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Northern Mat & BridgeNorthern Mat & Bridge Enhances Rental Service with Geoforce Asset Tracking
With a growing inventory of 350+ temporary-access bridges deployed in remote locations across Canada, Northern Mat & Bridge needed a reliable and effective method to track and locate these costly rental assets to prevent losses and enhance the customer experience.
GEOFORCE ASSET TRACKING HELPS NORTHERN MAT & BRIDGE TO:
cost of assets protected
tracked and managed bridges
Oil & Gas,
Utilities / Renewable Energy,
Equipment Rental Management,
Loss & Theft Prevention,
Preventing equipment loss in remote areas
Energy companies operating in remote locations across Canada often require temporary bridges and mats to navigate through mud, snow, and impassable terrain. Northern Mat & Bridge rents the access solutions they need to maintain operations and access job sites.
In 2013, after rapidly expanding their inventory and client list, Northern Mat & Bridge realized that they were at risk of losing track of bridges in remote locations.
“With so much inventory and so many remote locations across the country, we were struggling to keep track of our assets,” said Justin Nelson, Sales Representative at Northern Mat & Bridge. “A bridge can cost up to $350,000 to replace; we needed a reliable solution for tracking them.”
An inability to track rental assets was impacting the company’s customer relations as well as its bottom line.
“Because our assets are so large, they’re kept in an open yard, and we have no way of confirming when they leave or when they’re returned by customers,” Nelson explained. “As a result, sometimes we would bill them for a bridge they had returned months ago. Other times, we would take the customer’s word that they had returned an asset, only to find that they were still out in the field and should have been billed.”
Tracking assets in remote, difficult terrain
In 2013, Northern Mat & Bridge began installing Geoforce asset trackers on their bridges. Because they needed to track assets across some of the most difficult terrain, they chose ruggedized and satellite-equipped GT0 trackers. GT0 trackers are designed for heavy industry and feature a battery life of over six years to provide reliable data and insights into remote operations. The company set up geofencing so that they know when bridges arrive or leave the yard, along with Geoforce’s Trakopolis software to see the location of every rented bridge across Canada at a glance.
Preventing asset loss and enhancing the customer experience
Not only did asset tracking eliminate the costly risk of asset loss, but it streamlined the company’s rental processes. Nelson no longer needs to send a team member on a long drive to a remote area to confirm the location of an asset: he can simply log on to Trakopolis to check on inventory in real time.
It has also saved countless hours in billing justification: If customers dispute a rental billing, Nelson can easily confirm when and where the asset was returned.
More importantly, it has improved customer service by enabling the company to track a customer’s assets and let them know exactly when they will arrive and where they are at all times.
“If a customer isn’t getting the information from the field that a bridge has arrived or moved locations, they can rely on us to fill them in,” said Nelson. “It takes all guesswork out of renting for our customers, and they appreciate that extra level of service.”
Taking customer service to the next level
As a result of their success with Geoforce, Northern Mat & Bridge is now looking at giving select customers access to Trakopolis so that they can log in to their own portals to track their rental assets.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve customer service,” Nelson said. “We’ve got clients with 100 bridges on rent, and I can definitely see the information being extremely beneficial to them.”