| March 2023 | author Bellinda Sokolova
To find out what are the most important factors for a company when choosing a telematics service provider and how these solutions help in their daily operations, we invited Artūrs Barojans, CEO of SIA RMC-Transports, for an interview.
RMC-Transports, based in Riga, Latvia, has been working with our software since 2018, although they previously used another telematics service provider. Artūrs describes the transition and points out that at that time, only accurate and stable GPS tracking was expected from a fleet management system.
RMC-Transports, together with its sister company RMC Logistics, carries out freight transport in Europe and to third countries, which is currently limited due to the geopolitical situation. The company's main destinations are Italy, Germany, Benelux, Scandinavia and most recently the Baltic States, where goods are delivered in new tautliners - Gardin and Bort type trailers. RMC-Transports mainly provides direct services to and from the consignor/receiver, ensuring a driver-friendly work schedule that allows for regular returns home.
Recalling the situation that led to the change of service provider, Artūrs said:
"In practice, the vehicle disappeared from the card when entering Russia or Belarus, even though the service provider claimed to provide a tracking service there as well.
We contacted another carrier, and they recommended you guys. Within a few days we made the switch. The moment our first truck crossed the border with Russia, we were all actively looking at the management application, and everything worked! No interruption at all!"
Asked about the solutions that RMC-Transports uses most often and that have had the biggest impact on their daily operations, the company's CEO answers immediately - uploading and managing tachograph data: "The biggest benefit is definitely Tachogram, where we can see all the working hours. We used to have to take drivers at their word or literally count on our fingers to know how many hours a driver had driven, how much working time he had used and how much he had left. It was very difficult to plan schedules accurately."
Read here about how tachogram can help your business.
Artūrs describes the situation in the company before the solution was implemented and shares an instance when a driver was delivering a shipment in northern Italy when a manager called him and asked him to pick up a load in the south of the country later that day. The driver replied, "Sorry, I'm out of driving hours!" Now it is possible to see if and how the driver can pick up a load, make a schedule and not waste time driving back and forth unnecessarily.
"We just open the platform now, one click and we see everything immediately. If the driver needs to rest, so be it. With Tachogram, dispatchers and logistics personnel find scheduling ten times easier, if not more!"
In addition, the company's CEO highlights the important advantage of being able to download tachograph data remotely. Since European Union regulations require frequent downloads of tachograph data and failure to comply can result in high fines, companies pay close attention to this. In practice, however, downloading data manually means that each vehicle and its driver must physically come in regularly for this. For a company with a large fleet of vehicles, this results in a significant loss of time.
As Artūrs notes, "I had to download the data for each of them myself. Obviously, this takes time. The drivers do not always arrive during working hours, nor do they always leave during working hours. It also happened that therefore data was sometimes not downloaded, which meant a high penalty."
Read here more about remote tachograph downloading.
The software allows you to download all tachograph data and view statistics:
"Tachogram is a great tool for my dispatchers and managers, but for me it is mainly the remote download solution that has made my job easier and saved a lot of time."
Apart from the time required to coordinate downloads with the drivers, it used to take me 2-3 days to download and complete all the information. Out of interest and in preparation for this interview, I took a moment to record the time. Now it takes 20 minutes and the drivers can keep driving in the meantime! Artūrs emphasizes that colleagues in accounting also value information that is clearly summarized, reports and is ready for further use immediately.
The fuel monitoring solution has also been an important benefit for RMC-Transports in its daily work. When the cooperation with us began, none of the vehicles were equipped with fuel level sensors. Now almost all of them are.
When asked if the company has noticed a reduction in fuel consumption, the answer is yes. "Before installing fuel level sensors, we selected the first vehicles based on their past performance, and we then chose the vehicles with higher consumption than they really should have. And miraculously, these vehicles actually became more fuel efficient!" says Artūrs with a smile. "That was the starting point, after which we equipped the rest of the fleet," he continues.
The solution not only proved to save money, but also helped to improve the efficiency of daily operations. The manager of RMC-Transports clarifies:
"At the end of each month, I can tell my accountant exactly how much fuel is left in each tank, which simplifies reporting. It has also contributed to an overall reduction in fuel consumption in the fleet."
Currently, most commercial trucks are equipped with fuel level sensors, which have also proven effective against fuel theft. Artūrs shares a case where the mobile app alerted him to a rapid drop in the fuel level of a particular vehicle in the middle of the night. The driver was contacted immediately and, as he was resting in the vehicle, was able to start it immediately and deter the thief. Although some damage had already been done, this alert prevented further losses.
The company plans to add smart tank caps to its fleet in the near future, as it believes the two solutions complement each other. While smart tank caps provide additional protection, fuel level sensors not only allow them to understand and notice damage caused by thieves, but also monitor fuel consumption on a daily basis.
"Let's face it: we all use cars, we all know that the readings on the dashboard are not always accurate. With fuel level sensors, I can see the exact amount. Drivers often call me and ask if there is enough fuel to reach the next gas station, which is 1,000 km away," Artūrs explains.
The RMC-Transports team has now also started using the vehicle inspection feature, where drivers can take notes on the technical condition of their vehicle via the mobile app on their smartphone.
"Again, this is another feature that makes my job a lot easier. Before, I had to ask each driver to write down all the information on paper, and then I collected them periodically. Once every six months, I would go through the information and put all the check marks together. With this solution, I can quickly send a task to the driver through the app, he checks everything during a break, and I don't have to worry about it. I can see the current state of the vehicle, what might be missing and if I need it, all on the same day. No more unnecessary stops at the office or filling out paper forms," says the CEO.
Driver behavior analysis is also one of the solutions the company occasionally uses, but for which additional inspiration has now been found.
"During my last meeting with you, the account manager told me that other companies have a habit of encouraging drivers to follow good driving principles by organizing a competition. I plan to present the idea and solution more deeply to the team, take a closer look at the results next month and reward the most efficient drivers," said Artūrs.
At the end of the conversation, CEO Artūrs points out that he also appreciates the smaller functions that may not be essential in daily work, but still simplify various business activities. For example, reminders about car insurance, tachograph calibration or deadlines for technical inspections. "Every button on the management platform that you click on makes something easier for my colleagues!" Artūrs concludes with a smile.
Do you still have questions after reading this blog and what works for your specific business situation? Then contact us directly by phone 03 289 55 35 or click here for more information.
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