GPS tracking, at its core, is a simple affair—a device pings out to the digital network for an app to receive. Despite that singular function, this data can be combined with tracking functionality that allows companies to manage large-scale operations in order to reduce unnecessary costs and boost efficiency.
Jonathon Castillo is the Logistics Supervisor of FlashCo Manufacturing, Inc. FlashCo manufactures prefabricated roof accessories and is a trusted resource for contractors, distributors, and industry-leading roofing material manufacturers. Everything they make has to get somewhere! So Jonathon was in the market for freight tracking options to help improve the company’s shipping logistics. In his interview with us, he shares why he investigated GPS trackers, why he opted to partner with us, and his experience using our products to track FlashCo freight.
Logistimatics: Would you give us a breakdown of what FlashCo is and what it aims to do?
Jonathon: FlashCo Manufacturing’s been around for about 20 years and started up on the West Coast in California. We make roofing accessories like flashing and such for contractors, and we’ve got a strong presence throughout the west.
In the grand scheme of construction companies we’re still a relatively young company. But we’ve already shown steady growth over the years—we’re actually opening a new plant soon in Washington—and that means that my job is to figure out the logistics and delivery systems to accommodate that growth.
Logistimatics: That’s a great jumping-off point—what sort of challenges have you found with tracking your shipments?
Jonathon: We don’t have our own trucking fleet, so we work with different brokers and carriers all the time to ship our freight. But we can still benefit from knowing where our shipments are at any one point.
One big part of our logistics goals is cost avoidance through information. While we always try to work directly with the truck drivers, we’ve found that there’s sometimes a communication barrier. That might be a literal one where English isn’t the driver’s first language or it might just be harder to get the specifics we’re looking for in an efficient window.
I’m trying to get as many breadcrumbs of information as possible for our plant managers. Our plants run very lean and making that more efficient saves us money on the shipping side. I was looking for a product that could help me do that.
Logistimatics: How did you end up finding us?
Jonathon: Good old-fashioned Google search! I looked up “freight trackers” and you guys were one of several we started looking into. One of my biggest concerns, while researching you and other options, was that our truckloads were going to be loaded up into semis or railcars. I wanted GPS tracking capable of pinging the network through that metal when shipping.
I vetted out a couple of competitors along with Logistimatics. The tipping factor for us, when comparing price and hardware and efficiency, was that Logistimatics, your trackers, and the app are simple. Keep it Simple Stupid or KISS is the motto I try to abide by.
The Logistimatics app wasn’t dressed up in fancy fonts or logos—it let me do exactly what I wanted when tracking these shipments.
Logistimatics: What was the process like once you opted to work with us?
Jonathon: I was put in touch with your sales rep, Jason, and he got right to the point. No insane promises of a perfect signal or anything like that. He listened to my situation and told me exactly what I could expect out of your trackers. I try to be transparent, and I appreciate that in a salesman.
He gave us a unit to try, 30 days to try it, he even took the time to train the folks in our distribution center who would be using the GPS trackers. It was easy, he made them feel comfortable, and it only took about an hour and they were good to go.
Once we decided to order through you guys, we got the payment link from Jason, entered the payment info, and it was set it and forget it. Everyone has been super responsive and easy to work with.
Logistimatics: And once you got everything set up, how did the GPS trackers and app perform?
Jonathon: The desktop app is so handy. The pinpoints show where your products are and you can go in and name each tracker. We were even able to add email addresses to each one to update our plant managers on their locations.
The trackers did well. Did they perform flawlessly? No. But they did their best to backtrack if they lost signal in the mountains or something. Sometimes we had a couple of amusing hiccups. At one point one of the trackers was apparently going 1000 mph. But even then, we didn’t notice those—Jason did and pointed it out to us after the issue has been fixed!
Overall, they’re easy to use, easy to program, and they’ll track for days if you make sure they’re fully charged at the top of the trip.
Logistimatics: So would you recommend Logistimatics to others? Why or why not?
Jonathon: For small and medium enterprises? Yes, definitely, whole-heartedly. Maybe large enterprises too, though I’m not sure how capable the trackers would be with regards to dozens of shipments over land and sea. I’m not sure. But for what we need? In a railcar or a road trailer? It’s been doing great.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, Jonathon! We’re always excited to hear how different companies use that sort of tracking data to enhance their businesses.
If you’re interested in looking into your own GPS tracking for your company, feel free to contact the Logistimatics Team to discuss your business needs for GPS trackers today.