BOCs new transport management system boosts safety, service and efficiency standards and its environmentally friendly too!

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Thanks to 7global and partner VSc Solutions, BOCs  global transport management system is helping to improve driving standards, boost service levels and increase corporate efficiency

7global, the Managed Services Company and strategic partner, VSc Solutions a specialist supply chain and transport management solutions company, have today revealed the success of its sophisticated integrated transport management system recently installed in the UK by industrial and special gases company, BOC Gases.

The VSc Transport Management system, which includes telematics and route compliance, is delivering improvements across BOCs transport fleet, and has exceeded all expectations in its trial stage. The system has been implemented in over 400 BOC vehicles in the UK, with further vehicles in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia currently in trial mode.

BOC Gases Transport Manager, Andrew Smith spearheaded the project to monitor the activity of its delivery drivers and their vehicles during a normal working day to accurately assess driving standards and vehicle usage. By using computers in the drivers cab Andrew and his team are provided qualitative statistics on speed, braking, acceleration habits and driver performance

BOC believes that better understanding of drivers driving patterns and behaviour can help improve safety and standards with any weaknesses identified addressed through driver training and re-education programmes. 

At BOC we take a very proactive stance towards improving safety for our drivers, other road users and the environment and as this was a global project we needed a common approach to identify how best to improve safety standards across our fleet of vehicles. said Andrew Smith. Our decision to select VSc and 7global was supported by our South African business, Afrox, who had already developed a close working relationship with VScs parent company, Super Group. Super Group understood our business needs and had implemented an integrated cab computer system that was working very smoothly in Afrox and is delivering considerable benefit through route efficiency and compliance to schedule. Our aim was to take this system and implement it in the UK initially and then globally to raise safety standards by developing a responsive driver education and coaching programme.

In autumn 2005 BOC began a trial of the VSC system on 60 vehicles operating out of its Wolverhampton and Bristol depots with results closely monitored against pre-defined success criteria. The pilot was a success and following board approval, the VSc TMS was rolled out to the rest of the BOC fleet of over 400 vehicles.

As a significant project with global potential the VSc system needed to measure up to exacting standards in scaleability, interoperability and flexibility with the application hosted by a reputable hosting company capable of managing this real-time information system 24 hours a day seven days a week, added Andrew.  7global and VSc were already established, successful partners and we have enjoyed a very positive and smooth delivery as a result.

7global worked with the VSc and BOC team providing a complete service from consultation and design through to implementation, support, and management. From 7globals privately owned secure data centre located in a former Bank of England building, the BOC/VSc production system is hosted on a dedicated bespoke platform, managed and supported 24/7.

A key component of the VSC system for the driver and the transport team is the debrief report. When a driver returns to the depot they are debriefed, using a report produced from the information gathered during that days deliveries. This report gives the driver and the transport team a chance to discuss individual events, whilst fresh in their minds and propose solutions or identify where training is needed. The debrief report also identifies deliveries completed, routes taken, sequence of deliveries and indicates where changes should be made to improve service times and levels. The BOC team consulted widely with drivers and trade union representatives across the company who see it as a positive benefit to driver well being.

Having achieved measurable safety and service level improvements from its new transport management system BOC worked with the VSc/Super Group team to craft an interface between its corporate ERP system, SAP and the CAB computer system to enable them to compare and contrast the planned versus actual daily schedules. These daily schedules and the information gathered from the actual delivery are mapped in real-time by the 7global hosted system to improve BOCs visibility of how well it is meeting customer expectations. This qualitative information is delivering instant improvements and service benefits. Better decisions can be made with this real time accurate information, services can be finely tuned from instant driver feedback and overall BOC is further contributing to its record on environmental and quality issues.

Andrew Smith keeps a watchful eye on how technology can be applied to improve safety, service and efficiency and open up new service opportunities. We have already achieved a 50 per cent reduction in the number of events being recorded by our drivers in the pilot and when applied across all our transport regions could make a significant contribution to our business.

Many companies have invested new technology to monitor and track drivers and vehicles. What is important about BOCs implementation of the VSC TMS system is how widely the information it produces is used across our business to make safety, service and efficiency improvements for our drivers, customers, the business and the environment. Andrew continues, Our drivers see this as a collaborative project that benefits them.  Our customers are benefiting from improved and more responsive service levels while the business is making better decisions, improving compliance, reducing costs, identifying new service opportunities and building further momentum around its positive stance on environmental issues.

The VSc TMS hosted by 7global is now operational in the UK and Malaysia with Thailand and Hong Kong next on the list.  A trail has also begun in Australia.

For more information on this and other projects from 7global visit: www.7global.com .

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