency is everything. Fleet management software can help dealers do just that by plotting delivery routes, tracking maintenance, monitoring safety, and more. And thanks to the power of artificial intelligence (AI), offerings are getting more intelligent than ever, helping LBM business owners save time and money.

Here’s a look at some of the options to consider for managing your trucks.

Fleet Management With Route, Load, and Fuel Optimization

Using GPS, traffic data, and other tools, software programs can help dealers plan delivery routes for efficiency while automatically keeping track of hours and other factors. Many offerings are highly automated, taking the guesswork out of planning and helping you stay on top of delivery deadlines.

Trimble Route Management Suite

Trimble Transportation offers a host of fleet management solutions, including a routing and optimization suite: Trimble Dispatch Advisor, Trimble Trip Alert, and Trimble Expert Fuel. Dispatch Advisor automatically matches drivers to loads based on driver location, delivery windows, hours of service, and more. With Trip Alert, you can monitor hours of service, location, arrival time, and driver appointments to optimize routes as well as understand load balance for planning. Expert Fuel uses real-time data to suggest optimal fuel purchase options for drivers, helping to reduce costs.

Verizon Connect Fleet Management

Fleet tracking solutions from Verizon Connect can help distributors improve efficiency by mapping drivers in near-real time, allowing you to keep customers apprised of delivery times, sending alerts upon arriving to or departing delivery locations, and providing turn-by-turn navigation. The software also can monitor driver behaviors and other factors to help improve fuel efficiency as well as track and schedule maintenance.

Verizon Connect
Photo courtesy Verizon Connect

Fleet Management With Safety Devices

Safety monitoring is both proactive (encouraging better behavior and alerting drivers to unsafe habits) and reactive (such as providing evidence in the event of an incident), and telematics and AI tools can help. “A telematics tool like a dash camera can detect a number of things, including hard acceleration, driver drowsiness, speed limit violations, following distance, seatbelt compliance, and traffic light and stop sign violations, to name a few,” GPS Insight told Insurance Thought Leadership. “Each second is analyzed for safety via artificial intelligence to recognize risky driving behaviors—and without any human intervention needed.”

Safety AI Dash Cam from Tenna

TennaCAM 2.0 dash cam from Tenna features dual-facing HD cameras—driver-facing and road-facing—with AI functionality on the interior-facing camera. The camera monitoring and analysis provides managers with data to optimize safety, address risky driving habits, analyze near-misses, and reward better-performing drivers. The cameras pair with the company’s TennaFLEET tracker to provide GPS alerts for hard braking, rapid acceleration, speeding, and other factors as evidence after accidents or other events. The AI technology also can detect risk indicators such as distracted driving, drowsiness, or phone use.

AI Desh Cam by Tenna
Photo courtesy Tenna

360-Degree AI Camera from Motive

Motive says its new AI Omnicam is the first AI-enabled camera to provide side, rear, passenger, and cargo monitoring; it pairs with the company’s AI Dashcam for 360-degree views of the vehicle, its interior, and its surroundings. Together, the cameras provide insights to help companies resolve issues and streamline operations, including real-time visibility into unsafe or problematic conditions, in-cab coaching and other information to alert and educate drivers, and evidence to exonerate drivers. In the event of an accident, footage uploads in seconds and managers are provided with video and telematics data.

AI truck camera by Motive
Photo courtesy Motive

Fleet Maintenance Management

Poorly maintained vehicles can lead to waste—from unexpected downtimes to breakdowns that delay deliveries. Fleet maintenance technology can help track the endless paperwork and schedules while providing automatic alerts for required maintenance so nothing is missed. Some programs also monitor data to help improve fuel efficiency or determine when vehicle replacement is a more economical option.

Fleet Maintenance Software from Fleetio

Fleetio fleet maintenance management software keeps all data about your delivery vehicles—from registration renewal reminders to warranty info to telematics—in one place. It keeps a record of every activity related to each vehicle, including maintenance activities and fuel transactions, while tracking fleet costs and performance. Managers also can manage driver schedules, including assigning trucks and understanding which trucks are being underutilized. An online app allows drivers to view assignments and find vehicle documentation from anywhere.

Fleet maintenance software from Fleetio
Photo courtesy Fleetio

Digital Maintenance Planning Software From Teletrac Navman

As part of Teletrac Navman’s TN360 fleet management software, the computerized maintenance management system digitizes vehicle and equipment maintenance schedules, including connecting to each vehicle’s telematics data to track the odometer and engine hours. Managers can build schedules, view a maintenance dashboard across the entire fleet, keep record of all maintenance events, and save important documents, from invoices to certifications. The same platform also can be used to manage vehicle inspections.

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Tips to Optimize Your Marketing Mix

Marketing mix in construction

Marketing technology is constantly evolving, and with so many channels to work with, it can be hard to know where to start. Adopting a unique marketing mix can help your home services business get more quality leads. Below, our friends at EverCommerce explore strategies to help you get started.

Make Your Marketing Mix Work for You

Your company’s marketing mix is the combination of different marketing technologies that can be used to help your business meet customers wherever they shop for home improvement services.

It’s important to think about how you can use marketing systems together rather than individually. Using complementary marketing tools or platforms allows you to leverage the strengths of different technologies to enhance your overall marketing efforts, ultimately driving better results.

Some channels to incorporate are:

  • Social Media
  • Content Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Email & SMS Marketing
  • Referral Marketing
  • Offline Advertising
  • Customer Reviews & Testimonials
  • Direct Mail

Where to Invest Your Marketing Dollars

Different marketing channels can provide you with unique leads. Investing in a combination of marketing channels helps ensure that you are covering all the bases. There are three main lead categories:

  1. Branded Leads: Branded leads are associated with your brand name, meaning that the potential customer contacted your business directly. These leads can come via a form on your website, directory listings, social media, pay-per-click (PPC), neighborhood marketing, direct mail, or email.
  2. Unbranded Leads: Unbranded leads are usually collected through web forms or calls that are not associated with a specific brand. These are typically available for purchase from lead aggregators or generators.
  3. Active Leads: Active leads often come in the form of referrals, home shows, canvasing, or repeat business. These leads typically have the highest conversion rate.
Mobile Marketing Mix illustration
Image: AdobeStock/bloomicon

Tips to Define Your Marketing Strategy

So what are the best ways to blend marketing channels to target various types of leads? Consider these best practices:

  1. Diversify your marketing mix. Harness different marketing channels, such as social media, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and more, to tap into a broader audience and reach more qualified prospects. When you embrace multiple touchpoints and various channels in your marketing strategy, you’re more likely to meet your potential customers where they are in their buying journey, leading to better engagement and conversion rates.
  2. Monitor and adjust your metrics. Measure the performance of your marketing efforts so you can make informed decisions. Understanding key metrics like the cost of marketing, lead conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI) allows you to optimize your budget allocation and strategies in the future by deciding what works (and is worth investing future dollars in) and what doesn’t, in turn, leading to better outcomes.  
  3. Choose complementary marketing technologies. Stay up to date with marketing technologies to give your business an edge. There are many complementary marketing technologies, like text-based communication, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, social media automation tools, content management systems (CMS), and lead aggregation software, that you should integrate into your stack. While the term “marketing technologies” might sound daunting (and expensive), plenty of affordable options that can help you achieve your business goals.
  4. Build relationships with your service providers. Collaborate with your marketing and lead service providers. Build transparent and communicative relationships so your partners understand your business goals and objectives. Minimizing the number of partners while maximizing the value they bring can lead to more effective campaigns and streamlined interactions, ultimately benefiting your business’s bottom line.

EverConnect offers a portfolio of performance marketing solutions to help you get qualified leads and meet your growth targets. Our sister company, Socius Marketing, specializes in creating customized digital plans and innovative marketing strategies to connect you with more customers and make you the #1 choice in areas where you serve. As strategic partners of Westlake, EverConnect and Socius are proud to offer members special discounts on our services.

Westlake Royal Pros are eligible for an exclusive discount—receive 50% off your first month’s spend back in your account as credit for future lead purchases, up to a maximum of $1,500.

EverConnect has partnered with Socius to offer Westlake Royal Pros up to $2,500 in credit toward qualified new leads for your home services business when you sign up for Socius Marketing through our Fast Start Program.

Schedule a demo today to take advantage of these exclusive offers!

8 Hot-Weather Work Gear Options

Hot-weather work gear: Hydration backpacks from Ergodyne

Most jobsites don’t come to a halt in the summer heat, which can be uncomfortable—and even dangerous—for workers. Gearing up to keep cool is crucial. From sweat-wicking clothes to jobsite-rugged fans, here are a few hot-weather work gear items to help beat the heat.

Cooling PVA Towel

Milwaukee Tool’s Cooling PVA Towel activates with water—soak for 30 seconds and wring out—then will wick away moisture and heat for up to four hours. The towel has a UPF 50+ rating to block UV rays. The company also offers similar technology in a safety helmet cooling liner, safety helmet cooling sweat band, hard hat cooling sweat band, and cooling skull cap.

Hot-weather work gear: cooling towel
Photo courtesy: Milwaukee Tool

Summer Work Pants

The T1 Werkpant from Truewerk is made with a lightweight softshell fabric for maximum airflow and float yarns for comfort against the skin; a wicking finish on the inside wicks sweat away four times faster than untreated fabric, the company says. The quick-drying pants include eight pockets, a two-button front closure, articulated knees, and double-stitched seams. Six colors are available.

Photo courtesy: TrueWerk

Jobsite Fan

This jobsite fan operates via a plug or on DeWalt’s 20V MAX battery platform to circulate air and cool the area. The fan has variable-speed control, and it can be used freestanding, on hang hooks, wall-mounted, or tripod-mounted.

Hot-weather work gear: Jobsite fan
Photo courtesy: DeWalt

Hydration Pack

The Chill-Its hydration pack from Ergodyne holds 2 liters of water while offering a low profile that’s comfortable for all-day wear. The durable pack is made with rugged 600D ripstop polyester and features an antimicrobial bite valve with cover, wide opening for easy filling, insulation to keep the water cool, and a breakaway design for safe detachment. Three color options include high-vis orange and high-vis lime as well as black.

Hot-weather work gear: Hydration backpack
Photo courtesy: Ergodyne

UV-Protecting Work Shirt

Carhartt’s Force Sun Defender relaxed fit, lightweight short-sleeve button-down shirt features UPF 50+ UV protection along with Fast Dry technology that wicks away sweat and dries fast. Other features include Rugged Flex stretch technology, Carhartt Force odor-fighting technology, back vent and underarm eyelets, a spread collar, and button-closure front pocket. It comes in Steel and Dew Drop colors.

Photo courtesy: Carhartt

Cooling T-Shirt

The Armachillo Relaxed Fit Pocket Crew T-Shirt from Duluth Trading Company features microscopic jade in the fabric, which produces a cooling sensation that the company says lowers skin temperature, and its polyester/nylon knit wicks moisture and dries quickly. It also has an odor-fighting finish. The shirt has a longer length, and it comes in five colors.

Photo courtesy: Duluth Trading Company

Evaporative Cooling Vest

The PIP EZ-Cool vest from PK Safety is made with HyperKewl, an evaporative material that absorbs and slowly releases water to create a cooling effect for five to 10 hours, cooling the body by 15 to 20 degrees, the company says. The hot-weather work gear vest has a V-neck design and zipper closure. Six sizes are available.

Photo courtesy: PK Safety

Cooling Helmet Liner

When activated, the Cooling Helmet Liner from Klein Tools cools up to 30 degrees below body temperature while wicking sweat away from the head. It has mesh fabric at the crown for breathability and airflow. The liner is machine washable.

Photo courtesy: Klein Tools

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Three New Colors Available for Celect Cellular Composite Siding

Westlake Royal Building Products has added three new colors to the Celect Cellular Composite Siding line: Imperial Red, a robust shade of red; Deep Pewter, a compellingly modern forest green; and Timberland, a rich, natural brown.

Celect Cellular Composite Siding new colors

Celect Siding mimics the natural beauty of wood while offering unparalleled durability, withstanding even the harshest weather conditions. With its patented interlocking system, Celect ensures easy installation while resisting moisture and eliminating seams. Celect Siding also offers design versatility, complementing a variety of home styles with its selection of four profiles, including 7” Clapboard, 7” Shake, Board & Batten, and 11” Board & Batten.

Along with the three new hues, Celect comes in 12 additional contemporary colors, including Oceana, Latte, Wrought Iron, and Castle Stone. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty and 25-year color-protection warranty, all Celect products ensure long-lasting aesthetics, further reinforced by a fade-resistant Kynar Aquatec® coating that eliminates the need for repainting.

Celect has wind resistance of over 210 mph, and there are no worries about delamination, gaps, warping, or buckling. The cellular PVC material resists dirt, seasonal staining, and insects.

Learn more about Celect Cellular Composite Siding here.