K Transport Services is a road haulage and distribution specialist that has built a reputation based on local, national and international freight collection and distribution.
The well-established firm lists companies in the construction, automotive and steel stockholding industries among its extensive clientele and runs a fleet of sixty-five vehicles - including 44T artics, rigids and crane-mounted loaders, which can comfortably accommodate most types of freight consignment.
With a workforce of over ninety, spread across three UK depots, the company enjoys an annual growth rate of 10%, and turnover of around 6M.
KTS makes no secret of its heavy investment in IT infrastructure to ensure the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Here, managing director, David Kay, lists the ways in which the company's latest investment in internet-based vehicle tracking technology is proving a boon to business by enhancing customer service, generating cost savings, assisting compliance with the duty of care remit and increasing business capacity.
"The main driver towards our uptake of vehicle tracking was a wish to improve asset management and provide better customer service" states Kay, "we knew exactly what we wanted from a system and trialled three options before selecting Quartix and having 50 units fitted."
Commenting on this choice, he says, "The Quartix team inspired confidence and came across as friendly, flexible and easy to deal with. The fact that you don't have to install any bespoke software to run the system and can view your fleet from any PC, at any time, is ideal."
Kay concedes that the subject of tracking had to be broached carefully with his drivers, "At the annual wage review," he recalls, "we issued a letter stating the new salary rate, the importance of the job and the value placed on our services by specialist customers; we pointed out that vehicle tracking for asset management would give a competitive edge and listed the driver benefits - including help with finding locations and less distraction from mobile phone calls. As you would expect, there were a few comments made, but not too many!" he reports.
It was therefore a mild shock when two drivers quit not long after the first units had been installed. "It turned out they hadn't been giving 100%," Kay expands, "and would have been found out - so I view their loss as another positive effect of telematics!"
David Kay comments that the award-winning live-tracking solution has been very well received by customers. "Real-time tracking lets us place urgent loads more efficiently and customer confidence is increased through improved security levels and a fully-transparent service. Some customers report that our use of the tracking system has helped them to win business," he adds. "The service is so user-friendly that clients can have parallel access to the Quartix webpage for live-visibility of dedicated vehicles, and drivers' families can also have defined access. Our maintenance team monitors vehicles' real-time locations to call them in for servicing when they enter the local area."
Revealing the full extent of the Quartix service Kay says, "Tracking logs arrive daily and/or weekly by email - serving as accurate timesheets -and we're now saving around two hours per employee, per week, against previous over-estimations of hourly-paid working time."
"The logs are also useful for cross-referencing information needed for compliance with working time regulations," he continues, "and rule out discrepancies in drivers' periods of availability."
With expert business nous, Kay was quick to spot an unexpected benefit of the tracking system, "Our drivers used to have to be fairly disciplined about operating a timesheet system for working out demurrage charges," he says, "Now, with the weekly log landing in the inbox, we can view the exact time at which our trucks have moved from a holding area to a loading bay - so demurrage charges are more accurate and a copy of the log can be emailed to client if required."
David Kay has recommended the tracking system to other haulage companies and says, "Cost is no longer a barrier to the uptake of this type of system; the technology doesn't cost a fortune and is there when you need it, 24/7. As a direct result of our deployment of the Quartix tracking service, we envisage increased business capacity of at least 15% over the next 12 months - through more-efficient load placing, increased fuel efficiency and reductions in empty running."