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Telematics Case Study: Time-Sensitive Medical Delivery

Triad operates a fleet of 423 delivery vehicles operated by 537 drivers — half of the company's workforce.

June 2013, by Shelley Mika

Photo via StPaulbyBike.
Photo via StPaulbyBike.

Triad Isotopes Inc. is the second largest nuclear pharmacy chain in the nation. The company formulates and delivers radiopharmaceuticals from its national network of 62 pharmacies that serve 4 million patients each year. The company's products are used primarily for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions and cancer.

The Fleet: Triad operates a fleet of 423 delivery vehicles operated by 537 drivers — half of the company's workforce.

The Challenge: Once prepared, the radioactive products Triad delivers start deteriorating by the minute. "We literally have less than six hours between the time the product is formulated to the time it's injected into a patient's arm," explained Triad's Director of Fleet and Pharmacy Logistics, Kris Peterinelli. "That's a very small window of delivery."

Because of the time-sensitive nature of the product, drivers are limited in the amount of pharmaceuticals and number of deliveries they can make with each trip. These limitations left Peterinelli wondering whether there was a way the company could improve the productivity and efficiency of its fleet to drive the bottom-line costs down.

Up to this point, Triad had been tracking its fleet manually. "The system we were using to track vehicles was decentralized, with each pharmacy responsible for keeping tabs on their own vehicles, drivers and deliveries," Peterinelli said. "We realized we needed a more comprehensive fleet management solution."

Peterinelli also knew that as margins continued to get tighter, the company needed to expose and eliminate any waste and lost productivity. "We could no longer afford to have one vehicle against the fence at all times," he explained. "This was the kind of added cost we had to trim to become more competitive and profitable."

The Solution: Triad chose a telematics solution with an easy-to-use interface to track its vehicles. With daily utilization and detailed stop graphs, Triad was able to see the number of vehicles on the road in real-time. "Instantly, this let us see that we had more cars than we really needed," Peterinelli said.

With a telematics solution in place, Triad also has the ability to connect a specific driver to a specific vehicle. "That was something we weren't able to do before," Peterinelli said.

He added, "We didn't assign drivers to certain vehicles, which means our drivers were jumping between cars, making it difficult to see who was doing the driving for a specific delivery. Now we have this visibility as well."

With a report that gives Triad increased visibility into delivery routes, the company can also identify more efficient routes for drivers.

The Results: Since implementation of a telematics solution, Triad has been able to:

  • Increase productivity, efficiency and on-time deliveries and save $1 million in fleet-related costs.
  • Decrease wasted driver time.
  • Increase utilization while reducing its fleet size by 17 vehicles almost immediately, with an expected 25 additional vehicle reductions by the end of the year — saving the company approximately $8,500 per vehicle.
  • Save approximately $357,000 in additional capital.
  • Reduce fuel expenses by approximately $1,275 per vehicle, per month.
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