Case Study: J. Polep Distribution

pdf icon Case Study: J. Polep Distribution

“We love Samsara’s simplicity - simple to install, simple to use, simple to manage”

JON LASKO, DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION, J. POLEP DISTRIBUTION

Leading Massachusetts food distributor ensures food safety and quality with Samsara’s temperature monitoring for fleets:

  • Director of Transportation searched for a reliable, easy-to-use temperature monitoring solution to replace manual checks across entire fleet.

  • Installed Samsara AG15 trailer-tracking gateways with EM11 wireless temperature sensors for real-time temperature and location tracking, with automated reporting and alerts

Highlights:

  • Data-logging sensors replace manual temperature checking, saving team hundreds of hours per year
  • Instant alerting pinpoints out-of-spec temps and notified the right team member during the right shift
  • Geofencing notifies the yard staff when a vehicle is approaching so they prepare the loading dock

The Polep family has been in the distribution business for over a century. The business, originally known as Polep Tobacco Company, was founded by Charles Polep in 1898 in Salem, Massachusetts. Through 5 generations in the Polep family, J. Polep has acquired companies, expanded product lines, and added programs to service the convenience store industry. Jeff Polep, President and owner, attributes the success of his company to a dedicated staff, a loyal customer base, and superior customer service.

Jon Lasko, Director of Transportation, identified a big opportunity for improvement when he reviewed J. Polep's cold chain procedures. The loading dock staff was using temperature guns combined with a 2G trailer tracking application to read temperatures of their multi-temp trailers before loading food shipments. Between the inaccuracy of the guns and the trailer tracking solution with long-delayed reporting and off-hours alerts disturbing staff while at home, Lasko knew there had to be a better way.

“We needed reliable, real-time data in an easy-to-use dashboard.”

Lasko, who heard about Samsara through a distributor, decided to try Samsara. His team installed Samsara AG15 Trailer-Tracking Gateways on each reefer trailer, and placed EM11 wireless temperature sensors placed in each compartment- frozen and cooler. Deployment was simple; with no wires to run, each sensor was installed in minutes.

Now instead of using temperature guns, the loading dock staff will check Samsara to ensure that each compartment is at the correct temperature before loading. The temperature readings are continuously recorded and visible in real time, so they no longer have to deal with manual measurements and recordkeeping. Jon and his operations staff have up-to-date reports for each compartment, so they have a full record of temperatures maintained through the cold chain.

If a door is left open for too long and the temp rises, Samsara's alerts instantly notify the J. Polep team via email and SMS. For a company that ships a full line of ice cream, the speed of these alerts are critical. The team can correct the issue, saving potentially thousands of dollars of food from spoiling.

Jon says his team appreciates that the alerts are set up to notify the specific person working that shift. His employees are no longer woken up in the middle of the night with irrelevant, 24/7 alerts.

“My staff is extremely grateful to get alerts only when working.”

The J. Polep team also plans to use Samsara's geofencing for more efficient loading operations. When a truck is arriving, the dock staff will be instantly notified so they can clear, staff, and move the proper shipment to the correct dock. The team can load faster and spend less time waiting.

Lasko, like every J. Polep employee, puts the customer above all else. Their dedication to their customers is how they maintain relationships for decades and continuously grow the business. With the ability to ensure that all their products are distributed at the proper temperatures, on-time, and efficiently, the J. Polep staff is confident they're delivering the very best customer service.

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