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The A-Z series: Y for You—only you are ultimately responsible for your GSE fleets

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z series Y for You—only you are ultimately responsible for your GSE fleets

We are down to the very final articles in our A-Z series of fleet management and the penultimate letter—Y for You. If you operate a fleet—whether that be GSE or not—you may actually not be considering yourself when it comes to an honest assessment of what could be done to improve the performance of your fleet or you might be turning a blind eye to unsafe practices or stuck in a routine mode of operating that maybe isn’t in the best interests of your fleet.

Let’s discuss you as a potential issue for your fleet—‘you’ is something you cannot ignore!

#1 – You spend too much time on reports and paperwork. It is certainly one of the duties of fleet managers among the other numerous responsibilities including making sure customers are satisfied, drivers are motivated and vehicles are in good working order. But unfortunately fleet managers often spend too much time bogged down in this chore while they should be relying on reports and statistics that could reduce the amount of paperwork and free you up for tasks that contribute more to the commercial development of your business.

#2 – You never assess your maintenance schedules. It might be because you do not have the time, because you still work with manual methods or simply because you are under the misconception that things will always tick along one way or another. If you are actually in possession of fleet data via different platforms or sources, you will quickly come to the realisation that different circumstances can lead to different results and that you should analyse your results on a regular basis in order to stick with the same strategy or deviate from it.

#3 – You do not compare costs and operations. Although this is something apparently uncommon today, it can be that you are using the same vendors for the same type of service or the same drivers for trips. You might be surprised how analysing costs or activity can offer us useful material to digest and assess whether to switch to another vendor or whether one driver rather than another might be more suitable for a particular route—he might actually thank you for the change; and a degree of satisfaction can definitely improve performance.

#4 – Not using failure analysis. We know the work of the fleet manager is hard and that fleet managers are often asked, although only human, to behave like machines. But we also know mistakes happen. Now, mistakes can have within them the seeds of something positive, but only if we investigate how they happened in the first place and take corrective measures to ensure they don’t happen again. So, even if you are a proud perfectionist, put that attitude out of your mind when it comes to making the most of failure analysis—you might be surprised how this might actually work for you!

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

The A-Z series: X for X-ray—what do telematics and X-ray have in common?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jan 15, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z series X for X-ray—what do telematics and X-ray have in common?

Time now for the letter X in our A-Z series, and you might actually be surprised by our choice of topic for this particular article, indeed it might look a little ‘forced’ as there are limited topics we might reasonably attach to the letter X. But if you look ‘beneath the surface’ you might actually agree with us and come to see that, in the end, fleet/GSE telematics and X-ray do share some features in common: let’s see which ones!

Revealing what’s wrong. X-rays were a radical technological innovation that for the first time in medical history enabled the accurate detection of abnormalities within the body. GSE telematics systems are similarly used, though this is not the only advantage they might bring to your company or team. Added visibility and the ability to peek ‘beneath the hood’ at any given time make these tools incredibly useful in your daily operation and a precious opportunity to boost your business potential.

A painless process. You don’t feel pain when you experience an X-ray scan, do you? However, getting started with GSE telematics might appear troublesome and a bit of a ‘pain’ at first, especially as some staff members invariably object to being “tracked”. But the truth is, just like X-ray scans, you need to make sure you rely on the right professionals to make the telematics process run smoothly. Taking the proper steps to equip your GSE fleet with telematics technology by experts like Transpoco can definitely make something so apparently daunting into a seamless transition.

Proper preparation. Following on from the previous point, when you have to go for a scan, you need to listen to the instructions provided and position yourself in the best way for the procedure to work best, and possibly take contrast liquid if needed. With telematics you might need to have specific types of preparation depending on the number of vehicles you have or the metrics you want to record, but getting the best tips from reliable providers will ensure everything is ready quickly and your company is improving and saving on costs straight away.

No risks. Unless you are experiencing a very specific health condition or suffering from an allergic reaction to contrast liquid, there are practically no risks involved in the use of an X-ray scan. When it comes to fleet technology and GSE telematics, benefits can be enjoyed quickly and potential risks should decrease, especially with regards to global safety or spend. Talk to us if you have any particular concerns—we can show you how managing GSE vehicles can be a game-changer and with no risks attached!

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, Airport fleet management

The A-Z series: W is for Workforce—staff is your best asset

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z series W is for Workforce—staff is your best asset

Time for the letter W in our A-Z of fleet management; and today we are focussing on Workforce, an element your ground support equipment (GSE) fleet operation simply cannot do without!

Without the right people to operate vehicles we would soon have redundant fleets. Having skilled and reliable employees is extremely important for both logistics companies and ground handlers, yet business managers can be guilty of watching their most important assets walk out the door every day. The truth is that despite the workforce being such a vital aspect of any enterprise, managers often realise this way too late and struggle to retain their staff or invest in them.

For the time being, workforce management is what people look into in order to provide good workplace schedules and optimize staff productivity. GSE telematics and fleet management tools can put you in touch with reliable data so that the right person can be in the right place at the right time, but another undoubted benefit they can provide is the means to constructively engage with your workforce.

So let’s have a look at the following tips if you want to keep your staff happy and not see them walk out the door!

  1. Recognize the value of the team. If your GSE staff meet goals, and are able to adapt to innovation when it is introduced, you feel you can count on them, recognize their value and reward them in a way they will appreciate and they will feel more involved.

  2. Develop workforce training which will not only make employees more productive but also happy to be part of the team. This strategy will also help you attract talent and retain skilled workers. Use technology to see if there are any patterns in their daily tasks that might suggest non-compliance or unsafe behaviours and plan for courses accordingly.
  3. Define goals for your workforce. Provide clear instructions and objectives by communicating company direction on a regular basis and provide an empowering work environment that will motivate employees and make them more eager to come to work every day.

  4. Review the progress made by your workforce. Use your digital tools to track performance or time their progress on the ramp and let everyone know when they are doing a fantastic job, this ensures the development of the whole team.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, Airport fleet management

The A-Z series: V for vehicle data, one of the most powerful resources for any fleet

by Eleonora Malacarne on Dec 5, 2019 8:45:00 AM

The A-Z series V for vehicle data, one of the most powerful resources for any fleet

We may be approaching the very end of the line in our alphabet series of fleet management, but we will never run out of content—today we turn our attention to the letter V for Vehicle data.

Why is vehicle data so important?
We are under the impression that data is very important, and this is the case across a good many industries. We might be vaguely aware of this, but as technology progresses and is becoming essential to our daily life and jobs, there is a great deal of it we can use to maximise efficiency in what we do. Today, we have extremely rapid access to potentially any type of information simply by touching the screen of our phone; and we have the power to use that information to our benefit.

If we consider the information our vehicles produce, there are plenty of things we can use to understand how to improve our processes, protect our drivers, minimise our carbon footprint or increase the lifespan of our vehicles. Using data we obtain from vehicles is crucial to having them operate efficiently and performing at their best, as is making sense of all the data available. Having data available—or the right data available—can be an invaluable tool to unlocking a competitive advantage and making a business progress quicker than expected, at least if some important points are accepted.

The right data. If you can access original vehicle data in real time, you can select what data is more relevant for you or your business. While some sets of data work as general KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for any fleet (journeys carried out, mileage per gallon, fuel consumption and so on), some data might be especially relevant for your company or sector. You might not know in advance what data set is particularly applicable to you operation, but rather after you are able to assess the actual vehicle data available. What’s more, having such reliable information at your disposal can help you set up new KPIs.

A great deal of personalisation. Following from the first point, obtaining fresh vehicle data is a far more reliable option than making assumptions. Accessing our own streams of recorded data allows us to choose what is most important to our business; this is preferable to blindly relying on the accepted standards of the sector—which is not wrong, but might prove to be unreliable.

Understanding the data. With so much data available, it is very easy to get confused. Getting data into a user-friendly format, so as to fully appreciate the data on offer, is another essential part of the process. Streams of information obtained from vehicles can be overwhelming, but accessing them in a suitable format can help you grasp the whole picture and convert insights into meaningful events to then use to your advantage.

If you want to know more about the power of vehicle data, get in touch and see how our fleet management system works.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

RAC research suggests drivers who idle should be fined

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

RAC research suggests drivers who idle should be fined

According to a new RAC research made public last week, the 72% of the interviewed calls for an idling crackdown, with 44% of them stating drivers refusing to switch their engine off should be fined. 26% of the drivers surveyed, on another hand, think motorists should just be told to switch off without being fined, and a 2% thinks offenders should be fined without any type of warning.

After an initial call for more power to take action against drivers who idle, councils in the UK already have the authority to fine them, but as of now just a few chose to do it. The respondents to the survey would like to see some action taken against offenders, as 88% of them argued they see drivers idling while parking at the side of a road, 40% see drivers idling on a regular basis and 48% see them occasionally. 26% of respondents saw drivers idling outside schools.

With climate change and emissions being constantly in the news, 55% of those surveyed added that they are more concerned on the impact of vehicle emissions on the environment and public health than they were 3 years ago. But the top reason for switching off provided by the surveyed was instead cost, with 37% stating they would switch off to save on fuel, followed by 35% saying they would do it to help with air quality.

After in the June of this year the UK Government announced it would launch a consultation looking at increasing fines for those who idle, some councils have called for powers to deal with idling. Westminster City Council leader Nickie Aiken argued that “Fines are our last resort but when we establish a pattern of persistent idling we need to be able to send a message” and added that fines for company vehicles, such as supermarket delivery vans, that are caught idling need to be “a four-figure sum to be a sufficient deterrent”.

The war against idling has just started.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, Fuel Economy, reduce emissions

Free FTA UK Brexit preparation workshops for hauliers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Free FTA Brexit preparation workshops for hauliers start this month


With the UK and EU yet to reach an agreement on their future trading relationship, at least at the time of writing, it is vital that vehicle goods operators are as prepared as possible for a No-Deal Brexit, even if MPs have backed a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit on 31st October. According to the bill, if Boris Johnson fails to secure an agreement with Brussels by 19th October, he will be forced to ask for another delay.

To guide hauliers through this challenging time, FTA UK has launched a series of free half-day workshops. The first ones took place in September but the events are continuing until the 31st October deadline.

In the event of a No-Deal Brexit, new border procedures and haulier responsibilities will come into effect immediately. Hauliers must ensure they fully understand the new road haulage procedures, documentation requirements and responsibilities that will arise after 31 October 2019; otherwise they risk their operations coming to a standstill.

The workshops will cover the following topics:

  • Brexit update.
  • Overview of No-Deal Brexit impact on international haulage.
  • New border procedures and haulier responsibilities to maintain business continuity.
  • Practical considerations for a No-Deal Brexit and a step-by-step guide for hauliers to prepare.
  • Overview of new documentation requirements for goods vehicle operators.
  • Overview of documentation for goods vehicle drivers.
  • Overview of documents for goods vehicles and trailers.
  • Other haulage business no-deal planning considerations.
  • End to end process.

You can checkout the extended programme of the workshops on the FTA website, where you can also book your seat.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, Brexit

Iberia to implement Transpoco complete fleet management solution throughout Spain

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco supplies Iberia with GSE telematics solution SynX at Spanish stations

Leading telematics and fleet management software provider, Transpoco, has announced that it has enabled Iberia to achieve significant operational savings by implementing its advanced fleet management solution on its ground support equipment in numerous airports across the airline’s Spanish network.

Following a rigorous tender process, Transpoco was selected for a proof of concept in Madrid and Barcelona on up to 200 motorised assets. As a result of proven savings and return on investment Iberia will roll out the technology on up to 1400 motorised assets across further stations throughout Spain.

The Transpoco solution will help Iberia Airport Services to manage its fleet more efficiently and reduce any misuse from daily operations.

Iberia will benefit from Transpoco’s product functionality that includes tracking and controlling motorised equipment at the various airport ramps. The system also has the potential to integrate with many other platforms within the organisation including sharing data with airport authorities to update them with live location of the Iberia fleet.

Ángel Marcos, Iberia Chief Airport Services Officer, commented, “At Iberia we are constantly striving to find new ways of innovation, maximising efficiency and providing a punctual, safe and reliable service to our customers. By integrating the Transpoco fleet management software across multiple stations in Spain we have helped to achieve this”. Ángel Marcos added, “The solution from Transpoco allows us to increase safety and performance on the ramp, being more environmentally friendly while reducing operational costs. The Transpoco system and team have been very flexible and agile in reaching the business specifications of our requirements”.

Andrew Fleury, Transpoco CEO, commented, “We are delighted to be working with a world class airline in Iberia as we have been developing our system for many years with clients now in over 60 different countries. Our specialism in the aviation industry has been recognised internationally by some of the largest companies in the world and we continue to make internal investment to expand our international client base”.

 

Iberia Airport Services roster of more than 170 airline clients at 29 airports in Spain. In 2018 the handling unit attended some 350.000 aircraft and more than 96 million passengers. Iberia Airport Services is distinguished by its versatility in serving all types of airlines in all types of operations, and its human and material capacity for resolving every kind of contingency.

Some 40% of Iberia’s handing unit’s ground vehicles are now 100% electric and thus emissions-free, and the substitution of older vehicles continues. The unit is certified by Spain’s AENOR standards bureau for its quality assurance and environmental protection systems, under ISO 9,001 and ISO 14,001 standards.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 3, 2019 8:02:00 AM

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

According to figures recently released by the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland (HSA), vehicles are the leading cause of death in Irish workplaces.

The source of the aforementioned figures is the Authority’s 2018 Annual Report, showing that there were 39 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2018, compared to 48 in 2017, a decline of 19%. But the single biggest danger last year came from vehicles in the workplace, with 17 lives lost across all industries last year.

The farming sector suffered 15 work-related deaths in 2018, compared to 25 in 2017, a decline of 40%, while construction had five work-related deaths.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said workplace deaths cause great trauma and personal suffering for families every year. While welcoming the decline in workplace fatalities, he said: “We should remember that any improvement in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the dozens of Irish people whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”

Dr Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, said that the fatality statistics show how vehicles are now the biggest threat to life in the Irish workplace. “Whether it’s a farmer driving a tractor in a yard, or a truck driver delivering a load, across all sectors, incidents involving vehicles accounted for almost half - or 44% - of all deaths last year. The worrying trend is continuing with six deaths provisionally recorded so far this year in the transportation sector” she said.

Tractors were involved in the majority of workplace vehicle incidents last year and claimed six lives but cars, refuse trucks and forklifts were also involved in fatalities.

Expressing concern at the devastation caused by work tragedies on bereaved families, Dr McGuinness urged everyone to be aware of the risks posed by moving vehicles in all workplaces. A change in mindset is required to reduce the numbers of workers dying or suffering serious injury as a result of workplace vehicles: complacency is costing lives.

“Drivers at work often forget about the same hazards that they look out for when driving on the road, like properly maintaining their vehicles, and paying attention to pedestrians when reversing. These checks could help prevent a fatal catastrophe to themselves or a work colleague,” Dr McGuinness concluded.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet safety, Health and Safety at work

The A-Z series: let’s talk about U for Uptime

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 12, 2019 8:59:00 AM

The A-Z series let’s talk about U for Uptime

We may be running short of letters to complete our A-Z series of fleet management, but never topics. Uptime, according to standard definition, is the period of time which a computer, piece of machinery, etc., is operational and available for use. It goes without saying that in the case of fleets, uptime, when specifically referring to vehicles, is one of the eternal quests of fleet managers—to make vehicles ready to perform as much as possible, as opposed to downtime, in order to maximise profits.

Fleets have only quite recently begun to abandon a type of reactive maintenance, which seemingly worked for ages, in favour of more adequate planning that involves other factors than just facilitating the transportation of material from point A to point B. This may include the consideration of the customer perspective, the need for precise quality standards and conformity and also the nature of the business producing revenue.

Now, in order to prevent a problem suddenly arising and forcing vehicles into downtime, fleets know that they have to stay ahead of the game, on the lookout for anything related to potential issues, fixing them before they actually cause a problem while the vehicle is on the road. Apart from the usual pre-trip checks or walk-around checks that are legally required, some specific checks on particularly troublesome features can be conducted with a degree of regularity to avoid issues in the long run. Another concept that has only recently been considered by fleets is the idea of having a comprehensive check after the vehicle reaches a certain threshold in terms of mileage, with the same aim of anticipating possible problems.

Technology has also started to provide the means to gather data and notify fleets regarding the perfect timing of servicing a vehicle, offering a heads-up regarding a potential malfunction or simply capturing vehicle performance in terms of fuel consumption, number of services and similar metrics to help establish the regular checks to be carried out to preserve vehicles and help prolong their uptime. The information, often given in real time, can also help establish whether the vehicle can continue on the road without risk or if it is preferable to take it off rather than waiting for the regular check. And the increased connectivity of a vehicle can, according to numbers shared by Volvo Trucks, reduce incidents of unplanned downtime by 80%.

It has been calculated by LeasePlan that the average cost of having a van off the road is between €785/£700 and €1122/£1,000 per day. Nevertheless, according to data shared by Autoglass, a substantial number of fleet managers appear to be unaware of the financial impact, with 40% of them unable to estimate the business cost of having a vehicle off the road. Those who were able to give a figure said the average cost in terms of lost business revenue was €815/£727 per day per van. No surprise then why the focus has changed in fleets in favour of a more proactive approach to maximise uptime, though it still has yet to become standard practice for some of them.

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet maintenance

3 unique challenges that airport fleets are expected to overcome

by Eleonora Malacarne on Sep 10, 2019 9:01:00 AM

3 unique challenges that airport fleets are expected to overcome

When thinking about “airport fleets”, it may for most people automatically bring to mind the bright and colourful fuselages of different aircrafts; from the impressive A380, to the A320 or Boeing 747 that we are accustomed to board for our short-haul and maybe low-cost flights for either business or leisure. But the truth is that aircrafts are not the only fleet involved in smoothly conveying us to our destinations—there are ground fleets in airports that help to make this possible.

Just like any other ground fleet based organisation, airport fleets come with a set of challenges typical of them all, plus an array of unique ones peculiar to commercial aviation. Now that we have clarified the kinds of fleets we are specifically focusing on in this post, let’s have a look at three airport fleet challenges that ground services, handling and air transport businesses tackle every day!

#1 – Managing an incredibly diverse fleet. Again, we can bring to mind a mental image of the familiar service vehicles such as cars, vans or pickups that we invariably find in the perimeter of an airport—and also the buses/shuttles that transport passengers between terminal buildings, to departure gates or to and from aircraft. But these vehicles are just a small part of the fleet operating inside an airport, on runways and ramps. Airport fleets are in fact comprised of both motorized and non-motorized assets that are all of equal importance in the task of transporting goods and people by air; that all have to be precisely located to ensure efficient and fast operations and maintained so as to guarantee swift service. Airport fleets might just about have almost every means of conveyance: think about baggage tractors, cargo tractors, cargo loaders, mobile assets, power units, trolleys, passenger steps, elevators, escalators, conveyor belts, pushback tractors...

#2 – “Phenomenal cosmic powers—in an itty-bitty living space” is no fun: this is not only Aladdin’s genie’s motto, but it’s the bread and butter of airport fleets. Aircrafts, vehicles and assets move around a limited space in a precise way to ensure timings and slots are respected, that there is no delay caused by operations on the ground and everything is obviously happening in a safe, compliant way flight after flight, after flight.

#3 – Diverse assets in a reduced space—actually, in a LOT of reduced spaces. If we consider airports as reduced perimeters and handling companies with multifarious challenges depending on how many airports they control, airport fleets have to operate in a consistent, standardised way all around the world and comply with different regulations in different markets at the same time and with different stages of development or maturity depending on the airport they work in.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, Airport fleet management

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