Cost savings are expected together with improvements in operating efficiencies and effectiveness as a result of the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust (SCAS) taking delivery of a new fleet and workshop management system from leading fleet software supplier Jaama.
SCAS operates a fleet of almost 1,000 vehicles including lease cars, rapid response cars/motorcycles, ambulances and patient transport vehicles. In addition, SCAS runs a total of five workshops and a vehicle commissioning unit, which is responsible for adding specialist equipment to vehicles.
When SCAS was formed from the three county ambulance services in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire together with Buckinghamshire from the Two Shires Ambulance Service, each county had its own fleet management system and none of them would ‘talk’ to each other.
Rick Stillman, South Central Ambulance Service’s head of fleet, said: “We wanted a standard fleet management software system across the whole of the service so that we could accurately gauge fleet costs and manage workshop parts much more effectively to reduce vehicle downtime. We wanted complete visibility across all parts of the fleet for all vehicle and workshop administrators.”
Jaama’s web-based Key2 Vehicle Management and Workshop Management system was chosen as a result of a competitive tender and the implementation of the new technology is now underway with 24 users undergoing training.
Mr Stillman said: “The Jaama system provides SCAS with cutting-edge functionality and the user interface is clear and the most up-to-date of all systems SCAS considered.”
SCAS involved fleet and workshop administrators in the final buying decision because they are the people who will be using the system day-in, day-out so it had to be right for them.
Apart from giving system users complete fleet and parts visibility, SCAS expects to be able to trim fuel costs as management reports from fuel card provider Arval will be integrated into the system.
Mr Stillman said: “Fuel monitoring will improve because we will be able to drill down into the reports and identify real world pence per mile operating costs. Previously we have only been able to identify costs by department and not by vehicle. But the Jaama system will enable improved fuel use monitoring and that should help us to deliver cost savings across the fleet.”
Implementation of the system will also see approximately 10,000 assets ‘tagged’ including stretchers and defibrillators. This means that assets can be linked to individual vehicles providing SCAS with an asset management system as well as a fleet management system.
Another benefit of the Jaama system is as an aid to improved driver and accident management. SCAS operates a points system that sees drivers ‘awarded’ points for blameworthy accidents based on the severity of the incident. When the number of points collected reach a pre-determined level drivers have to complete a re-education programme.
“Mr Stillman said: “The current system is managed manually via spreadsheets and is administratively inefficient. Introducing Key2 will mean that we are able to mange driver safety records by exception.”
Finally, introduction of Key2 is also enabling SCAS to centralise much of its fleet administration in one location in Southampton.
Mr Stillman concluded: “We are aiming to deliver significantly improved vehicle operating efficiencies and reduce costs as a result of introducing the technology. Jaama has been very approachable and supportive in enabling SCAS to achieve all of its key objectives.”
Jaama managing director Jason Francis said: “Providing the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust with its new vehicle and workshop management system is a significant contract for the company.
“SCAS has shown huge faith in the functionality of our system to be able to deliver a wide range of operational benefits to a complex fleet that operates around the clock throughout the year.”
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