How Bob's Heating and Air Conditioning improved technician safety and productivity
Bob’s Heating and Air Conditioning uses Samsara’s Connected Operations Cloud to ensure that fleet administrators and technicians alike have the tools to deliver exceptional service. With Samsara AI Dash Cams, Vehicle Telematics, and the Samsara Fleet mobile app, Bob’s keeps their technicians safe and ensures they remain on the road serving clients. Samsara unlocks massive improvements in safety, efficiency and time savings:
Driver coaching workflows enable Bob’s to coach drivers more effectively—leading to an estimated 60% decrease in incidents per vehicle.
Auto-uploaded incident footage and on-demand video retrieval helps exonerate drivers from not-at-fault incidents and false claims, simplifying the process for insurance claims and reducing costs.
The Samsara Fleet mobile app enables administrators to remotely manage their workforce using real-time data and save hundreds of hours of technicians’ time per year.
Advanced telematics, including real-time GPS and vehicle diagnostics, give complete visibility into the operational health of their vehicles. This helps them extend the life of older vehicles, which is particularly important in light of recent supply chain shortages.
Bob’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned business with more than six decades of industry experience. With a fleet of more than 300 vehicles, they make up the largest heating and air conditioning installation and servicing company in the Pacific Northwest.
To manage such a large fleet, Bob's sought a comprehensive video-based safety solution. “We already had a pretty good history of using telematics and consistently tracking our fleet performance,” said Clark Bussell, Safety Manager. “Using dash cams was a natural next step.“
Connecting their operations with Samsara didn’t stop there—Bob’s is also an early adopter of Samsara Fleet, a mobile app that makes it possible to manage their fleet from anywhere, at any time. “Samsara Fleet is a real game changer,” said Adam Barhan, Business Solutions Manager.
Bob’s has always considered safety their top priority, and it's an important part of their company culture. With a large fleet that services over 7,000 customers a year, Bob’s vehicles are regularly on the road—and with full logo wraps on all 300 of their vehicles, each vehicle acts as an extension of the company’s brand.
“One of the things that I tell our team is, ‘We aren't truckers or delivery drivers, but we still rely heavily on the ability to get to and from jobs,’” said Bussell. “Our vehicles are rolling billboards. We remind our technicians that anything that we might do out on the road—whether it's an incident
or cutting somebody off—will impact the image of the company overall.”
“We aren't truckers or delivery drivers, but we still rely heavily on the ability to get to and from jobs”
Since adopting Samsara’s video-based safety, the frequency of incidents has decreased dramatically, reducing costs and protecting the Bob's brand. “After installing Samsara AI Dash Cams, we went about 270 days without an at-fault incident,“ said Bussell. “Previously, our frequency was about one incident every month. I attribute that to the behavior modification influenced by Samsara.”
When incidents do happen, however, Bob’s is able to use footage captured by Samsara to determine fault and exonerate innocent drivers. “We’ve made employment decisions based on evidence we've seen on the dash cams—good and bad,” said Barhan. “We had a pretty bad incident recently. If we didn’t have the dash cam to refute the incident claim, we would’ve had to just take the incident report and circumstantial evidence at face value. In today's world, we can see the full clip and make more informed decisions.”
Before the pandemic, Bussell used real-life footage captured by Samsara AI Dash Cams to encourage safe driving during weekly meetings with his team. In these training sessions, real footage is taken directly from the Safety Inbox, which lets admins proactively review driver behavior and be notified of safety-related events in real time. Using these videos, Bussell was able to visually demonstrate examples of safe driving, such as a near miss or good defensive driving. “When we look at these videos, we encourage our drivers to think about what they would do in that scenario,” said Bussell.
Fast forward to 2022—the global pandemic and labor challenges have made technician engagement and hiring a challenge. Even so, the team managed to reduce per vehicle incident rates by around 60% compared to before adopting Samsara. “Due to labor fluctuations, we continue to look outside of normal avenues to hire the amazing team that our customer demands,” said Bussell. “The pandemic also took away in-person coaching, and that impacts how we engage with our technicians. Despite the challenges, our incident rates are much lower than what they previously were.”
“Despite the challenges [around labor fluctuations], our incident rates are much lower than what they previously were.”
Samsara’s full suite of advanced telematics features—including real-time GPS, remote vehicle diagnostics, and the Samsara Fleet mobile app—equips fleet managers with the ability to seamlessly manage the safety and reliability of their vehicles right at their fingertips. Using a single, comprehensive telematics solution, Bob’s is able to remotely respond quickly to technicians who need support, and provide actionable feedback in the moment. “Our managers rely on the app heavily. They use GPS and vehicle diagnostics to locate their team,” said Bussell. “Being able to see where somebody is and the condition of their vehicle without having to call them is pretty monumental.”
Samsara's remote vehicle diagnostics enables Bob’s to save anywhere from four hours to several days of their technician's time.
During road emergencies related to service vehicles, Samsara's remote vehicle diagnostics enables Bob’s to save anywhere from four hours to several days of their technician's time—adding up to hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars saved per year. For example, Bob’s recently used Samsara to quickly respond to an emergency situation where a technician was stranded on the side of the road. “I was able to direct the tow truck right to his location. I could see the fuel level, tire pressure, and that his check engine light was on, so I could rule out that he had run out of gas. It was so easy being able to check all of those in real time, even though I couldn't communicate with the driver,” said Barhan.
While a technician’s primary role is to serve clients, they rely on their vehicles to move between job sites and deliver exceptional service. Furthermore, insights from Samsara have helped Bob's get the most out of their vehicles, especially for vehicles that are nearing the end of the line. “We use Samsara’s remote diagnostics everyday for a couple of hours to track mileage and to keep an eye out on the health of older vehicles. Given today’s supply chain shortage, it’s huge to be able to extend the life of older vehicles through maintenance,” said Bussell.
“Given today’s supply chain shortage, it’s huge to be able to extend the life of older vehicles through maintenance.”
Part of empowering your frontline workers means helping them serve clients quickly and efficiently. To ensure technicians can seamlessly respond to a customer call, Bob’s maintains three large warehouses with vehicles that are well-maintained and fully operational.
Before, locating and extracting a vehicle parked deep within a warehouse was a logistical challenge. Now, Bussell has found a creative solution to this problem using Samsara. Prior to a technician arriving at the warehouse to pick up their vehicle, the team determines the vehicle’s location by taking a snapshot with the AI Dash Cam. Then, an admin can see exactly where and how deep the vehicle is parked. If the vehicle is, for example, three cars deep, they can pull the keys for all three cars and move them, all before the technician arrives. That way the technician can simply get in and drive to the job site.
Bob’s care and consideration for their technicians improves morale and employee satisfaction. “We take care of our technicians and support them so their job is as easy as possible.”
Samsara has helped Bob’s build a culture of safety and efficiency. Managers have visibility into their workforce with insights from the Samsara Fleet mobile app, which they can access from anywhere. With Samsara AI Dash Cams and driver coaching workflows, Bob’s is able to improve technician safety and ensure they remain on the road doing what they do best—serving customers.
On top of that, Samsara’s impact is not only felt by technicians in the field, but across the entire Bob’s business. Word of their exceptional service gets around. “We receive a a lot of advertising through word of mouth from our trucks being in local neighborhoods,” said Barhan. “Recently, somebody reached out to our call center to praise one of our drivers, which is fantastic. They aren’t necessarily our customers currently, but they very well could be in the future.”Download ROI infographic
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