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Vtec Solutions, based in Scotland, are pioneers of fleet management and fleet efficiency. They are the UK’s leading suppliers of TomTom Telematics. This blog has industry relevant news and helpful articles.
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Have you invested in route planning software for your fleet yet? If not, what’s holding you back? We talk to lots of fleet managers who think […] The post How to Reduce Costs and Improve Service with Route Planning Software appeared first on Vtec...
Have you invested in route planning software for your fleet yet? If not, what’s holding you back? We talk to lots of fleet managers who think of route planning software as an unnecessary expense. Like them, you might reason that your drivers know what they’re doing and will choose the right routes. Either that or you’ve had bad experiences with route planning software in the past. Well, we’re here to show you how using route planning software can help you to both reduce costs, save time and improve your customer service.
Planning optimised routes
There’s nothing wrong with showing faith in your drivers’ abilities, but we believe that route planning shouldn’t be left to chance. Drivers tend to use the routes that they know best. Whilst experience might have shown them where there’s likely to be heavy traffic or what the shortest route is, this isn’t the same as an optimised route. Planning software will factor in local traffic variations and other road conditions that you may not be aware of.
An optimised route can also cover more than one delivery. If you or your drivers are planning one delivery at a time you may not be making the best use of your vehicles. Route planning software can allow you to create a route that takes in multiple deliveries and work out the best sequence.
Saving money on fuel and maintenance
It won’t come as any surprise to you that an optimised route can mean lower fuel costs. Route planning software will give you the shortest route where that’s the most practical option. However, it also enables your drivers to keep travelling at a fuel efficient speed as they’re less likely to be stuck in traffic.
Keeping your fleet moving will also have a positive impact on your maintenance costs. There’s less wear and tear from making unnecessarily long journeys. Your drivers will also spend less time in traffic, which inevitably leads to heavy braking and increased use of the clutch.
Getting your systems working together
If you’ve had a bad experience with fleet management or route planning software in the past, you’re not alone. We’ve had a number of clients who found that their route planning, task planning and GPS technologies didn’t work together properly. They wasted time trying to get everything to co-ordinate. Their fleet managers had better things to do and we’re sure that yours do as well.
The good news is that our systems are designed to help different technologies to integrate with each other. It means that everything can integrate automatically, saving your fleet manager considerable time.
Keeping your customers happy
Route planning isn’t just about saving costs. When you’ve got efficient and optimised routes it’s easier to deliver great customer service. You can give your customers an accurate window for deliveries which allows them to plan in advance. It speeds things up for both of you. They know that they can rely on you so you become a preferred supplier. When things do go wrong, you can keep them updated without damaging the relationship.
If you’d like more advice on how route planning software could benefit your business, get in touch!
The post How to Reduce Costs and Improve Service with Route Planning Software appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
When you operate a fleet, efficiency is always at the front of your mind. Your strategic planning focuses on ensuring that deliveries are made at the […] The post Keep your fleet drivers stress-free with an EPOD system appeared first on Vtec...
When you operate a fleet, efficiency is always at the front of your mind. Your strategic planning focuses on ensuring that deliveries are made at the lowest possible cost and that your invoices are despatched and paid as quickly as possible. But that’s not all. Every service has a human element that’s just as important. Stressed drivers make mistakes and that makes life difficult for everyone – you, your customers and your employees. Ultimately we all want to make sure that we look after our employees well.
In recent years we’ve all become more mindful of the impact that mental health issues can have in the workplace. So what can you do to help your employees reduce their stress? We could write a whole series of blogs about workplace stress, but here’s a practical idea to get you started. Invest in an EPOD system.
What does an EPOD system have to do with stress?
How do your deliveries go without electronic proof of delivery? We’ve worked with companies in the past who ran a paper based system, so we know the drill. You issue your drivers with paperwork for each delivery and they take it with them. Usually, a customer will sign the paper on receipt of the delivery and it goes back into the vehicle with the driver to the depot. That’s fine until the driver forgets to get a signature, can’t find the right bit of paper or it goes missing after the delivery is complete. Studies have shown that clutter is stressful so reducing the amount of paperwork that piles up on your drivers’ dashboards can only be a good thing.
That’s before you factor in the levels of stress that can occur when something goes wrong.
Helping with traceability
An EPOD system can help you by giving an electronic trace that proves a delivery was made. If a customer makes a complaint or refuses to pay, saying that they didn’t receive their goods, you have an immediate solution. You can simply look it up electronically. No more prolonged searching through paperwork. It also reduces stress on your drivers because they don’t have to worry about being disciplined because a bit of paper went astray.
You have immediate proof of what’s been delivered and invoiced for.
Our proof of delivery software helps you to reduce driver stress. They benefit from a reduction in the amount of paperwork they have to deal with, both during deliveries and in reconciling paperwork at the end of the day when they just want to get home. An EPOD system can also play a part in increasing customer satisfaction. That means that your drivers’ day to day interactions with your customers could be much more pleasant.
Our clients have told us that it’s benefitted their business by allowing them to reduce overheads in terms of time. They’ve also found that their drivers are less stressed and more productive overall.
If you’d like to find out how our EPOD systems could benefit your business and reduce driver stress, get in touch.
The post Keep your fleet drivers stress-free with an EPOD system appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
When you manage a fleet, it goes without saying that you work hard to keep your fleet cost low whilst still maintaining high standards. Most of […] The post Fleet Savings Calculator: how much money can you save? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
When you manage a fleet, it goes without saying that you work hard to keep your fleet cost low whilst still maintaining high standards. Most of the people we speak to are focused on reducing their overall spend.
You’ve already put in the effort so it might surprise you to learn that there’s more you can do. You might have used economies of scale for a larger fleet, or believe that you don’t have enough vehicles to make a real saving. We know that it can be hard to identify areas where more savings can be made, but fleet management technology can give you the overview you need.
We’ve put together a savings calculator that helps you to work out where technology could help. Let’s take a look at some of the areas where you could be saving money.
We know that you probably already monitor fuel usage carefully. Fleet management software can help you to make further improvements. Live traffic management means that you can help your drivers to avoid traffic jams and get feedback on any driving that might waste fuel. That could include sudden braking or excessive idling among other things.
Our costs calculator takes your overall mileage, fuel type and its price into account when working out where you can make savings.
We’ve worked with a number of clients who left it to their drivers to plan their route. Whilst it’s tempting to rely on their experience they may not always be planning the best routes. Software allows you to plan optimized routes which minimise your costs. It will take traffic congestion and overall journey time into account as well as the mileage itself. You can also allocate deliveries based on multiple drops within a smaller area.
We’ve found that our savings calculator helps clients to get an overview of the whole fleet. That can be difficult when you have a mixture of different vehicle types.
When you’re able to monitor driver performance it doesn’t just impact on your fuel costs. Your employees’ driving style can affect your maintenance costs too. Whilst our savings calculator can’t predict how fleet management software will impact on your maintenance costs, it can help you to monitor those costs over time.
You can also set our software up to send alerts which will help you plan maintenance across the fleet. That could mean that your vehicles spend more time on the road and less in the workshop.
When you improve driver performance and vehicle maintenance that can mean fewer accidents out on the road. That can only have a positive impact on your insurance costs when you consider that an average UK motor insurance claim has now risen to almost £3,000.
Most major insurers now give discounts to operators who use fleet management software. What could a 10 to 15% cut in insurance premiums mean for your bottom line?
Our savings calculator
Vtec’s savings calculator is free to use and helps you to identify software which will help you to save money. You use it by entering details of your fleet and the different types of vehicle you use. It also asks you about your fuel costs, maintenance and current insurance.
Then you’ll be given a breakdown of the costs of the software we recommend along with the potential savings. We explain where the savings come from and how they’re calculated. All of the calculations include the running costs involved in using the software so you get a true picture of the savings involved.
To try the savings calculator for yourself visit the calculator on our website.
The post Fleet Savings Calculator: how much money can you save? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
How much time do you spend scheduling deliveries and allocating them to the right vehicles? There is lots of software out there that allows you […] The post 5 Key Benefits of Job Scheduling With a Telematics System appeared first on Vtec...
How much time do you spend scheduling deliveries and allocating them to the right vehicles? There is lots of software out there that allows you to schedule deliveries, but it doesn’t always integrate automatically with your TomTom WebFleet telematics system.
We’ve discovered that many of our clients were wasting valuable hours allocating jobs individually and then having to transfer them across to WebFleet telematics to provide their drivers with the information they needed. It was a massive drain on their time. We think that transport managers should be spending their time improving fleet efficiency, not on administrative tasks. We developed FLEETiQ job scheduling to enable fleet managers to automate tasks and ensure that every delivery is carried out in the most efficient way.
Here are our top 5 benefits of using a telematics system for job scheduling.
Telematics save you time
A good telematics system allows for job automation, which means you don’t have to do everything yourself. When you create a new job you can pull customer data straight from TomTom WebFleet and upload deliveries straight to vehicles rather than doing it manually. For regular deliveries you can also save customer information so it’s immediately accessible. If you have a large number of deliveries you can upload them in bulk via API or CSV upload.
Job automation means more efficient scheduling
When you use a job scheduling tool deliveries will be allocated to make the best use of your drivers’ time. The software will automatically provide you with an optimised route to ensure that deliveries are completed in the shortest possible time. That means that your drivers can maximise the number of deliveries they make while still taking proper rest breaks.
Your vehicles will be used more efficiently
Optimised routes and efficient scheduling aren’t just good for your time management. They can also help to reduce your overall fleet spend. Your telematics system devises optimised routes that can reduce your overall fuel cost. Efficient job scheduling also helps you to reduce overall wear and tear on your vehicles, reducing your maintenance costs.
Better customer service
Efficient job automation via a telematics system allows you to allocate deliveries and track them in real time. That means that you can give your customers more information about when their delivery will arrive. If the delivery is time sensitive you can allocate tasks in a way that ensures it arrives exactly when it’s needed. That means more happy customers.
FLEETiQ works with your existing systems
We found that a lot of our customers were spending time effectively cutting and pasting delivery data from one system into another. That was only necessary because the systems they were using didn’t communicate with each other. We designed FLEETiQ to be compatible with TomTom WebFleet so that information can be shared quickly and easily. You can extract the customer information you need straight from WebFleet into FLEETiQ and your optimised deliveries can be uploaded immediately, saving you time.
If you’d like more advice on how job scheduling with a telematics system could benefit your business, get in touch!
The post 5 Key Benefits of Job Scheduling With a Telematics System appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
Did you know that it can take up to 10 days for a paper form to be processed after a delivery? Surprising, isn’t it? If you […] The post Could using digital forms revolutionise your fleet’s efficiency? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
Did you know that it can take up to 10 days for a paper form to be processed after a delivery? Surprising, isn’t it? If you were able to speed things up that could have a significant impact on your fleet efficiency. Getting signed forms back quickly after a completed delivery would allow you to issue invoices more quickly and improve your cashflow. There’s also the fact that missing paperwork can mean that some deliveries just don’t get billed. One of our customers found that they were losing around £1,000 per week in unbilled work, simply because some of their paperwork got lost!
Getting rid of the paper could also improve your customer service. Imagine getting a call from a customer querying a delivery and being able to give them an answer straight away. If the alternative is making them wait ten days for the paperwork to come back in you could have a disgruntled customer on your hands!
What’s the alternative?
You don’t have to have a paper based system. Introducing digital forms can help you to improve your overall fleet efficiency. Your transport manager won’t be wasting time chasing paperwork that might still be sitting in one of your vehicles. Your drivers can complete a delivery and get a digital signature straight away. Then the data is synced back to your office via WiFi or 3G so that you know the job has been done. You can issue an invoice and access information instantly if there are any queries.
Digital forms don’t just give you your data in real time, they make it easier to share information across departments. They will improve communications between drivers out in the field and office based staff. You can have a digital trail rather than a paper one which saves everyone time on form filling. How much time does your transport team spend on completing paperwork when they could be carrying out core business activities? There’s also the added benefit of a paperless system being environmentally friendly and reducing your shredding costs.
We wanted to create a solution that met transport managers’ needs. We’ve developed Formistica, a system that is specifically designed for fleet managers to increase their fleet efficiency. Formistica is a programme that allows you to integrate your existing forms and brand the system to your business. You can design bespoke forms to collect whatever data is relevant to your business.
The forms can be linked to your TomTom WebFleet and prefilled with relevant information to reduce the amount of data that your staff need to complete. As soon as a signature has been obtained at the end of a delivery you can download it immediately. If you need to access the data at a later date it can be easily found and accessed wherever it’s required.
If you’d like to find out more about using digital forms to save time and prevent data loss in your business, get in touch!
The post Could using digital forms revolutionise your fleet’s efficiency? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.
No matter how large your fleet is, road safety should be at the front of every transport manager’s mind. Vehicle collisions don’t just result in increased […] The post How Fleet Tracking Is Helping Improve Road Safety appeared first on Vtec...
No matter how large your fleet is, road safety should be at the front of every transport manager’s mind. Vehicle collisions don’t just result in increased vehicle down time. They can result in bodily injury or even death.
Road injuries and fatalities are on the rise in the UK, hitting a five year high last year. Higher levels of personal injury claims and increased vehicle repair costs can have a huge impact on our businesses. Ultimately, we all want to make sure that we send our drivers home safely and good fleet management has an important role to play. Here are some of the ways in which fleet tracking can improve road safety.
It lessens driver fatigue
Avoiding tiredness is a key factor in improving road safety. If you’re driving whilst overtired you’re more likely to make mistakes. Fleet tracking can help by ensuring that your driver is taking the best possible route and avoiding long delays in traffic jams. Fleet tracking gives you an exact vehicle location which can tell you if they’re heading for a traffic jam. You can then talk to your driver direct or upload an amended route to help them avoid getting stuck.
You can also use it to make sure that your drivers are taking proper rest breaks. Fleet tracking software can enable you to download live vehicle information whilst it’s still on the road.
It reduces stress
It’s not just tired drivers that make mistakes, stressed ones do as well. Research has shown that getting stressed behind the wheel leads to anger and an increased incidence of road rage. If your driver is stressed or angry about being delayed they could end up driving too fast or failing to consider the safety of other road users.
Fleet tracking can help them to avoid that.
It helps with speed management
Fleet tracking software won’t just tell you where a vehicle is, it can show you how fast it’s going. Speeding causes around 850 deaths and 33,000 injuries every year in the UK. That’s around half of all road deaths in a single year. That’s before you consider the potential impact of speeding fines, or having to replace a driver because they’ve lost their licence.
Having the ability to monitor a vehicle’s speed enables you to intervene whilst the driver is still on the road, or as soon as they return to the depot.
You can even intervene if it looks as if their driving has become erratic. It could be that there’s an issue on the road, or that your driver has become unwell. Fleet tracking can alert you and allow you to contact them direct to see if there’s a problem and get it resolved quickly.
Some companies are reluctant to use fleet tracking as it all feels a bit too much like ‘Big Brother’ is watching. We hope that we’ve helped to show you that it can have huge benefits for road safety too.
If you’d like more advice on how fleet management software could improve road safety in your business, get in touch!
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