All the mobile development work and professional services for the solution was provided by Sybase.
John du Preez
Sales Director at eFleet
Thanks to an elegant solution built on the Sybase technology platform, eFleet has improved their ability to leverage the value contained in information, thereby enhancing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption. It?s easy on the planet, too.
A mobile platform that allows the company to track and leverage information for improved efficiency.
- Delivers an overall cost reduction through improvement in operational efficiencies
- Allows for full operational visibility in real-time
- Improves customer service, customer retention and new customer acquisition
FUELING THE ECONOMY
Fuel is getting more and more expensive. There is no doubt that this reality is biting hard for the South African consumer, since the cost of fuel is linked to the price of just about everything that has to be transported. Dire though the situation may be, entrepreneurial South Africa company eFleet provides a solution which leverages the value contained in information to improve efficiency and reduce consumption of this now precious commodity.
John du Preez, Sales Director at eFleet, points out that any business which operates a fleet and which is not managing its fuel consumption very carefully, is literally throwing money away.
?With the high fuel costs, smart company directors are looking for ways to cut out costs related to logistics to remain competitive and profitable. Information is key to achieving this goal where fleets of vehicles are concerned,? he says.
However, harnessing that data has proven to be more easily said than done in the field, where, as du Preez explains, traditional methods rely on manual inputs from drivers. ?Dirty data is a constant issue for information-centric solutions. In this case, drivers come back with handwritten sheets with a multitude of errors; even simple ones such as inconsistent spellings of locations interfere with the ability to use that information effectively.?
Addressing the issue, du Preez says the eFleet solution allows for full operational visibility in real-time throughout the operational lifecycle in the transportation and logistics environment. He explains that eFleet is provided as a hosted solution which incorporates the fleet of vehicles, staff and shipment information into a central database and includes mobile elements for monitoring and automatic data collection. Paper-based processes such as the exchange of waybills and Proof of Delivery (POD) documents are replicated with electronic document workflows, allowing for real-time visibility of all supply chain processes, which in turn provides for management and analysis.
du Preez explains the solution, consisting of two components: the Web-based backend system and the mobile solution, which is built on the Sybase technology platform. ?All the mobile development work and professional services for the solution was provided by Sybase,? he confirms.
The solution addresses critical requirements such as:
- Resource utilization
- Fuel utilization and management
- Emissions?reporting and reduction
- Vehicle allocation
- Contract cost prediction and analysis
- Real-time information for collections, deliveries, PODs, location
- Vehicle management information.
But while eFleet provides complete functionality for fleet management, it is the fuel saving component which is of interest given the high cost of oil and the likelihood that the era of cheap fuel is over. There is of course, another major benefit to improving fuel consumption?it reduces the impact on the planet and therefore feeds rather handily into the notion of improved responsibility.
GREEN THE FLEET
With the power of accurate information and analysis at their disposal, companies that operate fleets can use the eFleet solution to achieve substantial fuel saving costs. Based on the fuel volumes and on the baseline analysis, a minimum saving is agreed, which in principle ensures that the deployment of the solution becomes a zero cost solution.
The fuel saving, as well as operational improvement in efficiency, is achieved through a focus on the full operational lifecycle of the logistics process. From vehicle loading, delivery and collections to returns management, the solution controls all aspects of the delivery operation. Since the solution automatically collects information relating to routes, loads, vehicles, deliveries and more, this data is analyzed to provide for the optimization of the fleet, in turn contributing to the promised reduction in costs.
Says du Preez, ?The system maintains the workflow and prevents the driver from losing track of collections and deliveries since these are communicated electronically and not printed on paper schedules or communicated telephonically. The workflow of the drivers and the delivery management system is streamlined, from loading of the vehicles to final delivery, while providing real-time information on collections, deliveries and any other driver related tasks and to allow access for queries and reporting and subsequent passing into the backend system.?
Through the proven business intelligence capabilities, the solution provides for complete reporting against key performance indicators and service level agreements, while it is also fully capable of generating a variety of management reports. Of interest is its ability to report not only on fuel consumption but also on emissions, something that du Preez notes is becoming highly relevant with the increased focus on the necessity for environmental responsibility. ?The management of companies CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions is becoming an increasingly important component globally,? he says.
However, du Preez says the process is extremely complex and requires the extraction of reliable data, to determine the work done for the energy consumed. Furthermore, he warns that simply reporting arbitrarily can be risky; companies can face consequences by taking this approach. ?Emissions are directly related to energy consumption, which in turn is driven by a number of factors. Some of these can be managed, others optimized and controlled, and others improved with new technology,? he says.
Understanding base performance is critical if performance change is to be understood; du Preez says this allows for concise measurement of any improvement gained. ?The journey from accessing data to understanding performance improvement in fuel consumption follows a disciplined pathway with many touches points and which is intensely data-driven. eFleet provides for this understanding through the automation of the data collection, assimilation and analysis,? he explains.
By improving the efficiency of energy consumption, du Preez says companies benefit from the substantial reduction in costs while simultaneously achieving in an improvement in emissions. ?eFleet delivers an overall cost reduction through improvement in operational efficiencies, both in the form of tangible savings such as reduction in fuel consumption and the elimination of time wasting logistics problems such as re-deliveries. It also delivers intangible savings such as reduction in loading of call centres, improved customer service, customer retention and new customer acquisition.?
?The solution addresses the transportation and delivery component of the supply chain by harnessing the power of information,? du Preez concludes.