Propel GPS: Propelling Smart IoT Solutions in the Transportation Sector

Rick Burtner, President & CEO In 2012, while starting Propel GPS from the confines of his newly rented office in Reston, Virginia, Rick Burtner had a vision to lead an exciting fast growth Internet of Things (IoT) company, at the vanguard of transforming the transportation industry by making IoT solutions affordable to small and medium-sized trucking firms within five years. Propel GPS is a nimble and agile IoT asset management and sensor monitoring company for mobile fleets and critical equipment assets in the trucking and transportation markets. Propel GPS solutions protect refrigerated foods from going out of temperature range while in the supply chain; monitor driver behavior such as speed; help trucking firms comply with new federal mandated laws like electronic driver logs (e-logs) and promote efficiency and cost savings through improved route planning and reduced idle time-saving fuel consumption as several of its solutions’ benefits driving an attractive return on investment (ROI) for its customers.

"We take full charge of all technical matters such as device capability or network connectivity issues, saving clients their valuable time and allowing them to focus on their core business while leaving us to manage their telematics and asset management technology needs for them"

Burtner’s illustrious journey is truly one of a simple and meager start at Propel GPS to being on the threshold of becoming one of the fastest growing and one of the most innovative IoT companies in the United States. “Our mission is to SAVE Transportation companies MONEY, provide ASSET SECURITY and promote EFFICIENCY and DRIVER SAFETY. We set out to be a positive disruptor of the status quo of the transportation market IoT providers much like Southwest Airlines did in the airline industry 41 years ago.” Burtner compares his company's mission and strategy to that of Southwest Airlines, a U.S.-based carrier that defied all norms. Analogous to their business we offer reliable service, on time delivery of information, treat customers as important individuals/business partners and don’t require customers to pay for services that they do not want or need—a winning formula! Southwest Airlines charted a new course in aviation history with low cost yet reliable flights. Today, most of Southwest’s competitors who belittled the company’s bold moves are out of business, while Southwest thrives. “Our aim is to break legacy models with a strong focus on creating a superior user experience for small to medium transportation firms. We are positively disrupting the status quo in transportation and logistics by reinventing asset security, vehicle monitoring and driver productivity by delivering nimble, agile, and affordable IoT solutions to the entire market, not just the larger firms,” remarks Rick Burtner, President and CEO, Propel GPS.

With 15 billion connected devices currently in use worldwide and a projected $325BN IoT transportation market in 2018, IoT is a game changer for the transportation industry. For organizations looking to stay at the leading-edge of fleet management, choosing the right telematics solution and partner is paramount as it helps optimize each mile driven and adds vastly to new revenue streams while reducing costs.

We are positively disrupting the status quo in transportation and logistics by reinventing asset security, vehicle monitoring and driver productivity through affordable and agile solutions

Propel GPS is pioneering intelligent data devices on wheels, by bundling hardware, software and network services into a single solution using cloud-based latest technology to keep costs low. With a knack for business development acquired over a career track that spans more than two decades, Burtner believes in right-sizing solutions with a strong customer-centric focus. As such, all of Propel GPS' solutions are consistently priced 25 to 35 percent less than other competitive solution providers, because Propel GPS has a low cost of operation and strong industry partners who support the company’s growth!

One Platform for all Assets

Propel GPS’ solution portfolio is categorized into three classes, starting with basic asset tracking that can be upgraded to a mid-range solution with sensor technology and ultimately an advanced premium package that comes with electronic driver logs. From its field operational support to the back-office applications, Propel GPS’s intuitive asset tracking solutions help organizations monitor all metrics pertaining to their critical mobile assets. Users have access to features such as geofence, speed limit monitoring, idle reporting, and alert notifications. “Our powerful and effective real-time updates of assets on a national or regional mapview at one glance are delivered in conjunction with intuitive dashboards, pie charts, or automated reports to suit our customer’s needs,” says Burtner. Anytime a truck is idling, running late, or speeding, a notification can be sent to the trucking firm’s dispatch group with the location details and minute specifics such as vehicle speed and other pertinent vehicle details.

For temperature sensitive and refrigerated trailers, Propel GPS has specifically designed a reefer tracking product in compliance with temperature control objectives. Apart from the basic tracking features, the refrigerated truck and trailer solution provides temperature monitoring and readings with timestamps. With the Propel GPS e-Log solution, fleet managers can monitor driver hours of service, maintenance schedules and receive automatic updates about duty status or any danger of violation. The solution is compliant with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations and empowers managers to improve fleet safety, fuel savings and driver productivity.

Meeting compliance requirements with new mandates can be expensive for small to medium businesses. Propel GPS always offers clients the best value proposition. Having heard that the FMCSA was going to come out with a new electronic logging device rule, Propel GPS planned a year in advance and put together a compliant and viable solution before the regulation came into effect. One example of the company’s exceptional customer-driven focus can be found from a client engagement while test driving the Propel GPS application as part of our proof of solution program.
The client requested changes to a specific report and management dashboard layout to make it more mobile device friendly. Propel GPS added the new feature in a record time of three days as opposed to several weeks and implemented it completely free of charge. The client was so impressed by Propel GPS’ responsiveness that they signed up to be a customer before completing the 30-day proof of solution trial period.

Inspiring Profound Customer Experience

For seamless transition and implementation of solutions, Propel GPS provides regular online training along with step-by-step user guides. Leaving no stone unturned Propel GPS strives to deliver maximum user benefits. “As trusted technology partners, we ensure our clients experience the best solutions in the market and are up to date with the latest technology refreshes. Propel GPS takes full charge of all technical matters such as device capability or network connectivity issues, saving clients valuable time,” explains Burtner. To ensure clients benefit from the best in class products and networks at all times, the company partners with prominent IoT device and sensor manufacturers, the carriers and Kore, its main mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the U.S. During 2017, Propel GPS expanded its sales strategy to include a channel partner model in addition to its direct sales team, further expanding their sales and distribution channel capacity with strategic partners like CST Fleet Services, an advisor for fleet software integration for government and private fleet organizations, and Tech Data, a global distributor of IT products. Driven by these collaborations, Propel GPS now has a larger salesforce for a broader national reach to deliver Propel GPS’s unique and innovative IoT solutions throughout the $325BN IoT transportation market in 2018.

While achieving the company goals are important, Burtner firmly believes in the maxim that happy employees lead to well cared for and satisfied customers and he pays keen attention to the requirements of his team. “Our aim is to tap into people’s passion, empower them with the right resources and then watch driven ordinary people perform in such a manner to achieve extraordinary results,” exclaims Burtner.

Diving Deep into the IoT Opportunity

In the days to come, Propel GPS wants to further tap into the passion of its employees while growing dynamically. Having been largely focused on commercial facing businesses in the past, the company is looking at federal opportunities and extending its partnership programs to support such initiatives. From a technology and inventory management viewpoint, Propel GPS has a number of innovative solutions in the pipeline. For example, the company is currently working on integrating a wide-area tracking solution with local area radio-frequency identification. With its revolutionary digital products and next-gen customer services, Propel GPS is positioned to be a game-changer in smart transportation IoT. “In our market, there are a handful of very large competitors and many smaller provider firms with less than $2-5MM of revenue. We see ourselves as a towering redwood tree, growing above the many smaller trees in the forest toward great heights and emerging as a powerful disruptor in the IoT transportation space,” ends Burtner.

Propel GPS

Reston, VA

Rick Burtner, President & CEO

An IoT cloud-based technology company that specializes in wireless asset management and sensor monitoring for the transportation, telematics, and supply chain markets

Propel GPS