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Safety should be a fleet way of life

SIR – While in agreement with the concerns raised in the article ‘Smaller fleets fail on safety checks’ (Fleet NewsNet, May 19), it would be foolish for larger fleet operators to become complacent and believe that they have implemented effective safety measures.

It is encouraging that the issue of safety is finally getting the attention it deserves. By rights, this should have been on the corporate agenda since the first vehicle was driven on company business. It is absurd to think that an issue with such far-reaching implications as employee and corporate wellbeing has not been a priority.

Although safety measures are being taken on board, we are yet to see true examples of best practice. The use of driver training programmes, increasing legal and physical checks on drivers and improving vehicle maintenance are adequate as short-term improvements but they are not a long-term safety solution.

Firstly, safety must be embedded at the heart of company culture and embraced by all employees. It must be a way of life, not merely viewed as a process of legislative compliance that, once achieved, will take a back seat to the next emotive corporate issue.

Secondly, it must be constantly monitored to evaluate progress and maintain continuous improvement. There are frequent announcements around the next safety and risk management solution, but there is no mention of a continual, monthly gathering and analysis of data to assess the effect and impact of a safety initiative.

Surely this is one of the fundamental rules of business success that the industry is currently ignoring? If data is not at the centre of a risk management initiative, how does a business know whether it is improving or where modifications should be made? Companies that ignore this, or who cannot generate the necessary level of detailed information on fleet, cannot have a successful, long-term safety strategy to minimise risk.

Until all businesses, regardless of fleet size, realise that there is no ‘Band-Aid’ solution to effective safety strategy, programmes will continue to be flawed and the true benefits to fleet performance will never be truly realised.
Ian McKenzie, group business development director, FMG Support

Been there,done that, got the T-shirt

SIR – I fear many of your readers may have been misled by the report which appeared in your May 12 issue concerning software company cfc and its attempts at stretching its range, to assist for the first time the growing number of pan-European fleet operators. I quote Andy Leech of cfc, who says: ‘Europe is important because currently, there is nothing out there for effectively managing pan-European fleets.’

Anyone who knows the UK fleet management software sector will know that Chevin’s own FleetWave software has, since its launch four years ago, made it possible not only to manage pan-European fleets, but global ones too.

FleetWave allows individual departments, suppliers or even single drivers to enter data and reports from literally anywhere in the world, via fast and secure web connections, and the fleet manager enjoys the same global freedom to access the data wherever or whenever he/she wants.

It is therefore widely regarded as the ultimate application for multi-site operations in any number of countries. A number of our pan-European customers find this very useful and have done for a long time now. They particularly like the software’s ability to collate in one place all the necessary data, if applicable from around the globe. This frees the manager from the task of inputting, and enables us to boast it offers true ‘freedom to manage’.
Ashley Sowerby, managing director, Chevin Fleet Solutions

We're seeking a better tracker

SIR – We contract hire vehicles and the majority are fitted with tracker systems. However, I am not convinced the reports the system produces are that helpful without further time-consuming analysis.

Drivers change vehicles and it is difficult to keep track. I am looking for a system which will help analyse the data and report in an agreed meaningful summary format.

I am also looking for a system which incorporates driver sign-on with a card and has the ability to remind the driver of his responsibilities before signing in as well as requesting the mileage electronically. This must be done before the vehicle will move. Any ideas? If so please email chris@vearbuilding.co.uk
Chris Prangle, Vear Building, Chandlers Ford

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