Pro-active fleet and driver management embracing industry-leading online technology analysing data that measures the performance of both in real-time has enabled Fleet Service Great Britain (Fleet Service GB) to win a sole supply outsourcing contract with LiveWest, the largest provider of affordable homes in the south west of England.
The fast-growing housing association, based in Exeter, has around 36,000 homes and operates a fleet of 325 outright purchase diesel vans on a five-year/100,000-mile replacement cycle. Vauxhall dominated, the workhorse of the fleet is the Vivaro with the Combo also present alongside around 40 Ford Transit models.
The fleet, which is set to expand as LiveWest aims to develop more than 16,000 new homes over the next 10 years, includes 50 car-derived vans driven by supervisors, surveyors and housing officers with the remainder driven by a wide range of skilled tradesmen including carpenters, electricians, plumbers and plasterers.
The fleet management contract that embraces Fleet Service GB’s Achieve-branded programme of services including Achieve Driver Management, Achieve Crash Management, Achieve Maintenance Management, Achieve Fleet Manager, Achieve Management Services, as well as its garage network, Achieve Fleet Service Partnership, was awarded following a nine-month pilot scheme involving 40 vans located at LiveWest’s Taunton depot.
Paul Ayris, LiveWest’s fleet manager, said: “During the pilot we were very impressed with Fleet Service GB’s performance and the company’s ‘can do’ attitude. The company and its staff were a breath of fresh air.”
LiveWest went out to tender with Fleet Service GB winning a two-year contract plus a one-year option against three more shortlisted suppliers.
Intelligent integrated solutions using a combination of online dashboards and a driver app delivering real-time critical headline data on vehicles and drivers to the fingertips of fleet managers providing the ability to drill down into the minutiae of operations is at the heart of Fleet Service GB’s service solution.
Within an unprecedented four weeks of the contract going live, all drivers – the housing association operates on a ‘one van, one employee’ basis – had enrolled on the Achieve Driver Management programme that pro-actively measures a driver’s performance and awards points against a wide range of parameters including points on driving licences and number and type of crashes.
The driver app was pre-loaded on to each drivers’ tablet to make enrolment straightforward. It embraces a wide range of features including notifications, prompts, reminders and alerts; the ability to arrange bookings for servicing, maintenance and repairs, including tyres; a facility to report an incident or breakdown; a facility to upload images, capturing incident and/or vehicle condition; and the ability to update vehicle mileage in real-time. Additionally, LiveWest’s bespoke check sheet for vehicle condition reporting was uploaded.
Mr Ayris said: “During the pilot employees were very receptive to the driver app and everything that we were doing around fleet and accident management. Having awarded the contract the first thing I wanted to do was to roll out the Achieve Driver Management programme across all drivers.
“LiveWest holds monthly ‘toolbox talks’ for all teams and I attended each one to tell drivers about Fleet Service GB and the initiatives the business was taking with regards to compliance and their safety.
“The transparency of the Achieve Driver Management programme means that points gained by a driver for a misdemeanour can be removed by completing e-learner programmes. Drivers are rewarded for good performance under the initiative, which is very well accepted by drivers.”
He added: “Some of our employees spend up to 25% of their working day driving because of the size of the area that LiveWest covers, but they are not professional drivers. However, they now recognise that driving is a major and potentially risky part of their job and accept that it is important for the business to implement processes to manage that risk.”
All LiveWest vans are equipped with telematics and the next stage of the programme will see data collected via the in-vehicle devices fed into the Achieve Driver Management programme to further improve vehicle and driver performance management.
Mr Ayris said: “The business partnership between LiveWest and Fleet Service GB has started very well and builds on a successful pilot. The new initiatives that have been introduced have been well received across the business – by management and drivers.”
Marcus Bray, Fleet Service GB’s head of sales, said: “We work closely with individual clients to understand their requirement and to tailor the service ultimately delivered. Technology is important, but so is personal service to deliver a first class experience and ensuring customer parameter compliance.
“We tracked LiveWest for a long-time prior to contract win. With our industry-leading online dashboards delivering real-time critical headline data on vehicles and drivers in addition to the driver app we believed that the performance management tools could be a deal-winning game-changer and so it has proved. Fleet Service GB is using technology allied to personal service to take fleet and driver management expertise to a new level to the benefit of customers.”