Freeway Fleet Systems explains its software

Freeway Fleet Systems explains its software

CVW takes a look at the offering from Freeway Fleet Systems and how it can benefit you.

Freeway Fleet Systems is a complete fleet management solution that provides real-time visibility of workshop activity, performance, and costs down to individual components. The software is designed to improve asset management, compliance, and fleet maintenance, working seamlessly across different platforms from on-premises server or cloud, with desktop and mobile interfaces.

Increasingly, that means empowering customers to access, manage, and book servicing through mobile devices. Freeway has recently introduced two new services to facilitate this: ‘fleet-in-your-pocket’ and a web-based portal that allows users to manage service dates and slots for vehicles, trailers, and plant for internal divisions either internally within their own company or externally with an authorised service provider.

Web-based service bookings

The web portal software auto-generates email or text messages such as booking confirmation, reminders, and work completed notifications. Using communication templates these notifications can be easily customised and allow different recipients to be set up, for example, dealer service desks, asset owners, and vehicle drivers. Booking management capability allows complex accounting requirements to be handled, such as applying variable charges for different cost centres, partners, and customers.

“The online booking portal is a game changer for anyone providing a workshop service, whether internal or external. It’s a real-time paperless facility that eliminates phone calls and the usual wasted time checking workshop schedules and going back and forth with available slots. Like booking a slot for a grocery delivery, vehicles can be simply booked in with a few clicks and the whole process is automated thereafter,” says Patrick Tandy, Managing Director of Freeway Fleet Systems.

Freeway Fleet

‘Fleet-in-your-Pocket’ app

Freeway’s ‘Fleet-in-your-pocket’ app has been developed for management and staff with responsibility for planning and assigning work or authorising purchases relating to fleet maintenance and compliance. The aim was to incorporate all aspects of cost-control and compliance into a mobile device application to improve management and efficiency, reducing bottlenecks to speed up workflows.

The app provides a single smartphone interface for everything from Earned Recognition KPIs and staff overview to defect recording, time-sheet entry, parts purchasing, authorising, and issuing.

‘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. 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.

“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 in the course of the last year,” explains Tandy.

“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,” he continues. “Secondly, costly industrial equipment is increasingly being replaced with mobile devices that are much less costly and user-familiar, and thirdly, there is greater user awareness and acceptance of digital technology.”

Tandy concludes: “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.”

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/defect reports with instant communication to engineering.

Case study

Gregory Distribution operates a fleet of 750 vehicles and 1,000 trailers and has workshops in seven locations. It has been operating Freeway software for over a decade as part of a Group-wide fleet management system that provides realtime, 24/7 information for centralised management including compliance, purchasing, and business analytics.

Whilst many Gregory employees simply access the system to view vehicle documentation, around 20 administrators and managers use Freeway throughout the day to access data relating to the fleet. Freeway provides useful Key Performance Indicator data on the fleet and, as well as Freeway generated reports, the software integrates with Gregory’s IT platform for additional KPI reporting.

In the latest upgrade, Gregory Distribution has equipped its fleet engineers at five sites with mobile devices in a move designed to replace a significant amount of paperwork in workshops.

Freeway’s mobile application is being used on rugged tablets by Gregory’s technicians to replace paper inspection forms, timesheets, and job-cards. The job-cards provide a wrapper holding all data on work done, whether internally or externally. Through their tablets the company’s 50 technicians also have immediate access to historic data for a vehicle, such as previous defects fixed and parts used.

Freeway Fleet

The Freeway tablets are connected to Freeway’s central fleet management system to provide real-time insight into scheduled, in-progress, and completed fleet maintenance work.

“The introduction of mobile devices in the workshop has eliminated much paperwork and the keying in of data,” says Alan Worden, Group Technology and Contracts Director for Gregory Distribution. “That’s saved a huge amount of administrative time. It’s not only boosting our efficiency, but it is making management easier as we can all instantly gain access to information about the fleet, whether it be for checking compliance or seeing if and when a vehicle is available”.

“By using Freeway’s software nationally, we have been able to very quickly standardise our approach to compliance and easily publish a daily report illustrating our company-wide position. The tablets have helped us further align everything by introducing a standard process for workshop work and reporting,” Worden adds.

“With the roll out of tablets we now have a real-time element and that adds a new and important dimension to the system from a central management perspective. Freeway gives us one stop visibility of engineering activity and this is helping us minimise vehicle downtime,” Worden concludes.

For more information on Freeway Fleet Systems click here.

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