Real-Time Fleet Data Integration Helps Cox Enterprises Improve Operational Control
When you are a massive blue-chip operation comprising numerous different businesses, it can be very hard to draw all of your fleet information into one place so you can truly understand what is going on. But Cox Enterprises has managed to achieve it, and has gained more operational and cost control as a result.
Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company and operates a fleet of more than 13,000 assets maintained at 34 service centers across the country.
It’s a big, diverse operation: with revenues exceeding $20 billion and approximately 60,000 employees, the company’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms).
Previously managing a myriad of fleet business functions through multiple channels, Cox Fleet integrated and automated its data into a central management information system that enhanced visibility of its fleet and enabled cost-efficiency improvements, with the introduction of FleetWave. Among the key requirements of the system was that it should be capable of consolidating and standardizing information in a uniform format and make it available in a single web-based location.
Our group is a true integrated shared service operation responsible for delivering effective management, control, and protection of our diverse fleet throughout the lifecycle of an asset. We required a system that could complement our dynamic remote team and evolving business model by providing a shared command center for process and data aggregation. It was also paramount the solution be adept in integrating with a variety of our vendor partners, established technologies, and data sources to improve our operational workflows.
A secure, web-based data management system
Cox Fleet simplified and standardized its information technology infrastructure, while still drawing immense amounts of disparate fleet and asset-related data into a single, secure web-based location with multi-user access, using FleetWave. It also helped the operation achieve:
- Increased fleet asset and utilization visibility
- Improved cost visibility (facilitated by capturing and measuring items such as fleet running costs, employee productivity, accident, warranty and campaign management)
- Improved compliance and reduced administrative burden (achieved by automating manual processes, reducing errors, improving efficiency of transactions, and reducing dependency on paper forms)
- Real-time access to enterprise-wide fleet related data and support, and query and scheduled statutory reporting to meet evolving client requirements
Cox Fleet was also able to seamlessly migrate existing operational data as well as integrate data from almost any third-party application. For example, FleetWave integrated directly with an external point of sale system to help Cox manage fleet parts.
Kyle Birkenfeld, Senior Manager – Area Fleet, is responsible for five Cox maintenance facilities in the North Eastern U.S. He explained how the integrated solutions benefit the operation:
“Our previous commercial fleet management software only enabled a one-way integration. In other words, we had to pick up the phone to order parts, wait to find out if they were available locally, and then the one-way integration would put the parts on the work order once the point of sale took place. There was no way to receive stock orders through the one-way integration, which left us with an error-prone manual data entry process.”
One of the reasons we switched to FleetWave was that it had a two-way integration in place with our parts supplier. Now, our technicians can use the integrated ‘punch out’ solution to request parts directly from a work order by accessing the part supplier’s full catalog of parts. The request initiates a check of local stores and nearby distribution centers electronically.
With this instant information about availability, a decision can be made whether to continue working on the vehicle.
“The integration enabled helps immensely from a shop productivity standpoint, and it’s a much more efficient way to manage parts data.”
Overall, the Chevin team was able to draw on many years’ experience working with similar organizations in order to provide Cox with the highest levels of fleet and project management accountability.
FleetWave quickly delivered tremendous efficiencies and benefits while maximizing Cox’s return on its software investment. The software has helped Cox improve its operational efficiency, reduce costs, increase compliance, and make better business decisions for the benefit of its stakeholders.