Headquartered in Union, Missouri, hth companies, inc. provides construction services to commercial and industrial customers throughout the Midwest. hth companies, inc. also offers a wide array of services including mechanical insulation, scaffold erection, industrial cleaning and maintenance, welding, pipefitting and confined space rescue.
We had the opportunity to talk to Charles (Chuck) Lamb, Fleet Supervisor at hth companies, inc.
Chuck, what does hth companies do?
We do several different things in the commercial field including industrial installations and hydro cleaning of large scale equipment. In addition, we work on outages at different plants all over the Midwest including glucose and ethanol plants. We also construct industrial scaffolding and offer services such as confined space rescues.
What does your role as fleet supervisor entail?
I take care of the day-to-day fleet operations of the company and monitor the fleet health. I also deal with the DOT regulations and compliance for our vehicles and drivers within the company.
Speaking of fleet health, how would you define it?
A few things come to mind when it comes to fleet health- how long have you owned the vehicle, how many miles it has run, how much you are spending on the vehicle, and how often are you replacing it.
It is very important for companies to keep an eye on fleet health so they can manage their spend accordingly.
What are some of the biggest challenges with your mobile workforce?
Well, we had no idea where our vehicles were at any given second mainly because most of our fleet operates away from our HQ location. We have smaller company divisions that work out of multiple cities in the Midwest and each division has multiple vehicles. It was hard to keep track of all of them.
We also started noticing a trend in incidents with our business vehicles being used on employees' personal time. This led to an astronomical increase in insurance costs.
What sort of marketing do you use for your company?
Most of our marketing is done through word-of-mouth. We work with big companies that have plants all over the country, so when we start working with one plant, that typically gets us working with their other plants as well. We are also a non-unionized company. For a company to be non-unionized and do what we do is extremely rare, and this has worked in our favor to spread the word about what we do.
How do you stay up-to-date with the happenings in your industry?
I read a lot on topics related to my industry, and attend a lot of webinars. I also attend online classes.
How are you addressing the challenges you mentioned earlier?
I was looking around online and came across Automile. Automile has given us the ability to monitor the whereabouts of our fleet when they are offsite. Based on the live map tracking, we can see which vehicles are on-site, which ones are at the job site, or if any vehicles have deterred from the destination.
What ROI have you seen with Automile?
Since we started using Automile, we are estimating our annual fuel cost savings to be about $7,000- $10,000.
We also get peace of mind from knowing where our vehicles are. Recently we got a notification that the Automile Box had been unplugged from one of our vehicles. When we tracked the vehicle on the Automile app, it showed us exactly where the vehicle had been all day. We got to see when the driver arrived at work, when he left for his assignment, and when he went to a vehicle service shop. So we knew right then that the unplugging of the device was the result of taking the vehicle to a service shop.
In addition, by monitoring the mileage on the vehicles, and with efficient vehicle maintenance through reminders and notifications, we can now predict how many vehicle purchases we have to make annually.
What advice do you have for other companies like yours?
It's not always about making money, it's about saving the money you make. With the kind of laws and regulations that are around for companies today, a lot of companies skip out on hiring a fleet supervisor. There is not much attention paid to monitor the health and operations of the fleet. I believe that with the right operations and the right hire in place to manage the health of your fleet, a vehicle can save you just as much money as you spent buying it.
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