TranSend proof of delivery (ePOD) app and route planning – Utilities

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Wessex Water tanker

Wessex Water has implemented TranSend’s mobile waste job management system to generate sludge tankering jobs, capture real-time information via the PDA and provide electronic proof of collection and disposal. Routing integration to Truckstops enables Wessex Water to schedule jobs more efficiently and optimise the routing process.

In addition, real-time visibility of jobs and vehicle location means that they can now respond to ad-hoc and emergency jobs more efficiently using their own drivers, rather than using external contractors.

The TranSend solution is deployed on 50 Motorola MC75a rugged handheld devices for drivers with a hosted back-office management system. TranSend is also integrated with existing systems for order information, resource availability, tanker capacity and site logger. Using this integrated data, TranSend provides visibility of real-time information across the whole sludge management operation and generates reporting information on sludge data, driver activity, vehicle capacity, routes and tracking.

“TranSend and Truckstops provides us with a single, integrated view of data across the sludge management operation. The system provides the depth and breadth of real-time information that enabled us to remove manual processes, schedule jobs more efficiently and optimise the routing process. We now maximise the use of our own vehicles and drivers with fuller shifts, which has reduced the need for additional contractors and enabled us to respond to emergency jobs more effectively.”

Ashlea Lane, Head of Waste Water Treatment at Wessex Water

 

About Wessex Water:

Wessex WaterWessex Water are the regional water and sewage treatment business serving an area of the south west of England, covering 10,000 square kilometres including Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Gloucestershire and Hampshire. YTL Power International of Kuala Lumpur acquired Wessex Water in May 2002. Wessex Water treats 475 million litres of sewage from 2.7 million customers a day.

www.wessexwater.co.uk

 

Achilles UVDB registered

TranSend Solutions Ltd has gained a ‘shop window’ with companies in the utilities sector by joining Achilles UVDB  – an online community that enables companies to manage supply chain risk and comply with EU regulations.

Achilles UVDB is used by over 1000 buyers from over 40 UK utilities companies to find suitably qualified suppliers. Achilles works to ensure suppliers’ information is accurate via data validation, and desktop and physical audits. Several buying organisations also use the community as an approved mechanism for tendering for contracts above and below EU threshold contracts – streamlining the procurement process.

David Cook, Managing Director at TranSend Solutions commented: “We have a growing number of UK utility clients, both for our mobile street works and wet waste logistics solutions. By joining Achilles UVDB we are able to demonstrate our expertise and credibility within the UK utility industry.”

Tom Grand, Regional Director for Achilles in the UK and Ireland, said: “By joining the biggest utilities supply chain risk management community in the UK, TranSend Solutions has put itself in the best position to be considered for work with UK utility buyers.”

Ends

About TranSend for Utilities:

TranSend enables utilities to visualise end-to-end job tracking across the street works process, with real-time visibility across relevant stakeholders to identify and reduce non-working time at site, as well as optimise manual effort and increase productivity.

For Water Utilities, TranSend can integrate processes and information on waste data, driver activity, vehicle capacity, routes and tracking to help drive down costs of sludge management.

Clients include Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Wessex Water, Wales & West Utilities and Severn Trent Water

About Achilles:

  • Achilles is one of the world’s largest providers of global supply chain risk management solutions, with 950 people working in 22 countries.
  • We independently scrutinise the supply chains of complex buying organisations across 11 industry sectors to proactively identify and mitigate risk and protect people, planet and profit.
  • We use online questionnaires to collect, check and maintain essential data about your suppliers, including information related to Health & Safety, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Ethics and Compliance.  This enables you to build up a picture of the risks present within your supply chain and respond with measures that will protect your business.
  • This is supported by a menu of 21 bolt-on services, which offer further protection. These include Health and Safety Audits, Supply Chain Mapping, Financial Analysis and Carbon Reduction.
  • We also offer an in-house consultancy service for public and private sector organisations that are affected by EU procurement legislation. EU regulated industries use this service to shortlist suppliers for “below-threshold” contracts.
  • We set up supply chain management communities where business leaders from different industry sectors agree the common standards suppliers need to meet in order to be eligible to do business with them.
  • We use state-of-the-art cloud technology to host “big data” in a secure environment, which can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
  • We enable businesses to make informed strategic decisions to minimise cost and to turn common industry challenges into sources of competitive advantage.

www.achilles.com

Welsh Water
Comprehensive management, routing, scheduling and ePOD solution is rolled out, improving visibility, tightening control and enhancing efficiency

Welsh water logoWelsh Water provides water and sewerage services in north and south Wales and parts of England, and operates wastewater treatment works at no fewer than 880 sites of varying sizes. Sludge (partly-treated waste) has to be collected regularly from these sites by specialised bulk tanker vehicles and transported to a number of larger sites, where further processing is undertaken.

The company runs a core fleet of 33 articulated and rigid tanker vehicles to handle this work. They are based at 23 strategic locations within the large operating area, and historically they ran on pre-determined routes known as “milk rounds” that reflected the typical collection pattern required by each treatment plant. Rounds were planned in advance for a whole year’s operations, with visits ranging in frequency from twice a day to once every few months.

However, these fixed journeys did not always reflect actual operating requirements. For instance, even if there was not enough sludge at a site to make up a full load, the driver would still make the collection, running partly-loaded and compromising efficiency. Additionally, during a visit the driver might be asked by on-site staff to do unscheduled work such as hosing down the yard, potentially disrupting other visits later in the day.

In the event of urgent reactive work, a driver might be pulled off a scheduled round to deal with it; but there was no comprehensive system for identifying available drivers, or for recording the scheduled work left unfinished. Often an external contractor would be hired in to do the reactive work at extra cost (this is known in the organisation as a bought-in service), even though there might have been scope for an in-house driver to handle it.

“One of the biggest problems was that the drivers held a lot of the routing information in their heads,” says project manager Owain Jones. “They planned their movements themselves, and there was no easy way to tap into that information or alter their journeys – for instance, to reflect changing requirements or to brief temporary drivers covering for holidays or sickness.”

He adds: “Because it was a paper-based system, there was also a lack of central coordination. Although we logged some information meticulously, such as the amount of material loaded on to vehicles at the bigger sites, this data wasn’t necessarily correlated with vehicle operations. We didn’t have a full overview.”

After evaluating various possible ways to streamline the operation, Welsh Water appointed TranSend Solutions to implement a comprehensive mobile job management and data capture system, and MapMechanics was brought in to provide an integral routing and scheduling element.

At the heart of the new system is a centralised planning and diary system developed specially for Welsh Water by TranSend. This holds details of all sites and their requirements in terms of sludge volumes and visit frequency.

Alongside this, the organisation used TruckStops to build a new “template” schedule of vehicle journeys to serve each site. This was based on carefully assembled historic data and driver feedback, and also took account of any restrictions on vehicle size or weight and any timing constraints at each location.

As far as possible, existing vehicles and drivers were kept on the same work as before, but TruckStops was able to optimise the routes and call sequences, creating a much improved “base plan” for the revised operation.

However, a major change from past practice is that the actual transport plan for the fleet is now varied week by week, and scheduled by TruckStops accordingly.

A key to this change has been the introduction of TranSend ePOD, a comprehensive sign-on-screen electronic data capture and proof of delivery system. Drivers have been equipped with Motorola MC75 handheld computers, which are linked wirelessly to the operating centre by GPRS, and they use these to report back details of their activities in real time.

Details captured by drivers include not only arrival and departure times on site, but also load volumes and even the water content of the sludge they have loaded. Using this kind of up-to-date information, TruckStops is able to schedule intelligently for real-world demand in the week ahead.

Routing instructions are now transmitted wirelessly to the drivers’ terminals. Only one day’s schedule is sent at a time, so if unplanned or urgent tasks arise, suitable drivers can be identified, schedules for subsequent days can be amended very quickly, and less urgent jobs can be “cascaded” according to priority.

As part of the new regime, two full-time schedulers have been appointed, one for each of the main regions. They are able to monitor the planned schedules, allocate urgent jobs and respond to queries from drivers. They can even insert urgent jobs manually; data on the handheld terminals is updated automatically to reflect them.

“The project has involved a culture change for drivers,” admits Steve Farley, the organisation’s logistics manager, “but they have realised there are advantages for them.” One improvement is a new requirement for drivers to obtain authorisation from their scheduler before agreeing to do ad hoc work on site. “They are much happier now that they don’t have that responsibility, and we are able to monitor the cost of any unscheduled work and cross-charge it to the site in question.”

Initially the system was rolled out across south Wales, and now it is being extended to north Wales. According to Steve Farley, there are already indications that it is bringing the expected savings and efficiency improvements.

“We have been able to reduce the cost of bought-in services significantly by using our own drivers more productively,” says Steve. “We have also reduced unnecessary collections from sites that need not be visited so frequently, and improved our vehicle fill rate significantly.”

By avoiding unnecessary repeat visits to sites, the organisation has also improved its service to the sites, since the operation is now more reliable.

There have been many other benefits, too. For instance, the organisation can identify delays at sites, and can calculate the cost to serve each site more accurately than ever before.

Moreover, because it is now possible to correlate vehicle movements with information about each load, the organisation can detect instances where the water content of the sludge it is collecting is too high – a change that has helped impose a tighter discipline on the treatment operation itself, saving further costs.

TranSend is a hosted web-based system, accessed with standard web browser software. The bespoke job management system developed by TranSend is also hosted. Welsh Water is running MapMechanics’ TruckStops as a PC-based desktop application, and the two systems work seamlessly together.

Welsh Water’s Dave Lewis sums up: “The system is doing exactly what we wanted it to. We are reducing the cost of bought-in services, monitoring our internal costs much more closely, improving our efficiency and productivity, enhancing the service we provide to our sites, and keeping a much closer check on the treatment process.

“For the first time we have full visibility of the operation, and because we are capturing so much data in real time, we can run reports and analysis in finer detail than ever before – which allows us to manage the operation more proactively.”

David Cook, managing director of TranSend Solutions, comments: “By putting together the various components of this system, we have created something new for the water industry that didn’t exist before. This has been our first collaboration with MapMechanics, and it has worked well.”