Specialist haulier sees significant improvements since installing digital transport-management system
LANDSCAPING, building, and agricultural products suppliers John Bourne & Co report significant improvements since installing a transport-management system (TMS) from Mandata. Operating a mixed fleet of HGVs and support vehicles from their Newenden base, in Kent, the long-established family business focuses on the London and Home Counties and delivers nationwide through its network of sites and hauliers.
‘We decided it was time to get rid of the paper-based systems and to install a TMS which not only could make immediate improvements to the day-to-day running of our business, but also better serve our customers while future-proofing key elements of our operation,’ said Ellie Smith, Bourne’s transport administrator.
Accordingly, after consultation with the Mandata team, Bourne went live last summer with a package of solutions to meet their specific operational needs: Mandata GoPlus; Manifests App; Vehicle Tracking; Tacho Now, and Workshop were quickly integrated into the business.
‘Since then’, said Ms Smith, ‘the company has not looked back and improvements across the board have been impressive.
‘Before going on to GoPlus, we were completely paper based. The drivers’ work for the following day would be typed up job by job and then printed and emailed out. Now, Mandata have reduced by many hours the workload in sorting drivers’ day sheets and paper PoDs. The whole process is faster and more efficient.
‘Also, GoPlus has greatly reduced our reliance on paper and we make big time savings. The drivers complete their jobs as they go throughout the day, which allows us in the office to give more exact ETAs to customers and to monitor driver activity. If jobs are suddenly moved or cancelled, we can rearrange the routing and add new ones at the last minute.’
Ms Smith added that where once delivery notes could get lost or damaged and proof of delivery could easily be challenged, the Manifests app has proved to be the perfect solution.
‘Once the jobs have been sent out, the drivers are able to see all the information for the day and we are able to edit and send more information to them – rather than having to call or get a message to them another way. As soon as the job has been completed, we can provide the customer with an electronic PoD with their signature on it.
‘Before, tickets would be handed in by drivers, which could cause long delays, especially if they were not based at the main office site. This would cause a delay in invoicing. Now, however, we can access PoDs as soon as the job has been delivered and thanks to electronic PoDs, lost or damaged tickets are a thing of the past.’
To keep tabs on Bourne’s vehicle fleet, Mandata’s Tracking allows the traffic office to see the location of each vehicle in real time and to see how jobs are progressing.
‘Mandata Vehicle Tracking gives us much better detail and accuracy than our previous system,’ said Ms Smith. ‘The easy-to-read map and driver info’ allow us to work out ETAs, driver breaks and driving times. Plus, we can spot problems early, manage exceptions, and keep customers informed. Also, we can add extra jobs safely with the help of live driver hours and tacho data downloads.’
Furthermore, say Bourne, Mandata’s TachoNow allows vehicle and driver data to be captured easily and filed for later access or auditing. The automated digi-downloads save time and eliminate paper. They update easily, without issues.
John Bourne & Co have 18 vehicles, consisting of eight-wheel tippers and eight-wheel grab lorries. Their sister company, Gardenscape, has seven smaller vehicles for working on smaller sites and residential areas.
‘We are currently implementing Mandata’s Workshop, which will help with vehicle maintenance, MOTs, defect corrections, and inspection planning.’ added Ms Smith. ‘It’s one of the ongoing things included in our implementation and training programme. Mandata work around our requirements and their trainer is always available outside prescribed training hours to answer any questions or resolve issues.’
One year on, Bourne say they have seen a host of benefits, from improved job planning and driver communications to more accurate vehicle tracking and faster invoice turnround. Mandata’s TMS will also help Bourne with faster and more accurate information retrieval when compiling annual accreditation reports for their Gold standard FORS.
‘Now both John Bourne and Gardenscape are set up on Mandata,’ concluded Ellie Smith. ‘We are able to send partner jobs through the system - which also reduces workload. In the future we plan on bringing our other sister company, Bourne Amenity, on to Mandata, so they are able to send work through to us via the Mandata TMS rather than by email. Also, once all our lorries are on the Mandata tracking system, tracking and ETAs will be more accurate than ever before.’
Mandata say the business has had the confidence to adapt, and with the support of technology is now driving greater efficiencies in all aspects of its transport operation, as well as helping the business to deliver on its mission; to deliver great service on its customers’ terms.