Joseph Distribution finds clarity through powerful software integration.

Learn how Joseph Distribution took operations from analog to digital with the Motive + Fleetio integration.


Based in Hanover, Maryland, Joseph Distribution is a logistics company that specializes in express delivery and shipment tracking throughout the northeast United States. As a company with both local and over-the-road (OTR) operations, three things are core to its ability to provide exceptional service: open communication, visibility, and teamwork.


Launching digital transformation through platform integration

When Joseph Distribution had only a few vehicles in its fleet, logging hours of service on paper logs, manually inputting data into an Excel spreadsheet, and updating vehicle statuses on whiteboards were manageable but time-consuming. The company split its operations between two teams, fleet and dispatch, which operated mostly independently of the other. As the company and its fleet grew, David Wilkins, Director of Operations at Joseph Distribution, knew that to maintain the same level of service and communication, they had to move beyond these manual processes.


The company started its journey to digital transformation by using the Motive Driver App among its drivers and dispatch team to track mileage and hours of service, followed by the adoption of Fleetio, a fleet management and maintenance system, by its fleet team to track and assign vehicles. What Wilkins didn’t know was that both platforms had a simple API connection, allowing for a powerful integration.

When Wilkins learned about the integration between Motive and Fleetio, he was ecstatic. “I’m a nerd when it comes to software, so anytime software talks to each other, I get excited,” Wilkins says.

Fleetio and Motive allow fleet managers to easily analyze different data streams to keep their trucks on the road. Users get engine diagnostics, location, and driver purchase behavior in a single interface. Fleetio’s platform also analyzes data from years of fault codes to help fleet managers identify upcoming maintenance issues before a breakdown can happen.

An immediate benefit Joseph Distribution gained from the integration was increased visibility across its operations. At any time, ownership can access information gathered from both platforms and get a clear picture of recent events.

“They’re still able to be in the know,” Wilkins says. “They can go to any open issues or look into any resolved issues, see the time between when a driver reported it to the time that our fleet team closed it. These are the things they want to know.”

Wilkins says the integration has also opened lines of communication across functions, especially when in-office employees began to work remotely due to COVID-19.

“It makes it a lot simpler when my teams can look at each other’s systems without having to necessarily have a meeting,” he says. “We get on Zoom, I share my screen… and we go through the compliance section. And we just have that conversation. Motive makes it so much easier, so much cleaner.”


Taking the guesswork out of fleet maintenance

Because fleet data is automatically updated across both Motive and Fleetio platforms, Joseph Distribution stays ahead of most maintenance issues.

“Since Motive is hooked up to the port inside of our trucks, anytime a check engine light comes on, we can actually view it in both Motive and Fleetio,” Wilkins says. “We don’t have to guess, we don’t have to think” about the context behind certain alerts or activity on either platform. “Motive will show the SPN number, and Fleetio provides that diagnostic context.”

This powerful integration lets Wilkins’ team provide detailed information about what led to the maintenance concern or what symptoms were identified. The company’s maintenance shop can then repair the issue quickly, reducing turnaround time.

Compliance and coaching

Along with tracking hours of service, Wilkins appreciates that Motive makes it easy to reference Joseph Distribution’s telematics data for any audits or IFTA inquiries. The integration with Fleetio also helps to hold his team accountable when it comes to compliance.

“When we do pre-trip [inspections], if Motive deems something unsafe, it automatically tells Fleetio, ‘Hey, this vehicle is unsafe,’” Wilkins says. “So even if a driver says maybe it’s not unsafe to them, the DOT says it’s unsafe. That communication [between Motive and Fleetio] just helps. Dispatchers may miss something that the fleet team catches, so it helps keep us safer.”

Wilkins is also a fan of Motive’s Safety Score and uses it to determine which drivers require extra coaching and which drivers should be rewarded for their safe driving.

“Anytime we have a situation where we may not have a load for that day, we’ll still have a driver come in to do some training so we’re still paying for the whole day,” he says. “If you have a terrible Safety Score, your training may be a different type of training than someone that has a very good Safety Score, because we want to reward them.”

With Fleetio and Motive, Wilkins and Joseph Distribution are better positioned for growth. By adopting tech solutions that can scale easily over time and work seamlessly with other advances in fleet technology.

“Technology is the way to go, especially in this day and age,” Wilkins says. “We invite technology.”

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