Martin Preferred Foods Improves Fleet Safety Score by 46% in Six Months

Video-Based Safety Program Helps Texas' Premier Foodservice Distributor Reduce Distracted Driving and Improve Seatbelt Compliance

Aug 07, 2015, 08:00 ET from SmartDrive Systems

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SmartDrive Systems, a leader in driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency, announced today that Houston-based Martin Preferred Foods, a leading provider to Texas' foodservice industry since 1944, has deployed SmartDrive's video-based safety program across its fleet.  With the goal of improving fleet safety and ensuring driver compliance with company safety policies, in the first six months following implementation of the SmartDrive solution, Martin Preferred Foods saw a 46 percent improvement in its fleet safety score, 68 percent reduction in distracted driving instances, and 82 percent drop in drivers failing to fasten their seatbelts. The company aims to achieve a safety score that is consistent with "best in class" carriers within the industry, by the end of 2015. 

Martin Preferred Foods has delivered high-quality proteins and specialty foods to customers in the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas for more than 70 years.  The team is focused on balancing customer service, on-time delivery, and fleet safety.  While operating its fleet safely is a priority for the company, the introduction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program presented an opportunity to refocus on technologies to further improve fleet safety and protect drivers. Martin Preferred Foods' executive and transportation leadership teams sought out a solution to help ensure not only that drivers were adhering to laws and policies on speeding, seat belt usage and distracted driving, but also that could help them proactively assess risk even in the absence of violations in these areas.

"In my experience, there are a number of stories that get told—by the driver, bystanders, and others—when there is a collision, and often these stories can be contradictory," stated Scott Fry, director of transportation at Martin Preferred Foods. "Video is the best witness in any situation and can help determine a single truth."

"I have previously worked with a competitor so I was familiar with their technology and service. The level of customer serviced we received from SmartDrive has been superior," continued Fry. "The SmartDrive team took the time to understand our business and their customer success team was effectively an extension of our own safety team. We have a shared set of objectives and we're all striving for aggressive, measurable results as we look towards achieving a best in class safety score of below 100."

Martin Preferred Foods' leadership recognized a number of benefits associated with SmartDrive's video-based safety program. By capturing footage on a daily basis, they were able to identify poor driving performance that had previously been overlooked simply because a driver had not had an accident. They also realized that video provided a basis for stronger connections between management and drivers: By better understanding what was happening day-to-day in the vehicle cab, fleet managers were better equipped to have fair and consistent conversations about driver performance that may have compromised safety and increased risk of a serious incident.

"Fundamentally, we wanted to invest in resources to make our fleet safer and protect our drivers, and SmartDrive was the best solution available to help us meet this goal," noted Jeffrey Tapick, president and COO of Martin Preferred Foods. "It was also important to us that the improvement process be collaborative and that drivers have not only a vested interest—but a true sense of ownership—in this initiative. Because SmartDrive's solutions are configurable to the specific needs of our business and provide a concise snapshot of both individual and company-wide results, it's now easy for us to determine where additional coaching might be needed."

"We're extremely pleased to be working with Martin Preferred Foods to help them achieve their goal of being a best-in-class safe fleet," said Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. "It's gratifying to know that the Smart Drive solution is helping the company achieve its continuous improvement goals and, ultimately, deliver on its promises of fleet safety, on-time delivery, and great customer service."

SmartDrive's video-based safety program identifies unsafe driving with an extensible platform that captures video, vehicle, audio, and driving data, and automatically offloads footage for expert review and analysis, providing a clear picture of what happened on the road. The platform identifies a fleet's best performing drivers, as well as those who need coaching to improve specific skills. Helping fleets improve driving performance results in fewer incidents, and helps those fleets safeguard its drivers and the communities it serves.

For more information on SmartDrive Systems, please visit www.smartdrive.net.

About SmartDrive Systems

SmartDrive Systems gives fleets and drivers unprecedented driving performance insight and analysis, helping save fuel, expenses and lives. Its video analysis, predictive analytics and personalized performance program help fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver significant ROI. With an easy-to-use managed service, fleets and drivers can access and self-manage driving performance anytime, anywhere. The Company has compiled the world's largest storehouse of more than 100 million analyzed risky-driving events. SmartDrive Systems is based in San Diego, Calif., and employs over 400 people worldwide.

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