technology can help transport managers look at all aspects that impact compliance, and focus their corrective action on the drivers that need it. These processes should be embedded within day-to-day operations to make such essential aspects of compliance businessas-usual. ‘With up-to-date, accurate information on drivers, a local authority can rapidly assess the level of risk it is carrying based on driver endorsements and entitlements and take appropriate action to mitigate the risk and potential impact on insurance,’ explains Andrew. ‘For those drivers with more points and therefore a greater risk profile, the operator can then instigate more frequent checks and address the issues that have led to the endorsements, ensuring that compliance is maintained at all times and that the risk is being managed.’ If utilised correctly, the benefits of compliance management software do not have to stop at compliance. Replacing paper documents with electronic systems improves accuracy by reducing errors. It cuts costs, including the cost of processing paper-based documents, and it creates visibility and therefore accountability. What’s more, electronic compliance solutions are no longer simply nice to have, they are also increasingly being mandated by government departments and standards bodies. The current Earned Recognition pilot is one example. This is a DVSA initiative to reward compliant road transport operators with fewer roadside checks in return for access to their compliance data, in order to help focus resources on the seriously and serially noncompliant. Tachograph analysis and compliance management software deliver measurable and proven benefits to help operators meet their compliance demands. ‘However, there is potential to drive greater value by moving beyond siloed technology deployments to joined-up paperless operations,’ says Andrew, although he argues that this is only achievable if organisations embrace a strategic approach to paperless technologies and proactively extend real-time information and electronic processing across the entire operation.
‘For example, digital tachograph data is also valuable outside the traditional transport managers’ compliance remit. It should form an essential component when optimising operational efficiency using automated route optimisation and scheduling processes for vehicles. Using telematics with a routing and scheduling system, for example, not only allows the fleet manager to see where a vehicle is, it enables them to compare this to where it should be. New jobs can be added in real time or corrective action can then be taken to re-route a vehicle to avoid traffic.’ Streamlining fleet operations with route planning software will also minimise costs by reducing the miles driven, the fuel consumed, and the vehicle servicing and maintenance required as a result. Combined with telematics data, it can be used for continuous background route optimisation. Rather than relying on manual updates of drivers’ hours' information, a direct feed from the electronic driver hours solution into the paperless route planning software ensures this key criterion is included within the planning process by default. With this aspect of the process automatically taken into account, the schedule can be planned far more efficiently. ‘By simply extending the mandated requirement for compliance with drivers’ hours’ law across the rest of the business, an operator can gain significant incremental value,’ explains Andrew. With the increasing pressures on local authorities and the logistics landscape in general, tachograph analysis and compliance management technology are becoming less of an added convenience for road transport operators and more of a fundamental necessity. Not only are electronic solutions increasingly required by government departments and standards bodies, their adoption goes beyond compliance. The key is to start with a compliance-first approach, and the goal is to create a tangible opportunity for operators to move beyond siloed paperless implementations to create a joined-up model for effective, end-to-end information sharing that can truly transform transport operations.
December 2017 LAPV 53