Most of Barlows’ engineers work in pairs with two engineers per vehicle. Barlows needed a fleet management system to ensure the safety of their workers, cut vehicle maintenance and fuel costs, and reduce accidents.
Barlows initially installed the FM200 solution into ten vehicles in 2007. Barlows experienced significant reductions in both road accidents and fuel usage, and gradually they increased the number of unit installations and migrated towards FM200 Plus. At first FM200 Plus easily met their fleet management needs, but Barlows grew as a company and they soon required wireless remote access to vehicle data. Consequently, Barlows upgraded fur ther to FM300 and FM Communicator with wireless connectivity and implemented this advanced solution onto their entire fleet of I80 vehicles. The upgrade eliminated the need for the “DECT” (Digital Enhanced Cordless Comm unication) method of transferring data from the vehicle as they could now access data remotely via wireless access at any time. The DECT method required every vehicle to drive past a box in a central point in order to transfer data. Thanks to MiX Telematics’ scalability and common technology platform, Barlows could easily upgrade their solution without ever replacing the hardware units in their vehicles.
What’s more, the company could easily customise their solution using MiX Telematics’ Software Development Kit (SDK). Barlows used SDK to write and create the reports and web pages that were applicable to their business and make them accessible via their intranet.
The MiX Telematics’ Fleet Management solution is now used across two websites with all downloads directed to one website. Barlows also utilises many of MiX Telematics’ additions such as GSM, DECT and wireless LAN on 120 vehicles. The next stage is to introduce GPRS when new vehicles are added to the fleet.
The ability to monitor all of their engineers while on the road reduced the number of accidents within the fleet by approximately 10% over the past 4 years. In addition, the solution has caused a reduction in fuel consumption with a cost saving of a pproximately 5% since first implemented. An added and unexpected bonus is that Barlows can monitor and verify hours each engineer works which assists them with job costing.
Barlows was particularly pleased with the flexibility and ease of the system, as Rob Lewis, Technical Services Manager at Barlows UK, concludes
“MiX Telematics’ scalability has made upgrades to the latest technology easy. There has never been a need to change vehicle kits. This gave us the flexibility to start small and upgrade to more feature-rich solutions as our requirements grew.”
All in all, with MiX Telematics’ Fleet Management solution Barlows achieved a return on investment within six months of installation.