“Nobody comes close to what Samsara offers."
JASON BOLDT, TRANSPORTATION MANAGER, JAKE'S FINER FOODS
Food service distributor improves visibility of their fleet and refrigerated trailers with Samsara’s fleet management platform:
- Fifty-seven drivers distribute twenty thousand SKUs daily throughout Texas and Louisiana
- Deployed Samsara VG-series gateways and EM-series environmental monitors to continuously monitor fleet location and temperature of reefers
- Samsara real-time location data provides precise visibility of vehicle progress along delivery routes and improves customer service
- Temperature and humidity data enables greater control of refrigeration, ensuring product quality and preventing spoilage
Family-owned and operated since 1946, Jake’s Finer Foods distributes fine foods throughout Texas and Louisiana. From humble beginnings selling eggs door-to-door, founder Kervin “Jake” Jacob quickly built a reputation for superior customer service. As he added customers and product lines and acquired companies, Jake’s Finer Foods grew into a popular full-service distributor.
Jason Boldt, Jake’s Transportation Manager, manages the distribution of 20,000 food products from the company’s 180,000 square foot warehouse. From their Houston hub, Boldt coordinates 57 drivers to ensure prompt delivery to hundreds of customers.
Jake’s Finer Foods was using a GPS solution to track the location of their trucks, but the system used driver cell phones to transmit location data. Drivers had to turn on their Bluetooth, log into an app, and their phones needed reliable reception for the system to work properly. Often the fleet was “flying blind” since the solution was not showing truck locations. “We simply couldn’t tell where our fleet was if the drivers didn’t log in properly.”
Boldt needed real-time visibility of his trucks to ensure they were following routes and completing deliveries on time. Additionally, he wanted the ability to track the temperature and humidity of each reefer to avoid accidental spoilage and ensure compliance with upcoming Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules. To avoid unnecessary cost and complexity, he needed an all-in-one package.
“We didn’t want separate components, separate vendors, separate cell phone plans.”
When Boldt tried Samsara, he saw his trucks along their distribution routes in real-time. “It was a big difference — with Samsara I can now see the location of each driver.” Boldt installed Samsara VG-series gateways in 41 tractors and EM-series environmental sensors in 85 reefer compartments. The team was impressed how easy it was to install the hardware. “Install was very simple - there was nothing to it.”
“Samsara has a lot of user-friendly options we never had.”
Now Boldt arrives in the morning and opens the Samsara Dashboard to see that the trucks got out on time and are on their way to their first deliveries. He clicks on individual trucks, checking that they are all following their assigned routes. Using Helicopter View, Boldt can view trucks as they move down specific streets.
When a customer calls asking when their delivery will arrive it’s easy for Boldt to give them an estimate. Samsara maps all of Jake’s Finer Foods customer locations on the same map showing real-time truck locations. If Boldt wants exact timings, he can type the customer’s name in Samsara’s Dispatch tool and pick the truck. Samsara will provide the exact distance and time, even considering current traffic.
At the end of the day, Boldt needs to send Accounting a summary of hours and miles driven by each driver. In the HOS Audit report, Boldt has an easy-to-read summary of hours worked for each driver which he sends to Accounting. His drivers use the Samsara Driver App to log their hours so they’re always up-to-date in the Samsara Dashboard. “We don’t need to call drivers anymore.”
In the Samsara Driver App, drivers only need to set their status to “On Duty” when they begin their shift and “Off Duty” when they end their shift. Samsara takes care of the rest by combining inputs from the Driver App with data from the vehicle. When the truck starts moving the driver’s status changes automatically.
All driver hours and miles are found in Samsara reports. In the Driver Hours of Service (HOS) Summary, Boldt finds the current status of each driver, plus time remaining until their next break, the end of their shift, and the end of their cycle.
If there are unassigned hours, Samsara notes the hours along with the correlated trip and vehicle information, making it easy for Boldt to determine which driver they belong to. Before Samsara, the team didn’t know how to attribute unassigned miles if the drivers didn’t log in. “We would need someone there all day figuring out who gets what miles.”
“If there’s any question, we can pull the records in seconds.”
In addition to ensuring deliveries run on-time, Boldt must guarantee the food is safe for consumption. Before Samsara, Jake’s Finer Foods relied on the temperature readout from the reefers, which are historically inaccurate due to their positioning in the reefer. Instead of calling drivers to ask, Boldt wanted to ensure the correct temperature of every reefer from his office in Houston.
With Samsara’s EM-series environmental sensors in the cooler and freezer compartments of every reefer, Boldt has visibility of temperature and humidity across the fleet. It takes just one click to see the live and historical data and ensure all the food is safe.
Boldt can still ensure food safety when he’s out of the office. He has configured Samsara Alerts to notify him via text message if a reefer’s temperature goes out of spec. He can quickly drill down, find the vehicle, and notify the driver.
“This makes our jobs easier. We now have reliable data and don’t waste time questioning it.”
Since they process USDA-grade meat and poultry, Jake’s Finer Foods frequently self-audit their food-handling procedures. Boldt uses the Environmental Report to download all historical temperature and humidity data in a clear, shareable spreadsheet. Additionally, with the approaching FSMA deadlines, he’s sure they’re already compliant. “We are confident that we’re ready for FSMA.”
Boldt is looking forward to using Samsara to make the organization even more efficient and profitable. Between route analytics, fuel usage, and safety reporting, he anticipates using Samsara’s data to make long-term strategic decisions that grow the business. He’s confident Samsara will continue to make his team’s jobs easier and “build simple solutions that just work.”
“If you need fleet tracking, full-fledged hours of service, or FSMA temperature tracking, Samsara’s got it.”