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

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Scottish Water Sludge Tanker

Scottish Water logoScottish Water has implemented TranSend’s mobile collection and disposal job management system to streamline and control its Waste Water Tankering Division.  Scottish water is a major water utility, with 1000 million litres of waste water being taken away and treated annually. The new mobile, real-time, data solution will provide full visibility of collection and disposal jobs, route compliance and driver activity across a fleet of 79 vehicles.

TranSend provides accurate, real-time information that confirms collections and deliveries with volumes, location and time data feeding back to the office. Live GPS feed from the tablets provides real-time plan versus actual monitoring and alerting, to enable Scottish Water to reallocate jobs and allocate ‘reactive’ jobs, maximising the use of their own fleet and reducing the cost of subcontractors.

The key benefit to Scottish Water is the comprehensive visibility of vehicles and drivers against the planned route. TranSend enables our drivers to receive accurate information on their device for routes and jobs on their shift. We constantly aim to raise customer satisfaction levels, which are already high. The TranSend dashboard provides our Scheduling Office with real-time information on arrivals and departures so that they can reallocate jobs as required and keep our customer better informed.

Brendon Williams, Scheduling Technical Lead at Scottish Water

Scottish Water treatment worksScottish Water employs a mixture of internal and contracted tankers for treatment works sludge removal and a private septic tank emptying service. The waste management service is a complex operation, with multi-shifted vehicles and a mixture of driver shift patterns including seven days on, seven days off and four days on, four days off, to maximise service.


Most tankers either pick up works or customer septic tank jobs, except in some rural areas where the same tanker may do pickups from both.

With over 100,000 movements per year going through the system, Scottish Water needed a real-time view of front-line operations to be able to monitor and measure service performance in terms of jobs delivered on time, missed jobs and any other exceptions to the planned route.

Deployed on Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4” Android devices, TranSend mobile job management has replaced their paper and spreadsheet-based manual system, which involved a static allocation of core works and inter-site jobs that made it very difficult to work reactively..

TranSend is integrated with Paragon route planning, providing Scottish Water with better visibility of the tanker’s activities again the route plan in terms of which jobs have been completed, cancelled, rejected etc.  Any uncompleted jobs can be rescheduled without delay and any urgent jobs are sent directly to the driver’s device. The system functionality links all disposals with the original collection point, either at treatment works or customer sites providing a full audit trail.

TranSend enables improved compliance in that we know when routes are running late and drivers are reaching their hours limit. This means that any outstanding jobs can be reallocated as necessary.

Brendon Williams

In addition, using their devices, drivers are able to close off jobs and update information on site location and customer contact details, thereby keeping data clean in the back office system. Drivers can also update the time required at each site which is returned to the source database to ensure that schedules are realistic on an ongoing basis.

TranSend has proved to be a really fantastic support partner throughout this whole project. They are always on hand for support and advice, helping Scottish Water to get the best out of the system.

Brendon Williams


About Scottish Water:

Scottish Water has 5.09 million customers in 2.46 million households. 1.34 billion litres of water is provided every day and 847 million litres of waste water is taken away and treated before being returned to the rivers and seas. Scottish Water is the sole provider of water and waste water services to an area of over 30,000 square miles, a third of the area of Britain.  And Scotland has a longer coastline – over 6,800 miles – with a small and relatively dispersed population which requires a large number of small water and waste water treatment works.

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.


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.”


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.

STW worker small

Severn Trent Water has chosen an integrated solution from Paragon and TranSend Solutions to plan, schedule and capture real time information on all sludge tankering collection and disposal jobs. The system will enable Severn Trent Water to electronically manage the process as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible with visibility of real-time information across the whole sludge management operation.

Severn Trent Water has selected Paragon’s Integrated Fleets system with INRIX-based road speed data and HERE street level map content with bridge height information for operational route scheduling and strategic modelling. Paragon’s route optimisation system will replace the current planning process and enable Severn Trent Water to optimise tanker schedules, maximise use of its transport resources, reduce transport costs and allow their Planning team to model proposed capital spend and contingency planning.

TranSend’s industry-specific, mobile proof of delivery and collection solution has been selected by Severn Trent Water to provide drivers with real-time job information, via Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Android devices. Via the tablets, TranSend will provide accurate, real-time information that confirms collections and deliveries with volumes, location and time data feeding back to the office. Live GPS tracking from the tablets will provide real-time plan v actual monitoring and alerting, to enable Severn Trent Water to reallocate jobs and allocate ‘reactive’ jobs, maximising the use of their own fleet and reducing the cost of subcontractors.

By understanding reception centre capacities and associated processing costs coupled with real time fleet visibility, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) output at Severn Trent’s reception centres can be maximised, increasing the company’s revenue from renewable energy.

Craig Pearson, Planning Office Manager at Severn Trent Water, highlights some of the immediate benefits of the new job management and scheduling system:

“Having evaluated a number of systems against our requirements, a fully integrated system from TranSend and Paragon provided the best solution for us, with both suppliers already proven in the water industry. We can now optimise our tanker schedules to take into account treatment centre capacity and transport costs. Increased visibility of our tankers, combined with the ability to update drivers in real time, will reduce the usage and associated cost of external contract vehicles through better utilisation of our own fleet.”

Severn Trent Water logo


Severn Trent Water is the second largest water and waste water company in the UK. It serves more than 4.2 million homes and business customers and has the lowest combined water and sewerage bills in England and Wales.


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.”