Derek Bryan, VP EMEA at Verizon Connect says real-time monitoring can pay dividends.
In uncertain economic times, all businesses must keep an eye on the bottom line, ensuring they operate as efficiently and effectively as possible or risk being left behind by their competitors. In the supply chain and logistics industry, margins are currently tighter than ever, and many organisations have found smart matching technology – which intelligently matches jobs coming in with the most appropriate available vehicles – to be crucial to their operations, generating cost savings opportunities for the sector.
Smart matching technology is only one half of an effective fleet management solution, however. To truly flourish, carriers also need near real-time visibility of their employees, vehicles, and assets in the field.
Ariska, a Wiltshire based logistics firm, subcontracts for large logistics businesses contracted to multinational automotive, aerospace and manufacturing companies. In recent years, it has partnered with the Transport Exchange Group, a leading provider of managed freight exchange services for the UK road transport industry, to access its two largest smart matching technology platforms, Courier Exchange and Haulier Exchange. These platforms provide Ariska with 40 percent of its current workload.
While this partnership has delivered significant benefits for Ariska, the firm needed a solution that would provide it with near real-time visibility of the location of its vehicles, so it had a view of all its assets and freight at any one time and could plan workloads and jobs accordingly. In addition, with a time-crucial business, it was vital that it could book and win more loads to continue growing as a company.
Deploying the technology
This integrated system allows operators to receive near real-time load notifications based on the actual location of each vehicle in the fleet. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, carriers that are members of the Transport Exchange Group can advertise the status and availability of empty vehicles in near real-time to the 6,000+ members’ organisations on the Exchange, thanks to the integrated telematics system.
"Another key advantage of telematics integration is the potential fuel efficiency gains..."
Ariska recently adopted Verizon Connect’s integrated telematics technology, anticipating enormous success: it’s quickly becoming an income generator for the business through the way it has dramatically increased visibility.
Gavin Fegent, managing director at Ariska Logistics, explained: “The smart matching technology integrated into the telematics product automatically sources work for our drivers wherever they find themselves and at whatever time they need to secure another load. I can safely say that the benefits massively outweigh the costs.”
Although Ariska Logistics has used the integrated telematics platform for a few months, it has already received a huge ‘uptick’ in calls from contractors offering it work. This isn’t just from regular clients, but from logistics companies who can now see the live position and status of its vehicles on the Live Availability Map (LAM) and want to book its drivers and their vehicles.
Maintaining customer satisfaction
Combining the Exchange with the Verizon Connect telematics platform has meant that Ariska Logistics’ clients can easily see the position of its vehicles in near real-time, when needed. As a result, the fleet operators within the business no longer have to rely on drivers’ actions to keep the tracking information up to date, improving the accuracy of its vehicle tracking. Furthermore, they now no longer need to manually update their clients, as they can automatically see near real-time updates on the LAM. For Mr Fegent, this has alleviated some of his administrative tasks – giving him more time to dedicate to delivering the highest standards to his customers.
Driving increased fuel efficiency
Another key advantage of telematics integration is the potential fuel efficiency gains that it can bring to a fleet. In the case of Ariska Logistics, it was already using the Exchange to secure backloads. This had proved to be a highly effective way of reducing empty miles, emissions, and increasing productivity. Merging the platform with Verizon Connect provided it with extra visibility and insight which is helping to better control its fuel usage – better for the environment and its bottom line at the same time.
Now, when Ariska’s vehicles are out on jobs, Verizon Connect’s technology monitors their speed, harsh acceleration, braking, and cornering. This information is then fed back to the drivers and their managers. The extra visibility allows Ariska Logistics to closely observe and evaluate how its vehicles are being driven and advise drivers on how to adapt their driving style. Over the course of a year, even minor adjustments can deliver substantial fuel saving across the fleet. The platform also enables Ariska to proactively keep on top of maintenance issues by monitoring each vehicle’s condition in near real-time.
In a time-critical delivery business like Ariska Logistics, being able to allocate more time to booking more loads rather than manually updating clients means it can now win more loads, and deliver a better, more efficient service to its customers.