Refrigeratedtransporter 4294 Merchants Food Services

Merchants Foodservice selects SmartDrive’s safety program

Aug. 8, 2019
Merchants Foodservice recently deployed the SmartDrive video-based safety program.

Merchants Foodservice, one of the largest foodservice distributors in the United States, recently deployed the SmartDrive video-based safety program across its fleet.

SmartDrive, specializing in video-based safety and transportation intelligence, says Merchants selected its product following a competitive review and head-to-head pilot program.

Merchants, which says it reduced the number of insurance claims by more than a quarter following initial program rollout, cited SmartDrive’s fully managed service, intuitive coaching tools, professionalism of its customer success team, and the flexibility to customize the program to align with the company’s specific needs as key factors influencing the company’s decision to deploy SmartDrive’s system.

“Selecting SmartDrive as our video-based safety partner was an easy decision, once we experienced first-hand the benefits of a managed service approach,” said William Dowden, Merchants’ safety manager. “Only SmartDrive offers the flexibility of an open platform architecture, best-in-class video analysis and actionable insights, giving our supervisors what they need to take a proactive approach to safety.”  

With more than 6,000 customers, Merchants Foodservice must deliver its perishable and non-perishable goods in a timely and safe manner. The company works proactively and aggressively to protect the safety of its products, drivers and the general public. To achieve this goal, Merchants closely monitors every link in the supply chain, from the grower and manufacturer through delivery to its customers, SmartDrive said. 

“With a 25% reduction in claims already, thanks to our drivers being more careful, our insurance company loves that we have SmartDrive,” Dowden said. “In fact, our carrier is so impressed with the results we’ve achieved, they’ve asked me to contact other companies to recommend they install SmartDrive.

“For any claims that do occur, we’re now able to quickly know what happened and speed time to resolution, eliminating time wasted on frivolous claims.”  

Dowden said he was impressed with the SmartDrive program’s ISO-certified review and scoring process, which helps ensure information the fleet receives is actionable, measurable, and delivers the insight and guidance necessary to identify and address risky behavior.  Company leadership also appreciated the ability to customize the program to meet the fleet’s needs, as well as the speed and ease of installation.  

“SmartDrive is not a one-size-fits-all solution,”  Dowden said. “We have unique operational requirements and the SmartDrive system allows us to tailor the program to focus on specific areas of risk, correct them and move on to another area, while monitoring the work we’ve done previously.” 

The fleet opted to install road- and cab-facing video. This two-camera configuration captures risky driving behavior and collisions, as well as great driving habits, ensuring protection for the fleet and enabling driver exoneration when they are not at fault in a collision. 

“Merchants is one of the growing number of fleets that has realized the financial and operational benefits to the bottom-line from the SmartDrive program,” noted Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO. “We applaud the fleet’s commitment to safety and its decision to select a platform that provides proven capabilities today with the ability to deliver future innovations within the same footprint—protecting their investment over the long-term.” 

Read more from SmartDrive customers at

About the Author

Informa Commercial Vehicle Staff

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...