Customers > Sysco GB sets gold standard for driver safety and reduces on-road accidents

UK, Video Based Safety

Sysco GB sets gold standard for driver safety and reduces on-road accidents

“If an incident happens, Samsara lets us react instantly. As soon as an accident occurs, we can contact the relevant insurance company with tangible evidence within an hour. A quick reaction time means cases don’t drag on and we get a resolution much faster. That’s saved us a lot of money on insured costs, which have already decreased 15% year on year.

Paul Duncalf, Safety, Training and Fleet Compliance Director

Standout benefits:

  • 40% Decrease in on-road accidents within three months

  • Over 90% Average driver performance score

  • 90% of footage vetted by AI

  • 17% Reduction in harsh driving events

  • 15% Reduction in insured costs YoY

  • 10% Reduction in average cost of claims YoY

Food distribution giant leverages Samsara to keep its operations running smoothly

Sysco GB is part of the world’s largest food service company and a global leader in selling, marketing, and distributing food products to customers who prepare meals away from home. With over 2,000 vehicles at 32 depots across the country, ensuring driver safety is a huge responsibility — as without drivers, the business ceases to function. 

To improve safety, minimise the likelihood of accidents, improve operational visibility, and support fleet managers and drivers, Sysco GB needed a solution to proactively identify issues, improve coaching, and keep track of every vehicle out on the road. That’s when Sysco GB turned to Samsara to help keep its drivers safe whenever they sit behind the wheel.

An outdated and ineffective telematics system

For Sysco GB, success hinges on keeping its operations moving — protecting drivers, minimising incidents, and removing roadblocks that prevent them from delivering exceptional produce to customers. That isn’t easy when dealing with increasingly busy roads, growing day-to-day workloads, and a high-pressure environment. 

Managers relied on spot-checks and CCTV to identify risky driving behaviours. Spot-checks provided just a small piece of the puzzle. As Mark Taylor, Sysco GB Regional Operations Director for the South, explains: “Our process for assessing and managing driver behaviour was random. Reviewing dash-cam footage would be a whole day's work, and as there’s only so much a team manager can review, many drivers were missed. It was impossible to tell who was demonstrating good behaviour and who wasn’t, and even harder to ensure the safety of our drivers at all times across the entire fleet”. 

Another pair of eyes on the road

To get a full picture of driver behaviour, Sysco GB sought out Samsara for the tools, support, and insights needed to ensure all drivers are aware of road risks — and how to avoid them. Samsara provides a platform built on advanced AI that alerts drivers and managers to events in real time, automatically capturing high-definition live footage both in and outside the vehicle. This is achieved by using an HD Camera connector that seamlessly integrates data from third party cameras to provide a 360 degree view of the van at all times.

"We had a particular challenge around understanding safety events like harsh braking. When our traditional telematics flagged an event, we had to manually match it up with the right CCTV footage. 

Samsara and Motormax designed an integrated solution for our Harlow depot which includes a range of cameras and an in-cab monitor to generate bespoke alerts. This way, flagged incidents provide the relevant footage automatically to make investigation a lot easier — especially when identifying false positives."

Mark Taylor, Regional Operations Director, South, Sysco GB

If an incident is recognised as a risk, footage can be relayed back to the depot for review within minutes. For managers, this means they’ve always got an eye on potential hazards like speeding, or driver distractions — giving them ample time to proactively review the risks and report back to drivers before it becomes a more severe issue. Thanks to Cloud connectivity across cameras, all information is also readily available to managers via an intuitive dashboard, whenever they need it. 

“We are now in a place where we can search for and retrieve footage in just a few clicks, which takes minutes as opposed to hours,” says Paul Duncalf, Safety, Training, and Fleet Compliance Director at Sysco GB.

An invaluable tool for resolving incidents and coaching drivers

Thanks to Samsara, Sysco GB now has full visibility over its operations, resulting in a 40% reduction in on-road incidents in just three months, with drivers regularly logging individual performance scores of over 90%. 

“It's really easy to access footage on Samsara. Information is sent directly to managers via email, so we can react in real time to any incidents or safety events,” says Jodie Mansfield, Transport Manager at Sysco GB. 

With added insights into risk factors inside and outside the cab, Samsara has also helped Sysco GB defend against insurance claims. Investigating incidents used to be an uphill task, but with Samsara, all the data is readily available. If an incident does occur, internal stakeholders can quickly make liability decisions and pass the necessary information on to insurers instantly. 

“We’ve moved away from having a hard drive in each vehicle to a completely innovative and efficient system. The combined technology now vets 90% of footage via AI, and all the information is accessible via a single platform. So, when we need to investigate an event, our fleet managers don’t spend hours looking for the information – it’s already there,” says Duncalf. 

Most importantly, Samsara has helped foster a supportive culture within Sysco GB. “We now use Samsara as a coaching tool to help drivers stay focused and calm in the moment. When they are angry or impatient, we can pinpoint the root cause of their frustration and work towards a timely resolution,” reports Duncalf.

Managers have access to footage and indicators to highlight where drivers can improve their safety, but the impact goes beyond corrective measures. Events like harsh braking — which were previously viewed as negative — can be opportunities to praise drivers if they’ve taken rightful action to avoid a collision.

“Samsara gives us the context to understand why a driver made a harsh brake and intervene in the same week or even on the same day,” explains Mike Cox, Head of Health and Safety at Sysco GB. “That intervention is sometimes a thank you – which was previously unheard of. The driver then gets recognition for excellent defensive driving that doesn’t degrade his score, but actually increases it.”

Thanks to Samsara, Sysco GB has the visibility to celebrate these moments of merit and acknowledge drivers that do all they can to be more responsible on the road.

“Samsara’s integration with Motormax really is our biggest win. It means we get AI technology, high-definition camera footage, and driver performance monitoring delivered via a single Cloud-based platform.”

Paul Duncalf, Safety, Training and Fleet Compliance Director

A future built on driver safety

Sysco GB has now rolled out Samsara to all of its depots across the UK, but it’s not stopping there. 

In the future, the team at Sysco GB hope to expand and develop how the platform is used, bringing in more use cases like route planning and mapping. Thanks to ongoing support and innovations from Samsara, Sysco GB can continue to transform its operations. Whether that’s refining and tweaking its toolset to better align with team demands or leveraging latest developments to realise future business goals. 

Sysco GB are already looking to expand the use of audio alerts and nudges, so drivers are actively informed when risky behaviour occurs and can correct it themselves before it becomes an issue — reducing the need for repeated coaching. 

“I'm really excited about our future with Samsara as we continue to show our commitment to driver safety. We're looking at broadening the information we can use and finding more ways to engage with drivers, help reduce accident rates, and improve their driving,” says Mansfield. 

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