North Somerset Council reaps the benefits of a robust FMS
A good fleet management system can revolutionise your business, as the local authority discovered with FleetCheck
In June 2014, FleetCheck was approached by North Somerset Council. The Council had made the decision to tender for a fleet management solution that would replace its existing system, in a bid to improve their internal management and controls.
The council runs a diverse fleet of vehicles that includes minibuses, HGVs and 4x4s, as well as cars and vans – 110 vehicles in total. Varied fleets like this can be difficult to control, and North Somerset’s fleet manager Carl Nicholson was finding that, as the fleet grew, data was becoming increasingly fragmented. He concluded that the complex array of spreadsheets they’d relied on to date were hindering instead of helping his job, and so a fleet management system (FMS) solution was quickly brought in, promising to solve all of the council’s fleet headaches.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be the miracle cure it had hoped for. The system it had selected proved to be unsuitable for the organisation’s requirements, and North Somerset Council was soon back on the hunt. This time, however, thanks to its hands-on experience of modern fleet software, it were armed with a very clear wish list. It also appeared that their timing was just right as, since their previous review some years before, a number of cost-effective, web-based fleet management solutions had emerged onto the market and changed the way that companies viewed the concept of fleet software.
Nicholson says: “Migrating to FleetCheck was a simple business decision because, first and foremost, FleetCheck is much more cost-effective than our previous system. But it’s not just about cost. FleetCheck makes it easy to bring a multitude of fleet data sources into one place, and for a diverse fleet like ours, that’s a fundamental requirement.
With minimal effort I was quickly able to set up an automated integration of data from Quartix, our telematics provider, as well as regular imports from our various fuelcard providers.
Benefits were felt instantly: I no longer had to search numerous systems for information on our drivers, vehicles and costs; it was all here in one place, and I could pick and choose the reporting options that were right for me and for others within the council’s hierarchy. Very quickly, we found ourselves regretting that we hadn’t discovered FleetCheck in the first place!”
Migrating to FleetCheck was hailed a resounding success, and North Somerset Council quickly found that evolving technology and data intelligence, when combined with leetCheck’s intuitive user interface, helped to transform the management of its fleet. A fleet review programme was quickly implemented and, thanks to the effective combination of vehicle telematics, accident cameras and the use of FleetCheck’s software, the council recently reported a significant reduction in its fleet operating costs in the 18 months since the migration.
“The system is so effective that we have been able to free-up time and resource equivalent to two full-time employees,” says Nicholson. “This resource was deployed elsewhere within the council, saving circa £40,000 per annum in backoffice costs.”
Regarding the trials and tribulations of juggling cost control, legal compliance and operational efficiency, Nicholson says: “The use of visual alerts and automated emails within FleetCheck means that compliance is no longer a constant worry. Working relationships with our maintenance contractors are also greatly improved due to the free flow of information within the system, to the extent where I have been able to confidently hand over the day-to-day responsibility of regular maintenance work scheduling to the contractors, using their own access within the system.
“I still have full visibility and control, but the process no longer relies on my intervention at each stage – it just flows smoothly and everyone involved knows exactly what to do.”
Now in its tenth year, FleetCheck’s fleet software is relied upon by hundreds of organisations spanning the length and breadth of the UK and a wide-ranging mix of industry sectors. Every fleet is, of course, different, but whatever the company’s size, type or background, a fundamental set of rules apply that are intrinsically aligned to compliance. Quite simply, whether you operate five or 5,000 vehicles, you are responsible for ensuring that your vehicles and drivers are both safe and legal, and that those who are placed behind the wheel are educated, protected and managed. Driving is probably one of the riskiest activities a person does during the course of their working day and, when you consider the serious implications of getting it wrong, it doesn’t take much imagination to see why robust fleet management practices cannot and must not be overlooked.
FleetCheck also understands that one of the greatest difficulties for fleet operators is that they are dealing with a constantly changing sector. Changes to legislation,technology and best practice are frequent, and smart fleet managers must stay ahead of the game.
Some of the most critical changes affecting fleets in the recent past revolve around legislation. The much talked-about Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007 transformed fleet management, and was closely followed by a series of further changes, culminating in the new sentencing guidelines that came into force in February 2016.
The scale of change has – quite understandably – left many companies fighting to keep up, and furthermore, the sustained impact of the financial crisis has left them still endeavouring to manage fleets with diminished resources and expertise. With all of these challenges to juggle, it’s little wonder that companies feel vulnerable.
FleetCheck’s founder and managing director Peter Golding says: “At FleetCheck we pride ourselves in our ability to deliver solutions that get straight to the heart of a company’s fleet challenges.
“Working alongside a trusted network of fleet industry leaders over many years has resulted in an FMS that is intelligent and powerful, yet surprisingly user-friendly.
“Our clients enjoy an intuitive user interface, and with its ability to connect and combine a multitude of data streams, FleetCheck gives a complete insight into every conceivable aspect of fleet management. Ten years in, we are more committed than ever to delivering excellence and helping fleet operators gain peace of mind.
“We’re proud to be right at the cutting edge of fleet software development, and we’re looking forward to the next decade of success.”
For further information and free a demonstration, call: 01666 577928 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org