If you run a small fleet then you’ve probably invested in a telematics solution. If you haven’t done so yet, it’s worth looking into. Telematics offers several advantages to those using them. Namely, providing customers with a real-time view of your fleet and helping you to better manage risk and control costs.
The ABAX Triplog system goes much further than that. Unlike other telematics providers, its technology comes integrated with that of the Courier and Haulage Exchange platforms. With both systems working as one, you’ll be even more productive and efficient as Victor Rowley, the CEO of Start 2 Finish Couriers Limited, came to realise.
But before going any further, let’s talk a bit about Victor and the business that he runs. Start 2 Finish Couriers Limited is a same day logistics company, specialising in the transport of commercial waste and hazardous goods. ADI accredited, the company transports corrosive and flammable liquids, materials and batteries from Cornwall to Aberdeen from its base just outside Birmingham.
The challenge faced
Mr Rowley, who founded the business in 2003, says that Transport Exchange Group has helped his business to grow. “We have a very agile fleet, but it is small,” he says. “Transport Exchange Group’s virtual fleet is not only vast, but it’s extremely well stocked too. That means that when I post a load on the Exchange, which I do around 25 times a month, the smart load matching tool always ensure that I can find an ADR-accredited driver, whose vehicle meets the required standards, to take on the job and carry it out in a timely and professional manner.”
However, like many small fleet operators, as his business grew, Mr Rowley says that “it became increasingly difficult to manage his time”.
He explains, “As I posted more loads through the Exchange, I found that I was spending most of it keeping my customers updated regarding the status of their loads.”
Mr Rowley contemplated hiring another member of staff to help him in the office, but after careful consideration he concluded that the extra money that he would need to put towards “wages, national insurance and pensions payments” made it “a counter-productive step”.
The simple solution
Seeing that recruiting a member of staff was out of the question, Mr Rowley simply integrated his ABAX Triplog GPS-based vehicle tracking system with Courier Exchange. As a result, he solved his problem.
Mr Rowley says he’s been using “integrated telematics for around two years now”. In terms of operational efficiency, while he says that “it’s difficult to put a figure on it”, but the benefits it has brought “have been instant and far-reaching”.
So, what are the benefits?
He explains, “These days when I post a load using the Exchange, the ABAX system provides me with live tracking updates - every second of every minute. And what’s more, as the GPSbased system is running all of the time, it can’t be turned off by a driver, nor does it ever go down. As a result, I always receive a reliable, resilient and robust service, which appears on the Live Availability Map. But what’s really clever is that the CX system enables my customers
to receive real-time alerts too – and as often as they require them. The best bit, however, is that I don’t have to lift a finger as the updates are sent to them automatically”
While Mr Rowley mostly uses the Exchange “to post loads”, he says that “the enhanced visibility” made possible by the integrated telematics really comes to the fore when he’s posting a load.
“The combination of the ABAX telematics system with the Exchange’s software lets me post the location, status and availability of my vans in real time on the live map. This means that every one of the 6,000-plus member businesses on the Exchange can see my vehicles and that massively increases the chances of a booking,” Mr Rowley explains.
With integrated telematics taking care of the tedious tasks that were once a big part of his daily ‘to do’ list, Mr Rowley says he has more time “to focus on other parts of the business that need his attention”.
“This has enabled me to provide an even better quality of service to my customers than I was previously able to,” he adds.
What’s more? “The ABAX telematics system helps me to better maintain my fleet. How? Well, it gives me the visibility to control and to reduce fuel costs. It also allows me to track the speed of my vehicles. I’ve programmed the system to send me an alert if one of my vehicles exceeds 75 mph on the motorway. The drivers who work for me are very responsible, and it’s very rare that I get an alert of this nature, but in terms of promoting safety and sustainable driving on our roads, it is a very effective tool.”
Ultimately, Triplog allows Mr Rowley to automate mileage records, which helps me to better maintain vehicles.
“As a belt and braces measure, we also work off a chart and run regular weekly maintenance checks on each vehicle, he says, “But the technology certainly compliments the work we do and provides us with a useful system of checks and balances.”