During IntelliShift’s inaugural ConnectedOps virtual event, CTO Ryan Wilkinson, gives attendees a sneak peek into IntelliShift’s strategic roadmap, and then sits down for a fireside chat with Eric McCann, field service manager for Bimbo Bakeries – one of IntelliShift’s largest customers.
Below is the transcript of this session. You can also watch the session and view all sessions from ConnectedOps 2020.
Ryan Wilkinson: Hey everyone, I’m Ryan Wilkinson, and this session will be covering the strategic roadmap for IntelliShift and our technology and product vision.
As I stated, I’m Ryan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer for IntelliShift. First off, I want to thank you all for joining our first ever ConnectedOps event. This event has been awesome so far, and I’m excited to give you a deeper look at what we have planned for the IntelliShift solution in the future, as well as some exciting product updates. For the next 30 minutes, I’m going to walk you through the IntelliShift vision and strategic roadmap for the next few years. Our hope is that by the end of this, you are as excited as we are about where we’re taking IntelliShift and you will consider new ways of working with us as customers, and ultimately, business partners.
The agenda for my session today will start with our unique perspective around our industry, your business, and connected operations and how IntelliShift was born; the evolution of our organization and how we got to where we are today; the future; sharing some higher-level vision; the IntelliShift roadmap; and some new product releases coming to the IntelliShift platform. Lastly will be a fireside chat with one of our customers, Eric McCann from Bimbo Bakeries.
IntelliShift was a vision that our leadership team created out of a necessity to help our customers take their operations to the next level of using data. IntelliShift is built for businesses that want to evolve and make smarter business decisions using data. In 2020, the world is transforming before our eyes. The digital world is growing faster than ever before, which results in the abundance of data being created every second. How can businesses harness the power of that data to be more successful? Enter IntelliShift, a product that was designed to enhance the customer experience for our users and customers to help drive smart, data-driven business decisions to help drive optimized business outcomes.
Continuous evolution is in the DNA of our organization, as you heard from John Cunningham, our founder, earlier today. I know we have some customers that have been with us for over 15 years, and this is the first time you are seeing a virtual event like this from us. The IntelliShift platform is the culmination of 18+ years of obsessing about our customers and how we can empower them to take their businesses to the next level. So, from the first product, Fleet Minder, that was a Windows application that you installed on your PC via a CD with a server running at your office, to our data-driven platform in IntelliShift today, we are obsessing about evolving with our customers’ business requirements fueling that evolution.
As the technology has evolved, your operations have been forced to evolve as well. The traditional paper-based operations manager has become a digital operations manager with more tools available than ever before. With more tools at your disposal, the selection of those tools and ensuring alignment with your business has become an increasingly difficult task, so from what our customer success, marketing, and product teams have seen, this results in siloed solutions and disparate data within your organization. Data is the new digital currency and holds the keys to the difficult business decisions that you are making day in and day out.
The IntelliShift platform was built to contain the core components for an operation to remove those silos with a flexible architecture, allowing the data augmentation, augmenting the core IntelliShift data sets with other data will truly unlock the power of the data captured for an operation. Harnessing information about your operations and all of your assets to lower risk and drive efficiencies, we want to break down the silos that exist across teams and departments, and leverage the data across processes and ensure integrity of all of your connected systems, and then align the systems with your business goals and initiatives.
The core components of the IntelliShift platform capture immense amounts of data about your operations, from safety data sets that can help improve operators’ behavior to help you strive for continuous process improvements to ultimately reduce risk. Efficiency-driven solutions to drive operational excellence in reducing mileage, hours used, and fuel consumption. Technology and innovation solutions like our API and our Operations IQ solutions to help you unify your solutions and your data sets, and then apply machine learning and artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to that data.
The IntelliShift product is an agile platform that delivers enterprise-grade business intelligence solutions to your users to empower them with business-tailored products to drive your team towards your business goals. The IntelliShift platform is built in a modular approach using micro-services that help our teams maintain a nimble development process to expedite product releases, and we’re excited to increase our release velocity in 2021, delivering angular-based web applications and both Android and IOS-based mobile applications, to make sure our users have their data at their fingertips at all times. The IntelliShift Connect API ensures that the data is not siloed and can be accessible or augmented by any third party solutions. Using enterprise-grade caching database and data warehouse solutions, we have built a solid foundation to power our machine learning, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics products. As you heard from our latest business partners earlier today in Snowflake. We’re excited to be collaborating with them on how we can help our customers better use that data.
Ensuring that all of the technology that we are building is being aligned with your business has been a major focus for us. The data and technology needs’ alignment with your business goals is paramount. Obsessing about how we can help our customers with our technology and product is what keeps us up at night, and as our products and our offerings continue to evolve, we saw a tremendous opportunity to reinforce the alignment of our company and products to our customers. We could have the best product and technology, but we want to empower our customers and drive positive business outcomes for them with that technology.
And, that’s where we really wanted to align our success with your success. So, aside from adding some of the best customer success talent in the industry, we have also put a technology emphasis on our customer success, ensuring IntelliShift users and customers are getting the best experience relies on more than just the product and the people. As Kristi Faltorusso discussed this morning, our customers are the lifeblood of IntelliShift. These are some of the technology tools that the IntelliShift team has invested in that we use to ensure that you are getting constant communication on product updates, in-app surveys, interactive user guides, knowledge-based forms, and automated support ticketing systems.
Now, we’ll take a look at our product roadmap that we’ve been focusing on three major areas: digitization and how we can get more digital data into the IntelliShift platform to bring more value to our users and their operations; connecting that data and how we can align digital data with your business goals and connect other systems, departments, or even just individuals within your organization; and then predict how we can help you be more proactive and less reactive to give you insights into potential bottlenecks, issues, or areas for improvement for you and your operations.
Using digitized, connect, and predict as the pillars of our product, here is a look at our 2021 roadmap, and the categories that we are focusing on in R&D, product and application development, from enabling more digitization of data using additional mobile solutions within our in-the-field mobile app, to our enhanced maintenance product that includes an in-the-shop mobile application decided for your maintenance resources and mechanics from in-house to third parties. Building out our strategic partnerships to build our marketplace to connect to more solutions than ever before, with easier to use and deploy APIs, to integrate existing toolkits as well as new toolkits we’re developing will remain a focus in 2021. And then, predicting data is by far the hottest category for us right now as we are investing heavily into machine learning and artificial intelligence with our partners like Snowflake, as well as strategic hardware partnerships that will deliver real-time suggestive and predictive analytics across product and business-specific platforms. Getting more useful operational data into the IntelliShift platform is a core focus of our digitize initiatives, as well as empowering users to share that digital data within their organization, removing those barriers or traditional data silos.
Our new IntelliShift in-the-field mobile application which includes our Inspect solution that empowers users to build out easy-to-use mobile forms within IntelliShift, and then choose from our forms library to allow you to go to another channel of data for your mobile applications, including smart forms, photo capturing, and signature capturing. While this can certainly help with vehicle and asset applications, we’ve built it to align with your overall business initiatives, from job site inspections or even field inspections, employee health checks, or sanitation inspections to combat the spread of COVID-19. The possible use cases are endless. The IntelliShift in-the-field mobile application will also be getting a module called Locate to digitize more information from your mobile devices in the field, providing real-time location information on the whereabouts of those mobile devices side-by-side with your mobile vehicles and assets around the clock. This is another data set to augment the asset location information we’re already capturing today to provide another level of insight into your operations. Connecting data to your mobile workforce is another area our product team has been focusing on.
Delivering more data to your mobile workforce helps drive awareness, which helps increase safety and efficiency. The operator feedback module within the IntelliShift in-the-field mobile operation delivers operator safety scores in a gamification-type experience to deliver safety and efficiency throughout your workforce. Along the same lines as our operator feedback module, connecting data and sharing that is fundamentally a focus on how we can connect data sets to help your business, whether that is connecting your asset data with your end users through our quick view module, delivering an Uber-like experience to your end-user, or using our robust and flexible API, which gives you access to push data into IntelliShift for augmenting existing IntelliShift data set with other operational data, or ingesting IntelliShift data into your existing business platforms and software.
With our vast customer base and strong history, we have a marketplace of integrated solutions and partners to help you align your IntelliShift instance to optimize business outcomes. With our modular API comes an easy to use integration guide and best practice document to ensure velocity in removing siloed data sets in your organization.
Using proprietary statistical data techniques, our R&D and product teams are building out the future of our IntelliShift platforms. From predictive data modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, the IntelliShift platform is getting smarter every second. Our operations IQ product is a modular data and business intelligence tool that enables you to visualize years’ worth of operational data in seconds. Using a real-time ETL process that populates the IntelliShift Snowflake instance, you can now get insights across your operational silos like never before, looking at how operator behavior impacts the frequency of accidents, fuel costs, maintenance repair and cost, or any other metrics that are captured by the IntelliShift platform today.
Operations IQ was built with an open architecture to enable ingesting other data sets to correlate them within the IntelliShift operation data platform, for example how a company’s payroll or revenue is impacted by hours of use or miles driven. Our AI video solution is using machine learning and artificial intelligence at the edge in our proprietary hardware to eliminate manual video watching and also capture more data-driven video events than our previous video telematics solution. IntelliShift AI video is the most intelligent video solution available today, including distracted driver detection, lane departure warning, tailgating detection, and even in-cab smoking detection. Our Fleet IQ solution is a modular dashboard product that enables you to create your own dashboards, business metrics, KPIs, to ensure that you have the visibility into your vital operations at all times. Forward looking, we are working on doing more at the edge with machine learning and AI using hardware that will make the IntelliShift solution even more data rich.
And now, I’m going to jump into a product demo to show you some of the new features we have coming to the IntelliShift platform.
So, as I jump into the IntelliShift product demo today, I wanted to show you the IntelliShift product wheel to show you all the different applications that are available within the IntelliShift platform today, from the core Silent Passenger telematics, to those other application icons, I’ll be covering a couple of different parts of the IntelliShift product right now.
I’m going to start out with our new IntelliShift in-the-field application, focusing on the Inspect application, which is the mobile form application that you can actually utilize to do in-the-field mobile inspections. So, here, I’m showing you how you can look at your digital form library within the IntelliShift platform. You can click on one of these existing forms to customize or configure your own inspection form. You can configure each card within that form so you have complete control over the configurability of the inspection that the operator is going to be doing in the field. Once you set up that inspection form template, in real-time, users can access that form tablet right from the Android or IOS IntelliShift application, and as they’re interacting with that form, that data is coming in real-time to the IntelliShift cloud, and here we’re actually looking at a completed inspection where an operator actually took a picture of their cracked windshield out in the field. There are also signature captures, and we’re doing a lot with machine learning and AI to deliver some confidence scores on these in-the-field mobile applications.
Speaking of IntelliShift and AI and machine learning, this is our AI video hardware. This is actually using machine learning and AI at the edge, so in the hardware in the cab of your vehicle is machine learning and AI algorithms running on the video hardware that you see here, provided by IntelliShift, that’s capturing all of that information and streaming those automated detected events like distracted driver, hard braking, rapid acceleration, lane departure warning, forward collision alerts, using ADAS, or advanced driver assistance systems, within the hardware, we’re automatically detecting that, providing in-cab audible and visual feedback to your operator in real-time, and then sending video clips to the IntelliShift cloud in real-time using an LTE secure connection to the IntelliShift platform.
So, here I’m looking at the AI video product within the IntelliShift platform, and now we’re looking at a 20-second clip of video that was automatically detected by our AI video hardware as the operator’s eyes are no longer looking at the road, they are distracted while operating the vehicle, so that 20-second clip of video was sent to our cloud, and now you can do further analysis and review of that video, as well as change the status of the video to coach your actual operators. So, you’ll see here, I can quickly change the status of the video from new to coached, or provide additional comments or feedback which will actually be stored in the activity timeline on the right side of the screen there. You can see as I entered those notes, those populated on the right side of the screen. So, we’re really excited about the additional data that this platform will be able to give us in the IntelliShift platform.
Speaking of data, here’s a look at our new Fleet IQ solution, which is a modular dashboard platform within the IntelliShift solution where you can drag and drop different data metrics or dashboard visual tools right in the platform, and it will automatically populate that information, and now you can share out these dashboards with other users of your IntelliShift instance. So, this is all powered by that Snowflake platform that we talked about earlier, our new data warehouse partner that we’ve integrated the IntelliShift cloud with, so really, this is completely modular, where I can look at month-over-month trending analytics side by side with different business scenarios at your fingertips at all times.
Taking this to the next level for customers that are using more than just our fleet-focused products is our Operations IQ. This is the future for us, and it’s focusing on positive business operations outcomes. So, on the left there, I’m scrolling through a list of all of the data metrics that we’re capturing today in IntelliShift, and with Operations IQ, I can correlate those to one another and look at that on the right side there. So, I’m actually looking at quarter-over-quarter for 24 months of my operation, how the miles driven is impacting how many accidents we’re actually having out on the roadway. So, I can drag and drop any of those metrics onto the screen at any time and correlate them to one another. This is giving a visual tool that otherwise you would never have access to, or it would be extremely cumbersome to try to build. So, here, we’re actually looking at some other data metrics, like driver behavior and how that impacts the diagnostic trouble codes that are captured by the engine’s ECM, as well as how much fuel is being used at the vehicle level as well.
So, it’s really endless, what you can do with a tool like this Operations IQ, and that’s where the architecture that we built out with this with our Snowflake platform enables you to actually ingest other business data metrics within to this platform as well, so there’s a lot more to come on the Operations IQ solution, as well as ingesting more and more data within the platform. As you can see, I’m actually toggling through different colors of data, so I have complete control over the look and the feel of the data, and I can drag and drop any metric that I want onto this tool, and it will actually visualize that in real-time within seconds. So, as data is more abundant than ever before within the IntelliShift platform, our focus is all around visualizing that and giving you a flexible platform to ingest that data.
So, here’s a look at our new IntelliShift Connect API. So, this is a Swagger, or a webpage that you have access to that gives you an easy-to-use integration guide for developers and integrators to ingest that data, once again focusing on the holistic view of the IntelliShift platform and how we plan to go deeper and deeper within each one of these disciplines that we’ve touched on today.
Fireside Chat with Eric McCann of Bimbo Bakeries:
Ryan Wilkinson: Thanks so much for joining us, Eric, for our first ConnectedOps 2020 virtual conference. We love partnering with you folks, and I was so excited when I found out you were able to join us today. Can you start by giving us a little bit of background on Bimbo Bakeries, the company, and a little bit about your role?
Eric McCann: Yeah, so I’m the Technical Fleet Manager for Bimbo Bakeries. We’re the largest baking company currently in the world. I oversee the technical aspect for the fleet operations in the United States, so currently we are running about 5,688 pieces of powered equipment, and that covers the entire U.S., and we have about just over 5,000 trailers.
Ryan Wilkinson: Very cool. So, a fleet of that size, I’m sure you had a myriad of different challenges, but what were some of the initial challenges that got you beginning to research that you needed more of a platform to give you a holistic solution, and what kind of solutions did you evaluate when you were looking for that?
Eric McCann: So, one of the biggest things that I noticed when I came into this role was we had a great maintenance system, but it was fed through a couple different platforms. So, what I had to do was I wanted to try to figure out how to get a single platform to feed into our maintenance system, or more or less, we grew into have the trucks talk to our maintenance systems. So, with that, we had to look through several different companies, of course, and we are a very agile company; we like to move quick, we have to move very fast being that we’re in the food industry, so we had to look into a company that could be just as nimble or agile as we are, that would understand our needs, that would give us a quick response, and also had the openness to work with our other vendors through APIs and such.
Ryan Wilkinson: Awesome, yeah, that is obviously one of the things that we definitely focus on, is sharing that data across platforms, trying to remove those silos. So, I guess at the core right now, how are you using IntelliShift to drive kind of operational excellence and better data visibility across your teams and business units at Bimbo?
Eric McCann: Well, really, I think it’s grown with IntelliShift since its first started, right, its inception. So, when it first started out, it was a diagnostic-based maintenance feed system, so we were looking to IntelliShift to feed into our maintenance system the mileages and just basic diagnostic trouble codes. We wanted to make sure that our drivers, when they weren’t reporting on check engine lights, the trucks would tell us.
If the truck is acting right, sometimes the drivers just like to drive them with those pretty check engine lights, right? So, that is where we first started, and that’s where the relationship started with IntelliShift, but it’s grown tremendously in terms of, let’s call it our roadmap. We are now looking to them to start feeding our maintenance documents, we’re looking to them for our DVIRs and how we can work with our sales systems in order to incorporate E-DVIR systems. We’re looking at them for fuel reporting and making sure that the right cards are being used at the right stations for the right trucks. So, really, the biggest word that I can think of is that we went into this just tip of the iceberg, and now that we’ve seen what visual data we can get with the ease of using APIs and their team and our team, that it’s grown quite a bit.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, I know our customer success team has been collaborating with you and your teams on kind of that project plans and initiatives, that phased roll-out into other modules within the IntelliShift platform. So, obviously with over 6,000 powered trucks in your fleet, I’m sure you’ve had experience with other telematics solutions or maybe other siloed solutions. So, I guess maybe tell me the difference that you’re seeing with IntelliShift as opposed to some of the other solutions that Bimbo has used in the past.
Eric McCann: IntelliShift is unique in one main aspect. There’s a bunch of telematics providers out there, we all know that, if you’re on this chat, you know it already, but right now, telematics is me – I’m one person, I’m trying to digest the data. So, the most critical thing for me was being able to work with a group that would understand that I needed to use the technology in order to be able to filter through the data and I wasn’t drinking water out of a five-gallon bucket. We’ve got to be quick to react. So, with IntelliShift, it was quick, it was able to do it, I’ve been able to work with the team in order to kind of be able to digest that stuff down at a higher level. We’re only seeing small portions of the major events, it’s like the 80/20 roll. So, I think that that was one of the big hindrances to the other companies I looked at, was they kind of had a set platform as to this is kind of what you get, work with it as you can, and your IT team can digest it, and you guys figure it out kind of thing, whereas from IntelliShift, I got more of a kind of, “You tell us what you need, and let us see where we can help you digest the data.”
Ryan Wilkinson: No, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s kind of in-line with our customer success, and our kind of onboarding, that phased roll-out, understanding your business initiatives and how we can apply our technology and products to that. So, I guess, what other products are you using other than IntelliShift today. I know we have kind of a roadmap of other initiatives, like the in-house maintenance solution and things like that. I guess walk me through some of the other products that you are using today that we may be growing into in the future; walk me through some of that.
Eric McCann: When you say other products, are you talking about other kinds of technologies that we are using from other vendors just real quick?
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, or even just the in-house, right, you guys have that in-house maintenance solution, or even if it’s the handheld solution that you guys have on the roadmap that we’re going to be integrating with.
Eric McCann: Yeah, so, we are currently on a Windows-based sales system. We’re looking to progress into a newer platform that as soon as I find out about it, you know of course, I had given you guys a call, and you guys were quickly able to perform an app, get involved with us, you got involved with our sales and IT team to figure out how we could integrate those two. So, that’s going to be along the DVIR platform. It’s going to work with our sales representatives that drive the trucks to ensure that they do a proper pre- and post-trip inspection.
Some of the cool stuff that we really fell in the love with is the picture taking, random pictures, possibly being able to make sure that the guy walks around the truck. It’s using the AI and the abilities of the tablets to really ensure that we’re getting this done, and with a pre- and post-trip, you know it’s safer, right? If somebody is pencil-whipping something, it’s not safe, so it takes us to a whole new safety level. As far as our fuel provider, we have currently switched off receiving data from our fuel provider, we’re feeding you guys now, and we’re looking at that – in order to audit and maintain 5,700 vehicles, it’s difficult to make sure that everyone is using the right fuel cards, the right miles are being entered, so with your guys’ system, we’re developing it into more of a push-button solution, let’s call it, where again, it’s like drinking water out of a five-gallon bucket. We’re only going to see the errors, and we’re going to know what we need to address. We’re not going to have to shift through 5,700 lines of data to find the ones that are the problems. So, that’s along those lines.
As far as our maintenance system, so we’re currently with Wheeler Brothers maintenance software. So, we’re going to be looking at feeding the mileage from the ECU into our maintenance system, so we can get rid of – currently, our maintenance system is fed by our fuel cards, the guys punch in the wrong mileage, then of course our maintenance system gets messed up. So, again, we’re just taking it out of our drivers’ hands, and we’re trying to use the trucks to tell us what we need to do, I guess. So, that’s our maintenance system. I think the biggest thing that I’m excited about is our ELD platform that we’re looking at. It’s very interesting, we’ll see where the company goes with it, but I really like the technology and what it has to offer.
Ryan Wilkinson: What you just said is kind of our dream customer that has all of those different siloed data elements that you have, right, the separate fuel management platform, or fuel purchase solution, and then you have maintenance, and really, that’s where we bring the most value, is not just an out-of-the-box solution like you mentioned of saying, “Hey, here it is, go use it,” it’s understanding the different siloed data products or platforms that you’re using today, whether that’s fuel, maintenance, or even ELD, and where we can bring the most value is obviously, as you’re seeing, the more products within the IntelliShift platform that you’re using, the more valuable data insights and business intelligence insights that we can deliver.
So, I’m excited for kind of what we’re doing on that front, and on some of the other KPIs or metrics that you’re looking at on the fleet side, what were some of those other KPIs? Obviously understanding all of those different data sets and bringing that in, but using idle time and things like that to try to deliver a pretty significant ROI in short order, I know that was part of your evaluation, was ensuring that there was kind of an ROI justification on the product.
Eric McCann: Yeah, and I’m glad you bring it up, because I forgot about it, but yeah, that was actually our biggest, was the visibility into our trucks idling, and the amount of money that’s being spent on fuel. But, let’s take a step back for a minute. We’re heading towards a sustainable company, so those gallons burned are carbon emissions put into the air that are unwanted. So, by us giving visibility to our local sales centers on the drivers that are idling too much and things like that, not only are we saving money, but it’s going to help us meet our sustainability initiative. Good call out.
Ryan Wilkinson: Awesome. I’m excited about the future, and I guess what gets you most excited about kind of working with us and our product roadmap and some of the things we’re doing with the data and AI on kind of the partnership that we’re growing into?
Eric McCann: The thing that I enjoy the most is what we’ve done with our other solutions, our trailer tracking technology. I bring it up, and the first thing I get from you guys is more along the lines of, “How can we integrate it into Fleet IQ? How can we make a single platform?” Our senior leadership, they don’t have time to bounce between two, three, four, and five different panels, and every time it seems like I bring up something – you’re using the word silo, so let’s say I bring up another silo, you guys are already trying to figure out how you can integrate it in one fashion or another into a single platform that our team can open up, look at, and they can get all the data right in front of them. So, I guess I’m most excited because I think we’re going to be able to get a platform put together that from a senior level down, we’re going to be able to make a huge impact on the way we deliver our product, how we drive our trucks, all the way down to the sustainability portion, so it’s good that I don’t have to come up with every idea as a customer, you guys are throwing things at me, just as much as I am you.
Ryan Wilkinson: Yeah, awesome, I appreciate that. That’s what we see the most value in the partnership, is the kind of business roadmap alignment, so your business initiatives are very much aligned with the IntelliShift roadmap. So, I really wanted to thank you for joining us today, Eric, and with that being said, I do want to hand it over to Doug Eden, the president of IntelliShift to close out the first ever ConnectedOps virtual event.
Watch the video of this session, “Product Keynote: The Future of IntelliShift and Fireside Chat with Bimbo Bakeries.”