Elddis Transport is rolling out new mobile working technology as part of a programme to fully digitise the workshop. Part of a fleet maintenance system from Freeway Fleet Systems, workshop fitters are being equipped with rugged tablets to replace paperwork. Freeway also receives daily vehicle inspection data from mobile devices used by drivers. With the addition of digital data from the workshop, Elddis will gain a complete and real-time insight into the status of the fleet.

Elddis is a well-established family firm specialising in the storage, supply and delivery of consumer goods for supermarkets and retail outlets. Headquartered in Consett in County Durham, the company operates a fleet of 150 vehicles and 360 trailers with additional depots in Heywood and Doncaster.

Through integration between Freeway and the Mandata transport management system (TMS), transport operations are given around-the-clock visibility of the status of the fleet. In turn, first-use-check data received from mobile data terminals used by drivers, the workshop is provided with immediate information on defects.

“With the digitisation of the workshop we are closing the information loop giving us 24/7 visibility on the status of the fleet,” says Alan Henderson, Fleet Engineer, Elddis Transport. “Freeway is proving invaluable as it links engineers with transport planners. This means we can reduce vehicle downtime and ensure the fleet is always operating at maximum efficiency and safety.

“For management, Freeway allows us to see the pressure points of resources so we can smooth things out. It’s a tremendous resource that allows us to better manage and optimise the use of all resources; assets and labour,” Henderson adds.

As well as receiving 700 daily vehicle check reports, Freeway also helps Elddis manage around 60 Preventative Maintenance Inspections (PMI) and MOT preparations each week. Freeway stores parts data and builds records of use and performance over time. Through the mobile app Freeway, fitters have instant access to historical maintenance information so they can immediately spot recurring defects.

“Our ethos is to fix once. We particularly like the fact that we can use Freeway’s analytics functionality to drill down to access the performance and value-for-money of every asset – right down from an entire vehicle to an individual bolt,” says Henderson.

One key feature of Freeway is ease of integration and Elddis see seamless communications between other supplier systems as important. As well as the TMS integration, Freeway has integrated with North East Trucks Spares (NETS) which enables automated replenishment of stock used in the workshop. Elddis is also planning integrate Freeway with their local Mercedes dealership.