Family Medical Supply Increases Driver Transparency Through Enhanced Communication
Founded in 1990, Family Medical Supply has built a business centered on delivery. The company provides a complete range of home medical equipment and supplies to North Carolina residences via its 18 locations. After spending years dealing with the frustrations of using outdated and unreliable service models and hardware, Family Medical Supply sought a delivery logistics solution that would be easier to use, provide better driver transparency and make it more cost-effective to take care of patients.
The company turned to Apacheta, a mobile business solutions provider, in July 2015 to deploy a more reliable and user-friendly logistics management solution, Transport Manager and Transport ACE, into its daily operations.
“When drivers are relying on printed schedules or technology that does not update in real time, it can lead to companies becoming bombarded with overtime fees and delivery errors,” said Bob Shireman, Vice President of Products and Solutions for Apacheta. “We understand that providing quality patient care can’t happen with unreliable technology that tends to produce outdated feedback and overlooked mistakes. Therefore, we worked with Family Medical Supply to ensure there was complete driver transparency and constant communication between the fleet and schedulers.”
Since rolling out the new software, the company has greater driver visibility with Apacheta’s real-time updates and the improved ability to respond to schedule changes has increased driver productivity by 15 percent. Processing nearly 300 stops per day, a single dispatcher can now accurately assess a driver’s workload and schedule new deliveries on the fly without worrying if the driver received the notice. The ability to oversee and manage technicians’ schedules has also drastically reduced the company’s exposure to overtime hours.
“Every delivery is different,” said Brad Heath, Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Family Medical Supply. “The technician could be delivering oxygen to a patient for the first time, where set up and explaining how to use the equipment to the customer and potential caregivers can take up to an hour at one stop. On the other hand, they could be delivering a wheelchair to someone who knows what they are doing, which takes five minutes. With Apacheta’s software, not only do we always know where our drivers are and approximately how long they will be there, but the technician is also provided a set of checks and balances at each stop to ensure minimal to no mistakes are made. Implementing their software has drastically reduced the error rate in the stack of documentation a technician must obtain in a home, and has virtually cut out revisits due to human error.”
The customer service the company is able to provide has improved as well. The ability to know where a driver is in his route allows customer service representatives to give patients a more accurate estimation of when the technician will arrive. Additionally, the amount of signatures required by each patient is reduced from roughly five to ten, down to just one. The software also enables the driver to automatically send the electronic paperwork to billers, expediting the auditing process and minimizing the potential for human error, saving Family Medical Supply nearly $1,000 per month, per driver.
Heath also observed, “The total transparency Apacheta has given us has made the process easier to manage, created more accurate communication with our referral sources, reduced mental burden on our managers and technicians, and ultimately improved the quality of the transaction for our patients.”
Implementing Apacheta’s technology took nearly no time at all and was incredibly cost effective. Because Apacheta uses existing Android and iOS equipment to employ the solutions, the transition for technicians was uncomplicated. During the initial training stages, Family Medical Supply managers allocated two days per driver to adapt to the new system, but found they only needed half that time.
Lastly, a reliable and ever-growing partnership is important to Family Medical Supply as the company continues to expand its footprint. From the beginning, Apacheta has been available and responsive to the needs of Family Medical Supply and been committed to providing high-quality, low-cost and effective software for their partner through regular updates.