Freeway Fleet Systems is now providing smartphone-control of fleet management with a new app that gives managers a real-time insight into essential fleet information and tasks. The fleet-in-your-pocket app is designed for planning and assigning work, as well as authorising purchases relating to fleet maintenance and compliance.
Fleet-in-your pocket provides a single smartphone interface for everything from Earned Recognition KPIs and Staff Overview to Defect Recording, Time- Sheet entry, Parts Purchasing, Authorising, Receipting and Issuing. The development puts all aspects of cost-control and compliance into a mobile device application to improve management and efficiency, reducing bottlenecks to speed workflows.
As part of the revolution in mobile working, fleet-in-your-pocket can benefit managers, stores staff, drivers, engineering staff and accounts with immediate access to more accurate information with less time-consuming processing.
Freeway has taken advantage of the latest cloud and mobile technology to bring tasks previously only undertaken on central office systems onto the mobile devices with an easy-to-use interface. Managers can view key statistics on scheduling, spend, and Earned Recognition compliance, live and from the workshop floor. The app also provides an oversight of what each staff member in the workshop is doing at that exact point in time.
Patrick Tandy, Managing Director of Freeway describes the fleet-in-your-pocket digital revolution as a ‘decade long, overnight success’. “We have been working with our customers over many years to improve levels of automation, and fleet-in-your pocket is a culmination of the move to mobile working that has come into its own over the course of the last year,” he explains.
The reason for the sudden increase in demand is thought to be down to a number of factors. Firstly, the DVSA’s Earned Recognition Scheme officially sanctions digital record keeping, and it is clear that this will be the way forward for compliance in the future. Secondly, tablets and smartphones are increasingly replacing costly industrial equipment with mobile devices that are much less costly and user-familiar, and thirdly, there is greater user awareness and acceptance of digital technology.
“In addition to the acceptance of mobile working, the interfaces we are providing and the technology we are using has also reached a tipping point where the number of integrated functions and their ease of use make it much easier to make the switch from paper,” adds Tandy.
Providing instant access to key management data held on Freeway’s fleet management system, the app was first developed to allow managers to sign-off on purchased orders, where management intervention is required to authorise expenditure. Sign-off requests are automatically sent to the appropriate manager based on the order value, and this can be approved or rejected by the manager using a smartphone.
Commenting on this, Eddie Street of London bus operator Tower Transit said, “For managers, this is a brilliant addition to Freeway. I don’t need to be at my desk logged onto my PC to deal with things such as PO authorisations. I can basically keep my finger on the pulse wherever I happen to be, and know that I am not holding up any work.”
Elsewhere, store managers can carry out stock-checks and part requests, and part issues can also be done using a smartphone. Engineers can also use mobile devices to record defects, as well as rectification work capturing photographs as they work – backed up with immediate access to the vehicle’s entire history of defects, labour and parts issues. Drivers can also carry out first-use checks as well as ad-hoc breakdown and defect reports with instant communication to engineering.
And the award goes to…
Freeway won a high-profile Innovation Challenge for their fleet-in-the-pocket smartphone app. The company was presented with the Gold Award at the UK’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. The Challenge gave technology suppliers a new platform to showcase their efforts in driving the industry forward and was launched at Coach & Bus UK.
The app was shortlisted after a public vote by visitors to the show, which attracted almost 6,000 professionals from the bus and coach industry. Finalists delivered a 90 second pitch to a panel of industry judges led by Graham Vidler, CEO of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). Accepting the Gold award, Patrick Tandy, MD of Freeway Fleet Systems, said, “Winning this award is testament to the team that’s behind the product, the quality and the effort that’s gone into making it possible. All the ideas come from our customers, and we have the privilege of being able to take their ideas and put them into action.”