DocuWare for Haulage: Maintenance Maintained
In a former life I handled the PR for Volvo Trucks UK, including producing their customer magazine. During that time I interviewed many transport and haulage company owners, giving me a deep insight into the challenges they face. They were quite fond of telling me about them, if I’m honest!
Alongside the cost of fuel, ever increasing red tape, driver shortages and growing competition, the sheer volume of paperwork involved in running the business was a common complaint I heard. And still hear, if I’m honest!
On top of the paperwork most businesses deal with, such as invoices and HR documentation, hauliers have the added burden of vehicle licensing and insurance, special certification, operator licenses, vehicle and driver registration, bills of lading and a plethora of daily and six-weekly vehicle check documents. And, of course, they all have to pass muster with a host of bodies like the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA, formerly VOSA), HMRC and more.
The reams of paper generated is difficult to comprehend unless you’re in the industry. All of which means that for transport companies the benefits of a document management solution can be incredible.
In this article I want to focus on how DocuWare can eliminate the use of paperwork in fleet maintenance. Keeley Travis has already implemented this into transport companies in Manchester so it’s proven in the field.
Fleet Maintenance: A Daily Paper Producer
Maintaining a safe fleet of HGVs is vitally important for a haulage company or they face the wrath of DVSA – which can lead to very expensive consequences. That’s why every day each driver has to carry out a check of their vehicle and submit it to the transport office, notifying of any defects identified.
Typically this is done on paper which then has to be checked and stored. In an average sized fleet of five vehicles operating seven days a week, say, that’s 140 individual documents every month.
On top of this every vehicle requires a more in depth six weekly inspection, generating another paper checklist plus any subsequent paperwork associated with required repairs.
When you add in MOT certificates, tachograph calibration certificates and any documentation relating to additional equipment like tail lifts, grabbers and the like it can amount to several thousand documents a year depending on the size of the fleet in question, all of which need to be readily accessible and accepted by the likes of DVSA on request.
Even in the most organised office it can become a logistical nightmare and the amount of storage space required can become an issue too. This is where DocuWare comes in.
Daily Vehicle Checks
By digitalising the paper checklist drivers typically fill out at the start of their day we can already eliminate over 100 documents a month. Instead, drivers can complete the checklist on their phones or on an iPad and the results stored directly into DocuWare, searchable by driver name, vehicle registration number and date.
If the driver reports a defect an automated workflow would kick in, notifying the transport manager (for example) who would then be presented with a series of ‘tasks’ within DocuWare to book the vehicle in for maintenance and rectify the defect.
On a mobile the checklist would look something like this:
The workflow would look something like this:
As you can see, it’s relatively straightfoward but the difference it makes in eliminating paperwork and ensuring that ALL defects are reported and dealt with is huge.
A very similar workflow can be put into place for the required six weekly inspection, including reminders that they are due, and both can kick off completely separate workflows for the vehicle engineers to carry out any maintenance work needed.
And should the DVSA come calling, these reports can found quickly and simply by searching for vehicle registration, date and other criteria. In fact, this same search function would work on all vehicle related documents stored in this filing cabinet.
Let’s have a look at one of those documents – the MOT certificate. Obviously this is an official document and so we cannot create a digital form. However, we can scan and store the document when it is received and index the key information to be used in a workflow. This would include the vehicle registration, the result of the MOT and the expiry date.
With this information captured each certificate is easy to find and we can create a workflow to send reminders and create tasks when a vehicle is due for a new MOT. Or, if it failed, book for a retest.
In the image above you can see the MOT certificates for a variety of vehicles and their status – passed, failed and booked for renewal. In addition, we’ve captured the expiry date so we can set a notification a month before, giving the transport manager and staff time to book the next inspection. A task would be created to confirm the MOT is booked and we can even set up an email for the driver with the date, time and location of the inspection.
So far we’ve only really talked about vehicle inspections and MOT certificates – and eliminated thousands of pieces of paper in the process, as well as simplified and secured many of the jobs those pieces of paper create! – but this can be applied to any vehicle and driver documentation.
Every transport office I’ve been into has had rows of filing cabinets or shelving rammed with filed fleet maintenance documents, whilst desks have been stacked with the same documents waiting to be filed. With DocuWare this situation is completely eliminated. With everything stored digitally and securely in the cloud, transport companies benefit from more office space and tidier desks.
But it’s the workflows that really benefit – saving time and money by speeding up processes and freeing staff up, as well as providing complete peace of mind in knowing where every document is and that they’re instantly retrievable should they be required.
The list of documents we’ve helped haulage companies move to digital storage with associated workflows is extensive:
- Incoming and outgoing invoices
- Daily vehicle checks
- 6-weekly vehicle inspections
- MOT certificates
- Plating certificates
- Tacho calibration certificates
- Brake tests
- Auxiliary equipment maintenance certificates (LOLER)
- Internal vehicle maintenance records
- Driver eye test certificates
The simple fact is that if you recognise the office described earlier – overflowing with paperwork and employees lost in a sea of paper – then Keeley Travis can help you. For a free demonstration and to discuss your specific requirements give us a call on 0161 683 4247 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org