TDW Distribution, one of South Wales’ largest distribution companies, is employing the latest mobile technology to improve its fleet maintenance operation. Part of the installation of new management software supplied by Freeway Fleet Systems, tablet devices are being introduced to help eliminate paperwork with electronic inspection reports and job cards.
Freeway’s software is integrated with TDW’s Mandata Transport Management System (TMS) providing visibility into the availability and status of every vehicle in the fleet. Freeway also provides useful fleet analytics, improved stock control with cyclic stock checks and smartphone apps for stock takes. It also allows outsourced maintenance to be tracked for better management and cost control.
“Freeway represents a significant step forward in the management of our fleet. The software provides a host of really useful features that will allow us to improve efficiency and maintain at tighter control on quality, costs and compliance,” commented TDW Distribution managing director Andrew Williams. “In the workshop the tablets link directly to the Freeway system and allow easy data capture; they will eliminate subsequent keying in, improve transparency and reduce errors.
“One really useful feature offered is Freeway’s Fleet Analytics,” he continued. “Here we accurately analyse the productivity and efficiency of the fleet with graphical reports to identify trends across time, vehicle manufacturer and location; it means we can quickly pinpoint areas of excessive costs, whether it be high fuel consumption, inferior parts, unproductive use of labour or poor driving.”
TDW operate a fleet of 90 vehicles and 185 trailers transporting fast moving consumer goods throughout South Wales and beyond. Freeway is a comprehensive system that provides TDW fleet managers with a detailed insight in all aspects of fleet maintenance work, allowing tight controls over costs and compliance.
Reading Buses also goes mobile via Freeway
Reading Buses has revolutionised its vehicle maintenance operations with a mobile system to replace job cards and inspection reports in the workshop. Using Samsung tablets live connected to a Freeway fleet maintenance system, mobile apps allow Reading’s technicians to replace paperwork with easy-to-use electronic forms. The system is not only saving time, but is also improving the accuracy and completeness of reporting, boosting efficiency and simplifying fleet management.
Reading Buses operates local bus service in Reading and Newbury. The company already relies on Freeway’s software to automate a full range of maintenance-related functions, including routine maintenance, inspections, defects, stock control and order management.
“It wasn’t until we started using Freeway’s mobile apps that we realised how much they would help,” said Reading Buses engineering manager Phil Herlingshaw. “Previously, we often struggled to read everyone’s handwriting, and when things were missing – such as a tyre tread depth – we’d have to track back and get the job completed. With the app, reports cannot be sent without all fields being completed first. And without transcription issues, we have not only 100% completion first time, but better quality data. It’s wonderful!”
Reading Buses plans to roll out Freeway apps to replace paperwork throughout the maintenance operation, with staff using tablets to record scheduled maintenance, inspections, defects and even cleaning. Because the mobile apps are seamlessly integrated with the central Freeway system, the tablets can provide access to all information relating to a vehicle. For any job card, the maintenance history can be instantly viewed.
“We can immediately see everything about the vehicle, such as work undertaken, parts fitted and defects reported. That gives us a really useful insight, for example, spotting recurring faults that are not being resolved as expected; pointing to underlying problems needing further investigation.”
Reading Buses has been transporting customers in and around Reading for more than a century. Having invested millions in more than 100 new fully-accessible, ultra-low emission buses for its routes, the company now operates a fleet of 184 buses. The company has invested in the latest lower emission buses, and 37 percent of its fleet is either electric hybrid or powered by compressed natural gas.