In a week where we have seen truck drivers protesting in their hundreds in London and South Wales, there is a simple way to use the web to dramatically reduce fuel usage and show a positive cash flow from day one.
And it is cost effective for fleets of all size, ranging from fleets with as little as five vehicles
The latest version of the web-based logixcentral vehicle routing and scheduling system, from DPS International, costs just 20 a day for a planner to use - and that is the equivalent of just 18 litres of diesel at last year's prices of 1.10 for a litre.
The CEO of DPS, Paul Palmer, said that many companies had been put off using routing and scheduling because of the cost involved, including the hidden costs of additional hardware and support. "There is no need to purchase a licence for logixcentral (up to 45,000 for similar desktop versions), buy additional hardware or create extra work for IT departments. And its future proof - maintenance and upgrades come without further charges."
"With fuel prices at today's record prices, this is a no-brainer. The monthly user fee for logixcentral is 400 - or 20 for each of twenty working days", Mr Palmer added. "To cover these costs, you need to reduce mileage across the whole fleet by less than 40 miles for the largest HGVs. "But even companies running fleets of small 3.5 tonne vans would only need to save a total of 130 miles across the fleet to cover costs."
How realistic are these figures? The fuel consumption and mileage figures are based on the 2008 RHA figures prepared by DFF. The diesel price (1.10 per litre) is an ultra conservative one. An HGV typically covers 1000 miles in a week. So how easy or difficult is it to achieve these savings?
"We would confidently expect a fleet where no computer aided planning is deployed to save in the order of 10% although some clients have saved 25% when planning with logixcentral" Mr Palmer said. "But this is on total costs of running the fleet, not just fuel costs. With the benefits of a hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) solution like logixcentral, there is no capital expenditure and the monthly costs can come out of an operational, rather than a capex or IT budget. This brings significant cash flow and tax advantages and an almost instant return on investment".
"We have found a growing market for companies in the service industries, where small vehicle or even cars are involved and no freight transport is involved. They find it very easy to provide much better service at lower costs", Mr Palmer added.