Advantage NationaLease Lititz, PA
Lease/rental fleet Joe Butzer, vice president
Joe Butzer wears two management hats. He is vice president of Advantage NationaLease and COO of Oehme Carriers, a regional truckload/LTL carrier and an Advantage customer. That means when Butzer talks about his customers' needs or the lease fleet's business goals, he talks from first-hand experience in both cases.
“The biggest thing for Advantage NationaLease is finding ways to truly add value,” he explains. “We like to be different, to offer more than just a good lease rate, so we are always looking for ways to help our customers reduce their costs and improve service.
“Until last October, Oehme depended entirely upon cellphones for driver communications. The company needed to be able to capture better and more timely vehicle and driver information if we were going to take productivity to the next level,” Butzer notes. “That's when Advantage began testing various fleet management systems to offer to our customers.”
After trying numerous solutions, Butzer selected XATA's fleet management system, XATANET, for all their trucks. “We tested a few XATANET units last year and really liked the information we were able to get,” he recalls. “For example, in the past we were closely tracking fuel costs, but now the XATANET system tracks fuel economy for us, along with things like a driver's start and stop time, idling time and speed. It also handles fuel tax reporting automatically so the drivers don't have to manually record when they cross state lines.
“XATANET also gives us a way to monitor and document exactly when a driver arrives at a pick-up or drop-off point,” he adds. “Oehme primarily hauls food products, about half refrigerated and half dry freight. It is a very time-sensitive operation, so we charge customers for excessive detention time. XATANET doesn't just report latitude and longitude either. Their reports read ‘left Oehme yard at 6:00 a.m. and arrived at X Customer's dock at 3:00 p.m.’”
“There are other benefits, too,” says Butzer. “The mapping feature lets us see where all the trucks are all the time. We can also use the system to enable customers to track their own trucks, and only their own trucks. Not every system we tried offered this feature, and for Advantage NationaLease, it was a major selling point.
“At Advantage, we can also use XATANET to track each vehicle's mileage for preventive maintenance scheduling purposes,” he notes. “We can actually look at a vehicle's engine fault codes, ABS fault codes or any other system the ECM is tracking, too, right from anywhere with Internet access. It is a wonderful tool.
“The XATANET fleet management system has given us a lot of capabilities we never had before, hands down,” Butzer adds. “And the real beauty of the system is that it is easy to use. It has given us a way to apply technology that is really making a difference.”