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Bakery Fleet Boosts Safety with SmartDrive Video System

May 1, 2015, by David Cullen

Within the first three weeks after it deployed the SmartDrive Systems video-based driver safety program, Mid South Baking Company boosted its internal safety score by 68%, according to the company.

That improvement included an increase in seatbelt use of 94 percent, the reduction of incomplete stops by 67 percent and the reduction of distracted driving and unsafe following practices by a full 100 percent.

Mid South, which operates bakeries in Bryan, Tex. and Pelahatchie, Miss., delivers its products to 3,500 restaurants and institutions across the Southern and Western U.S.

Following extensive evaluation of several providers, the fleet opted to adopt SmartDrives for several reasons, including the advantages offered by “the usability of the coaching application, the configurable coaching and scoring capabilities, its open technology platform, which offers up to four camera views and extended recording capability, and SmartDrive’s dedicated customer success team and partnership approach.”

Mike Little, director of transportation for Mid South, said that after deploying SmartDrive, the fleet “quickly identified the risk areas that we otherwise could not see and were able to immediately and positively impact performance.

"With SmartDrive’s program in place, we are able to identify the risks that lead to collisions, improving overall safety and helping us live up to our brand promise," he added.

SmartDrive said that its video-based safety program identifies unsafe driving with an open platform that integrates video, vehicle, audio and driving data to provide “a unified view of risk.” The system automatically offloads footage for expert review and analysis. In addition, it prioritizes the results for better coaching of drivers.

The result, per the company, is that fleets save time analyzing safety issues and can focus on those risks that may have the most impact on their specific operations.

Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive noted that the firm worked closely with Mid South during the rollout “to effectively communicate the goals of the program to employees, enabling dramatic driver improvement. And, because we are the only program that integrates with the engine and triggers in real-time from a broad range of risk indicators, we capture the risk that other systems simply cannot see.” 

Diagram of feedback loop for video-based safety program. Image: SmartDrive Systems
Diagram of feedback loop for video-based safety program. Image: SmartDrive Systems

SmartDrive also announced that it scored high marks “across the board” from customers in a survey it just conducted of its customer base on how it ranked in a range of categories, including overall value, service, support, timeliness and flexibility.

“Our team—consisting of customer success professionals, safety specialists, video analysis experts and engineers—is keenly focused on innovation and servicing our customers unlike anyone else in the transportation and logistics industry,” said Mitgang. “This report card is a testament to the impact SmartDrive’s video-based safety program continues to have on customers and we plan to use the findings as a benchmark for SmartDrive moving forward.”

 The company said the majority of its customers graded it “top in its class” across a number of key business areas, including the following:

  • Value & Program Support.
  • Customer Service.
  • Video Availability and Decision-Making. Calling this a “a key technology differentiator,” SmartDrive said customers were “very satisfied with the program’s speed to deliver video, enabling timely decision making for exonerating drivers, rewarding good driving performance and evaluating risk.”
  • Delivery of New Capabilities.
  • Flexibility. In this regard, SmartDrive said its offering ranked high for its flexibility, including custom safety scoring and configurable hardware.

 “SmartDrive consistently captures risky driving performance and provides insights that enable fleets to coach drivers on their performance, causing the frequency of collisions to be reduced— it’s what our analytics prove every day,” said Slaven Sljivar, the company’s Vice President of Analytics. “Our customers typically reduce collisions by 8.2 percent for every 10 percent reduction in their SmartDrive safety score and across the fleet, they are achieving a reduction in their collision frequency by up to 70 percent. These are extremely valuable data points that directly correlate with the service and solution rankings we received on the customer scorecard.” 

Not content to rest on the laurels presented by the survey, the company has inaugurated the SmartDrive Brand Promise:

  • We put our customers first.
  • We deliver video in minutes, not days.
  • We safeguard your drivers and business in every collision.
  • We will save you the most money in the shortest time.
  • We protect your investment with a solution you won’t outgrow.

 “We are here to help fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver value that is meaningful and indispensable—it’s in our DNA and our promise further supports what we do and what we’re about,” noted Mitgang.

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