Transition to Dedicated Fleet Executed Flawlessly

Background: Focusing on the Core

Viracon, the nation's leading single-source architectural glass fabricator, prides itself on innovative products, reliable service and technical expertise. After using its private fleet to deliver product to customers for many years, the company made a strategic decision to focus on its core competency and get out of the transportation business. With aggressive schedules and high volumes of inventory to be shipped, Viracon needed a large carrier to service the network and satisfy shipping requirements.

Situation: Finding a Solution for a New Business Era

As it turned out, Viracon was facing more than just an aging fleet. The rigorous permitting requirements and strict equipment standards from the U.S. Department of Transportation, coupled with the risk and liability associated with running a private fleet, proved to be the perfect storm of circumstances for Viracon to turn to a dedicated service provider. Viracon chose Schneider based on its clear, straightforward implementation plan. Namely, it keenly addressed all the complexities associated with transitioning to a dedicated fleet. Additionally, Schneider ensured that Viracon's key tenets, desire for transparency and personal customer service were firmly supported.

Schneider's Solution: Clear, Straightforward and Actionable Transition

Schneider took its proven project implementation plan and personalized it for Viracon's 12-week transition. Key components included:

  • Taking ownership of Viracon’s current equipment
  • Qualifying existing drivers and mechanics to meet Viracon's strong business demands
  • Recruiting new drivers and mechanics to replace those who chose not to transition or did not qualify
  • Assuming responsibility for Viracon’s truck maintenance facility

Since Viracon had always maintained its own equipment, the company was committed to the lease on a nearby maintenance facility and had five long-term mechanics employed. In undertaking the facility, Schneider created opportunities for those mechanics to remain employed, accepted the monthly fiscal responsibilities associated with leasing the facility and continued to service the fleet’s equipment at this location.

Consistent communication was critical. Weekly status calls maintained the project’s timeline, action items and details of the transition and implementation. Additionally, Schneider provided a dedicated project manager, on-site resources and support personnel to oversee the process. This combination allowed Schneider to address issues immediately, minimizing project — and product shipping — delays.

As Viracon entered this new phase in its business, it was imperative that the process be completely transparent to existing customers. The company and its private fleet drivers had established a reputation for providing excellent customer service, so it was critical to minimize, if not eliminate, the potential for any service interruptions during the transition. Schneider delivered with flying colors.

Result: Impressing Customers Through Flawless Service

Schneider delivered a seamless solution that transitioned Viracon from its private fleet structure to a dedicated service provider without sacrificing its reputation for safety, outstanding performance and high customer service standards. Results included:

  • Maintained Viracon’s cost per mile (during the transition) before shifting the focus to cost improvement
  • Actively worked to find customers with flatbed freight to maintain the company’s backhaul fill rate and backhaul revenue — a KPI and source of pride for the once-private fleet
  • Sustained high levels of customer service
  • Preserved an on-time delivery performance of 98 percent throughout the transition
  • Efficiently filled 26 open driver spots and five maintenance personnel positions
  • Seamlessly managed the transition of Viracon’s nearby maintenance facility

In only 12 weeks, Viracon transitioned from its own private fleet to a dedicated service provider without incident.

“From the very first day, there was seemingly a small army of people and resources on-site to ensure that the launch would be successful,” said Troy Hansen, Viracon's director of material for Viracon. “The most impressive part of the process was the project implementation. It went flawlessly without any miscues, which still astonishes me to this day. It’s clearly a testament to Schneider’s knowledge and process of how to transition a private fleet to a dedicated service provider.”

Published August 2014

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