Foundation Building Materials truck making a delivery.

How Foundation Building Materials Improved Driver Safety

With Samsara technology, FBM is using real-time safety data to coach drivers more effectively and help build a culture of safety. 

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Meet Foundation Building Materials

Legacy technology could not scale and provided limited insights into driver safety

Foundation Building Materials (FBM) is one of North America's leading distributors of building materials. Safety is FBM's number one core value, which means driver safety and training are top priorities for the company. "We know many customers choose us for our safety reputation," says Ted Gill, Vice President of Fleet & Safety at FBM. "At the end of the day, we want everybody to safely return home to their families, so we make safety part of everything we do."

As FBM has grown, Gill and his team have focused on scaling safety programs along with their operations. "We had legacy telematics and scheduling systems in place that were very limited," said Gill. FBM's old systems were not connected to their driver safety program, and it was difficult to get visibility into driver performance. "As we've grown we've needed to expand, and needed better technology," said Gill.

Vehicle Gateways and AI Dash Cams create driver buy-in for coaching and safety programs

Initially, the FBM team turned to Samsara for telematics data with Vehicle Gateways and a scheduling solution via an integration with Trimble Innovation. Then, they also quickly realized that Samsara AI Dash Cams and Driver Safety Scores could help them create a data-driven driver safety program. "We were pleasantly surprised with how many benefits we got with Samsara that we didn't even anticipate getting," said Gill.

Getting driver buy-in was a critical part of the deployment process. To build trust with drivers, FBM showed them how video-based safety could lead to exonerations. "Driver buy-in came when they could see that cameras would be good for them," said Tom Fischbeck, ​​Regional VP, Pacific South Region, at FBM. "Dash cam footage and location data gave us concrete proof that they weren't at fault or even in the same area where an incident was reported."

Greater visibility leads to fewer injuries and better driver recognition

With Samsara, FBM has realized a range of benefits, including more than $100,000 in estimated savings from driver exonerations. "We've seen injury incidents go down because we have fewer traffic accidents, and we've had fewer DOT violations for speeding and other moving violations," said Gill.

FBM also uses Samsara to manage driver performance more effectively with data-driven coaching. They've been able to configure Driver Safety Scores to track the metrics that matter most to them—harsh incidents and speeding—and see real-time data. "Now, dispatchers and managers can see events and they're much more likely to go to a driver and coach them through an incident," said Fischbeck. “Nobody in today's environment can afford to lose drivers, so the ability to coach them and help them get better at what they do is really valuable," said Jeff Mendenhall, System Administrator at FBM.

Moreover, Samsara Driver Safety Scores provide insights that FBM can use to recognize drivers, boosting the company's efforts to create a culture of safety. "In one region, there's a Top Dog competition where any driver with a Safety Score over 98 for the month gets a really nice YETI cooler," said Fischbeck. "There's also a super-sized, heavy chain necklace with a medallion on it that they award to the winner, like the Stanley Cup. It's become part of their branch culture," said Mendenhall. "With Safety Scores, drivers can see their numbers update in real time. They even show their score to other drivers in the break room. There's peer-to-peer visibility, which is a great thing."

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