Family-owned A.W. Jenkinson Transport specialises in the bulk haulage of materials for customers across the UK and Europe. The business, established in 1960, currently operates a fleet of over 500 own vehicles and 200 subcontractor vehicles from strategic control locations at its Penrith, Lockerbie and Chippenham offices.
Between its own dedicated fleet and sub-contractor trucks, the firm delivers across the UK, and increasingly into Europe, completing more than 1,000 or so movements each day.
Transport movements cover the entire UK and parts of Europe and are extremely varied, ranging from mountain top collections of forestry residues to deliveries of wood flake bedding to farms and chipped wood to Panelboard Mills and Biomass Power Stations.
Integrated technology simplifying operations
Choreographing a large fleet can be a complex proposition as part of a wider distribution and logistics operation. However, it’s one that’s now becoming increasingly easier thanks to an investment since 2016 in transport management technology, and vehicle tracking solutions provided by Mandata.
Mandata’s TMS has been developed specifically for the road haulage sector and incorporates advanced features, which bring together every element of operational information into a single easy-to-use PC-based system with links to vehicles and driver smartphones out on the road. As well as sophisticated delivery planning, the technology which tracks vehicles and monitors driver behaviour and vehicle performance levels is so tightly integrated, it gives operators and their customers, full visibility of their fleet and loads in real-time, as well as alerting them to any issues.
The Mandata solution, which is used by all of their transport planners across the three offices, has been installed to improve the planning and monitoring of loads and deliveries as part of a continuing drive by A.W. Jenkinson to raise levels of customer service and driver performance. It’s already proven its value in terms of improved visibility for both planners and customers, according to Finance Director Dave Lindop.
Identification of empty mileage a key benefit
He says that the capability to identify empty mileage, which contributes to improved planning and resource allocation, is a boon.
“Mandata TMS gives an accurate real time picture of all planned routes including empty legs between loads enabling us to identify and address any vehicles carrying empty trailers over excessive miles. This facility is leading to definite benefits in improved load allocation, operational efficiency as well as helping meet an increasing growth in demand for our services.
“Another benefit is a clear audit trail for every single job. People can see at a glance on the system an order and the delivery schedule with the associated proof of delivery and invoice. It means our customers have all the necessary documentation quickly, following delivery. Any reasons why a job has changed are clearly recorded and shown.”
Dave Lindop also says: “Improved tracking capabilities are appreciated by our sub-contractor network, notably Mandata’s capacity to reduce order administration.
“There’s no doubt that our sub-contractors see the value. Mandata technology reduces any queries or problems around job rates – there’s total transparency throughout the process, from booking jobs to final invoicing.
“It confirms rates up front, so there are rarely any queries or misunderstandings when the time comes for them to invoice for a job. This is definitely advantageous, and we have seen a clear reduction in administration and associated hassles.”
One of the features of Mandata’s software is an integrated driver calendar. Adopting this has enabled A.W. Jenkinson’s planning team to manage driver holidays, record sickness and absenteeism rates. It automatically provides updates of driver availability, providing a more effective and visible management and planning resource. Further innovation Looking ahead, A.W. Jenkinson expects to invest further in transport management technology with new automatic invoicing and point-of delivery capability for all vehicles.
It’s also assessing Mandata’s Manifest app, an advanced digital solution, which enables the driver to receive work instructions and see at a glance, via a suitable smartphone device, the sequence of jobs and manifest details, which can be updated with changes throughout the day. In turn, this also allows the transport operator to make sure that customers are better informed of the progress of an order via a robust paperless manifest to proof-of-delivery (POD) solution.
“The Manifest app has the potential to streamline the business even further,” adds Dave Lindop, “facilitating more, smarter ways of working. We are looking at how we can align this with current operations to deliver greater value for our customers.”
There’s little doubt that the service provided by Mandata and its products are having a positive impact on A.W. Jenkinson’s fleet operations in his view. It’s increasingly gathering momentum as a highly beneficial strategic management tool that adds value and improves customer service, while enabling Dave Lindop to adopt a more strategic view about the business’s future and plans for financial growth.