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Choosing right technology when sitting idle isn’t an option

When WP Rawl was losing time, money to error-prone manual processes, it acted fast

Image: FreightWaves

From seed to supermarket, Walter P. Rawl and Sons Inc. (WP Rawl) knows a thing or two about produce shipping.

The multigenerational family farm has grown tremendously in 97 years of operation, building out a vertically integrated production and distribution network to ensure the freshness of products throughout.

WP Rawl grows, processes and distributes vegetables from its South Carolina farm to customers across the eastern United States with a dedicated refrigerated fleet of 75 company-owned trucks.

What’s kept WP Rawl at the forefront for so many years has been a commitment to continuous improvement. Though known for “family farm” values, the company also thinks big when it comes to the optimization of its supply chain. 

Promising freshly picked vegetables delivered in hours instead of days, WP Rawl realized the integrity of overnight deliveries would suffer if it sat idle in the face of ever-growing demand. That’s why when the company found itself losing time and money to error-prone manual processes, it acted fast in search of a solution.

WP Rawl began researching technology companies, looking for a provider that could meet its specific needs. For starters, its fleet was losing valuable time and money logging day-to-day routes manually. But management also was looking to move more loads, increase profits and cut down on communication and tracking errors.

Besides maintaining compliance with ELDs and hours-of-service mandates, fleet optimization was another top priority. Management only would consider a solution that provided minute-by-minute visibility to help manage truck and driver performance.

That’s when WP Rawl discovered PowerFleet.

Listening to WP Rawl’s needs, it didn’t take long for PowerFleet to figure out the best course of action. The leading transportation technology provider equipped the company with ELDs, which immediately improved its logistics team’s monitoring capabilities and also improved both office and fleet productivity.

“This solution has more than helped cut costs and increase productivity and safety,” said Tony Hoffman, driver advocate and WP Rawl manager. “The data and reports we receive provide our team with more knowledge than we ever knew possible.”

Reporting has been simplified across the board, according to Hoffman, who noted drivers have been able to communicate more effectively since utilizing PowerFleet’s simplified data-inputting capabilities. As a result, it has greatly reduced drivers’ reliance on cellphones.

“Hours-of-service reporting has given us the ability to strategically assign more loads, increase driving time and receive delivery information in real time,” said Hoffman, adding that these benefits also have made their way to the customer since his team is now able to give minute-by-minute reports on driver location and load status.

As a large-scale grower and shipper of produce, what also impressed WP Rawl was the agricultural exemption features offered. PowerFleet’s ELD Ag Exempt feature provides drivers with improved reporting metrics and status updates as well as the ability to provide management with tracking for all ag-exempt loads under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-required guidelines.

Overall, WP Rawl received valuable benefits when it selected PowerFleet as its technology partner. Not only was the integration effortless, PowerFleet’s impact was immediate, providing improved efficiency, supply chain visibility and communication effectiveness.

From simpler reporting and reduced data input to real-time tracking and increased productivity, the sky’s the limit for WP Rawl — and customers have taken note.

To learn more about how PowerFleet has optimized WP Rawl’s operation, click to read the entire case study.

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Jack Glenn

Jack Glenn is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves and lives in Chattanooga, TN with his golden retriever, Beau. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.