Transport fleet managers not only have to worry about the problem of escalating fuel prices but also the lack of accurate information on their vehicles whereabouts and performance. Recent statistics show that 27 per cent of lorries on the roads in the UK are running without a payload. For companies that rely on a fleet of vehicles for delivering goods this can be very costly to their business.
Glanbia Food Services, part of Glanbia plc, the international food group based primarily in the UK, Ireland and US, supplies fresh and chilled food to markets such as health, welfare, pub restaurants, hotels and the retail food market in the UK. Glanbia joined forces with BT, earlier this year, to develop a tracking solution for its vehicles, which would reduce costs and enhance its customer service.
After consolidating its operations to a centralised distribution centre, Glanbia identified that its call centre was receiving a significant number of incoming calls from customers chasing deliveries. The call centre was not set up for coping with incoming calls as 98 per cent of the call centre's capacity was intended for outgoing calls to customers with information on designated timeslots for deliveries. Furthermore, the call centre handlers were unable to give customers accurate information on the whereabouts of their deliveries.
BT in conjunction with BT Cellnet provided Glanbia with a new solution called PinpointTM - an in-cab vehicle tracking/telemetry package that records essential data electronically, such as the location of the vehicle, mileage and speed, fuel consumption, driver's hours and the temperature of goods in transit. The data is sent to a central database that can be accessed by call handlers, who can then relay accurate information when talking to customers about their deliveries.
The benefits of the PinpointTM solution to Glanbia are great. As well as improved customer relations, Glanbia has saved money with driver payments, as PinpointTM accurately records mileage and driver timings; fuel costs have been reduced as idling and speeding are monitored. In addition, when Glanbia vehicles are late for their delivery slot because they are delayed by queues outside depots, they are able to accurately inform the customer of their whereabouts. This means late delivery penalties from big supermarkets are no longer a threat as PinpointTM can locate a vehicle to within a few metres.
The ability of PinpointTM to monitor and record the temperature of goods in transit has enabled Glanbia to give auditable evidence to its customers.
Food can heat up and be spoiled during delivery but the new system gives an automatic alert if the desired temperature is exceeded. Temperature settings can be corrected by the driver, which cuts down on spoilage costs and customers are able to see that their produce has been handled appropriately.
Vance Fairman Smith, general manager - Transport, Glanbia Food Service said, "We chose BT because they were by far the most flexible of the companies we considered. The PinpointTM solution has given us greater control and helped reduce the operating costs involved in running and managing the distribution side of our business".
Niki Morgan, account manager BT Major Business added, "Telemetry has become a key element in the development of fleet management technology. BT's PinpointTM ensures that the economic use of lorries and their drivers are considerably improved and as vehicle positions can be pinpointed with extreme accuracy, customer relationships can be enhanced through the ability to provide immediate warning of changes to predicted delivery times."