Building tomorrow's transportation company model
Apr 21, 2010 3:40 PM, By Charles E Wilson
Dupré Logistics continued...
“As part of our disaster preparedness plan, we have data backup locally and in Atlanta (Georgia), says Stuart P Suffern, Dupré Logistics director of information systems. “We have clustered, redundant network systems that are designed to ensure business continuity. Located along the Gulf Coast, we learned a long time ago that it was critical to prepare well in advance for emergencies, such as hurricanes and tornados.”
The fleet management software used across the Dupré Logistics operation is built around TMW's TL2000 application. “It has been heavily customized by our own technicians to fit the needs of our various operations,” says Stuart P Suffern, Dupré Logistics director of information systems. “We've written a lot of custom dispatch software to handle the emerging needs of our operations.”
Six developers are on the IT staff to build applications tailored to specific customers. Products include customized web portals that collect and share relevant data about client schedules, assets, tanks, and inventories in real time. Dupré Logistics is able to post delivery verification and provide instant access to load history.
Business-to-business connectivity software allows Dupré Logistics to manage the integration and automation of business processes with key suppliers, partners, and customers via the Internet. While numerous customized applications have been developed in-house, the IT department also manages third-party products, such as the TMT fleet maintenance software.
All Dupré Logistics tractors are outfitted with Qualcomm on-board tracking and communications systems. The equipment enables better driver management and greater operational flexibility. Clients can receive timely updates on shipment status and immediate delivery verification.
Using the Qualcomm system, Dupré Logistics made a full transition to electronic driver logs in 2007. The move was a complete success, and the company gained increased productivity and driver safety. Drivers say electronic logs are easier and more user-friendly.
Electronic driver logs get plenty of attention in the new driver orientation program that is conducted at the Lafayette headquarters. Newly hired drivers find out very quickly that computer technology will play a big role in just about everything they do at Dupré Logistics.
That message is delivered very firmly by Margaret Richard, who directs the orientation program. Even the training program is computer-based. Newly hired drivers spend a week at the orientation program, learning about the Dupré culture and safety expectations.
During the orientation, drivers learn about the company's predictive analytics modeling program that is a key component in the safety program. Developed by Fleet Risk Advisors, the program includes data collection and interpretation tools that enable the safety department to forecast driver behavior, which helps prevent accidents. More than 400 metrics are tracked.
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