DALLAS — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is making sure all associates have up-to-date information throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including associates who are on the road.
The Exchange’s logistics department uses software from PeopleNet to communicate directly with its roughly 160 truck drivers throughout the continental United States to keep them safe and informed as the situation changes and develops.
“Most recently, we shared with our drivers the updated tips from human resources for preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Exchange Logistics Business System Analyst Billy Shirley. “The Exchange is mission-essential, and it’s important we keep serving the military community while also protecting our associates.”
All Continental/Contiguous United States (CONUS) truck drivers have tablets that record vehicle data and information. Those tablets can send and receive messages, too. Exchange leaders can send messages from anywhere in the world to all CONUS drivers, a specific driver or a group of drivers at a specific terminal. The drivers can either select the audio option to have the message read aloud to them or they can wait until their next stop to read it.
The Exchange implemented the system in 2017, and it has proved helpful, particularly during hurricane season and accident-reconstruction efforts. The software can also share real-time information such as updates on installation gate requirements, changes in store operating times or installation closures.
“The software shows us a map of where every one of our drivers is in the U.S. When we see bad weather coming in, we can communicate directly with drivers to reroute them and keep them out of harm’s way,” Shirley said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re using the software to make sure our drivers have the information they need to protect themselves while they continue to deliver critical items to the military community.”
Editor’s note: This story, written by Marisa Conner, was published in the Exchange Newsroom, a news website operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange service, on April 8.