The Davey Tree Expert Company's more than 8,600 employees provide tree care, grounds maintenance, and environmental consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Davey has provided Proven Solutions for a Growing World since 1880 and has been employee-owned for 38 years.
Before going mobile, Davey Tree had relied on paper-based, manual recordkeeping to maintain and update vehicle inspection reports, work orders, and more. To help tree trimming crews simplify field reporting, the company needed to secure its mobile devices and apps. To achieve this goal, Davey Tree needed a reliable and agile enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that could administer a fleet of iOS devices and preserve the native device experience for end users, as well as enable secure, containerized business apps.. The clear solution was MobileIron Cloud combined with the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) to help quickly configure and deploy 750 iPads to their mobile workforce. Today the company uses mobile to help field crews maintain vehicle compliance, securely access and update work orders in the field, and communicate more efficiently with team members.
Simplifying compliance through secure mobility
Davey Tree maintains both locally-based and mobile crews who work on field projects such as trimming trees and other vegetation near power lines. Mobile crews work out in the field, often for several days at a time. Each driver is responsible for maintaining a Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR), which documents each vehicle's most current inspection, repairs, and maintenance work. A DVIR is a federal safety regulation that requires commercial motor vehicle drivers to maintain a complete and current inspection report in the vehicle at all times. Commercial vehicles are frequently spot-checked by law enforcement to ensure safety compliance, and failing to provide a complete inspection log can result in fines and penalties for the company.
Maintaining vehicle compliance used to be a manual, paper-based process at Davey. Months worth of logs were stored in vehicles, where documentation could easily be lost, damaged, or prone to mistakes. If a driver could not show an accurate DVIR to a law enforcement officer, the company could risk compliance penalties. As a result, Davey Tree wanted to move to a mobile solution that would make it easier to maintain compliance and simplify communication between drivers, field crews, and the main office. Although the company deployed BlackBerry devices for basic email, they needed a more robust solution that could support both iOS and a future Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.
Branching out with a secure iOS deployment
To securely configure and deploy a fleet of iOS devices and mobile enterprise apps, the company chose MobileIron Cloud combined with DEP. Davey Tree also deploys the Telogis cloud-based app through MobileIron Cloud, which enables the company to get the latest vehicle position and other updates. For instance, supervisors can quickly view the Telogis map, see where each truck is located and streamline operations accordingly. By improving logistical efficiency, Telogis also helps improve driving habits, tire wear, and maintenance.
"By using MobileIron and DEP to deploy and manage our iOS devices, we've been able to help crews work more efficiently. Instead of just checking boxes on paper, crews can complete the inspection report by simply walking around the truck with the device to capture all the maintenance updates over the air. It's faster for the driver and it gives the back office immediate visibility to the completed inspection report," said Grey Dykes, manager of technical service at Davey Tree. "The language translation feature on the devices also allows crews to communicate even if they don't speak the same language. For example, an app can be translated from English to Spanish and vice-versa, which helps crews work together more productively. That's definitely been an added bonus to our mobile deployment," he said.
DEP and MobileIron Cloud keep field operations rooted in security
For Davey Tree, choosing MobileIron Cloud to securely deploy iOS devices and apps was an easy decision, according to Dykes.
"For us, cloud-based apps and data mean we have to puncture fewer holes in our firewall to open up our datacenter. More importantly, we chose to deploy on cloud because that's the way the industry is going. New mobile technologies are being innovated for cloud before on-premise solutions. Choosing MobileIron's cloud-based architecture means we are ready to deploy the latest mobile technology as soon as it comes to market," said Dykes.
With MobileIron Cloud and DEP, Davey Tree can easily configure and provision devices right out of the box. The company reduces shipping costs because they don't have to worry about imaging a PC or mailing a device back and forth to the employee. The device is configured over the air and immediately sent to users in the field. Employees receive easy setup instructions via email so they can start using their devices immediately. In addition, cellular plans are now configured in DEP so account details and usage can easily be configured, tracked, and managed.
Looking ahead: Expanding secure mobility with MobileIron
The corporate office is also embarking on a new mobile program that will provide more operational visibility and insight across their fleet so they can make more cost-effective management and purchasing decisions in the future. The company is also in the process of rolling out a full BYOD program, so protecting both personal and company data on the device is a major requirement.
"We're enabling BYOD so employees can use their own devices for both personal and business tasks. But we also want to make sure that we can wipe company apps and data from a user's device without also deleting their personal photos, contacts, and other private data. With MobileIron Cloud, we can give employees the full experience of their device without putting our company data at risk," said Dykes.
Down the road, Davey Tree also plans to use the Telogis app secured by MobileIron to help them make more informed business planning decisions. For example, by analyzing truck usage through Telogis, Davey Tree can ensure trucks are being used more efficiently and plan future vehicle purchases accordingly.
"So far, our employees have been really happy with iPads secured by MobileIron and DEP. It's made their jobs so much easier because they've been able to eliminate a lot of time-consuming paperwork," said Dykes. "It's also allowed us to automate critical compliance and logistics processes, so our mobile deployment has really been win-win for all of us."