Decision-makers throughout the country are uncovering savings and improving their fleet operations by using software.
Benefits include more effective management of drivers, a much clearer view of fleet costs and improved communication with employees, either in the office or out on the road.
Fleet reporting has also been enhanced, using one-click analysis to pinpoint areas for savings, including rising fuel costs.
And for most companies, the savings achieved as a result have paid for the cost of acquiring and operating the fleet software many times over.
Carillion Fleet Management
Carillion Fleet Management has invested in updated fleet software to automate a key part of contact with drivers.
A new driver SMS text message function can confirm appointment details with the driver when booking a service or MoT.
It can also supply an update on progress of accident repairs, provide MoT reminders and confirm daily
Using the SMS facility, Carillion hopes to reduce the number of missed appointments for planned repairs.
It is also hoping to reduce the amount of time that the fleet administration team spends on the telephone, dealing with routine enquiries from more than 8,000 fleet drivers.
The SMS message is automatically created when the fleet administrator adds a job to the software system.
The facility can be configured to ensure that only specific users can generate texts, or that only certain types of job trigger the message.
Each SMS includes all the information the driver needs, such as the appointment detail, date and time.
Carillion Fleet Management, a division of the UK’s leading support services provider Carillion plc, has been a customer of fleet software provider Tranman for more than five years.
Asda Home Shopping
Asda Home Shopping has specified a highly sophisticated deployment of tracking and fleet management software to transform the performance of its 800-strong home delivery vehicle fleet.
Due to complete its rollout this month, it will be the first tracking and telematics system used by the fleet.
The system fuses satellite tracking and telematics data capture, with a sophisticated transport management system that will enable managers to pinpoint where they need to take action.
The most immediate benefit will be reduced fuel consumption by ensuring drivers stick to planned routes.
Asda is also expecting to see its home shopping fleet working much more efficiently, providing the capability for more drops per shift and delivering within more tightly defined timeframes.
There is huge scope for further fuel savings by eliminating bad driving styles such as harsh acceleration or braking, over-revving and excessive idling.
The software behind the system adds value to all of these remote monitoring and communication services
with an intelligent alerting option, which enables the system to automatically invoke predefined procedures for specific events. These range from a pop-up screen alert to emails and SMS text messages.
The Active Transport Management is provided by Isotrak.
Luton Borough Council
Luton Borough Council manages a fleet of 560 vehicles and plant equipment and relies on fleet software for online flexibility, in depth management reporting,cross-departmental integration and accessibility.
Transport manager Don Allison says: “Local authorities typically operate a very diverse mix of vehicles and plant and continue to service, maintain and repair vehicles through their own workshops.
“We wanted to link all this together and also enable council officers across a range of departments to access data on vehicles, plant and machinery as well as drivers.
“Our previous system meant it was extremely difficult for 95% of staff to access management reports.
“We wanted flexibility and simplicity.
"Compliance officers, for example, can now access detailed reports on the fleet and drivers whereas previously reports would have to been compiled manually.”
Workshop job cards have also disappeared with touch-screen technology being used for the first time to inform mechanics of vehicle repair and servicing work.
They can also request parts.
“Fitters can electronically notify management that a task has been completed or update them on how work is progressing.
Meanwhile, the Jaama system means, the council is able to establish standard repair time, parts replacement and service intervals for specialist vehicles.
Mr Allison adds: “Industry data for cars and vans is available, but not for many of the types of vehicles operated by local authorities. We are now able to compile this information.”
Hunt the spreadsheet was an exercise frequently performed by car fleet controller Marie Jarrold in her role managing the fleet for BCA, Europe’s largest vehicle auction company.
A system was needed to improve the operating efficiency and management of its 393 vehicles based nationwide – mainly cars, but also including light commercials, motorbikes, road sweepers and even fire engines.
Ms Jarrold, Fleet Manager of the Year in the 101-400 vehicle fleet category at this year’s Fleet News Awards, says: “Our previous desk-top based fleet management system was outdated.
"It was impossible to upgrade any further. To cope with requirements I had resorted to spreadsheets for some information. I was frequently playing hunt the spreadsheet as I tried to find information.”
A crucial part of the new web-based software system was the inclusion of an occupational road risk management module, which includes driver licence management.
It was also vital that it was able to interact with other internal and external software – including fuel card data provided by a third party supplier, and BCA’s own payroll department for employee P11D information and the company insurance department for accident management.
Ms Jarrold said: “We now have a modern system that is capable of further function expansion and provides me with a reservoir of data that is all stored in one place.”