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PACK RATs Find Their Way With TeleNav Track

By Jessica Binns

Moving and storage company 1-800-PACK-RAT, based in Washington, D.C., has deployed the enterprise resource management service TeleNav Track to improve its routing, dispatch and mobile communications throughout its 48 nationwide locations. Before the deployment, the company gave its drivers routing instructions prior to departure and equipped them with i355 and 7100i Sprint Nextel phones. Now, drivers are able to view appointment changes directly on their phones.

Jason Botts, director of I.T. for 1-800-PACK-RAT, says the service was rolled out over a period of time with support from Sprint Nextel. Employees were fairly receptive to the TeleNav Track service. “The deployment included a new phone,” he says. “That helped remove barriers to adopting the technology.” The service has “mixed-use” for routing, meaning that a wide range of employees can use that feature, but location tracking and alert functions are used solely by management.

There have been minor glitches along the way. In a few instances, the driving directions lagged a bit. “There were some situations where the turn-by-turn [directions] would fall behind slightly, but these issues were quickly addressed,” Botts says. This turned out to be less of a usage issue and more of a communications problem with the satellite receiver, which usually was not in an ideal location within the PACK RAT truck. “We repositioned the units with better line of sight of the satellites and the updates were more accurate.”

The biggest benefits since the TeleNav Track deployment have been with compliance and unit tracking, according to Botts. “We are able to identify deviations from routes and track speed limits,” he says. “Our schedules are highly optimized. We are better able to accommodate last minute changes to routes/schedules since the deployment.”

And best of all, the service has had a minimal impact on the I.T. department. “Management [of the service] is largely in the hands of the staff at each local facility.”