RMC-Transports: Tachograph solutions have made work time planning 10 times easier
Nowadays it’s hard to imagine the transport and logistics industry without telematics solutions. In Europe alone, there are more than a million companies offering transport services, creating fierce competition for customers in search of the highest possible quality at the best possible price. This, among other things, is what fleet management systems help to ensure.
To find out what are the most important factors for a business when choosing a telematics service provider, and how these solutions help with everyday operations, we invited Artūrs Barojans, CEO of SIA RMC-Transports, for a conversation.
1. Quality fleet management software
RMC-Transports has been working with Mapon since 2018, although they did use another telematics service provider before. Describing the transition, Artūrs points out that at that time all that was expected from a fleet management system was accurate and stable GPS tracking.
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 primary destinations are Italy, Germany, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia and, most recently, the Baltic States, where goods are delivered in new tautliners – gardin and bort type trailers. RMC-Transports mainly operates direct services to and from the sender/recipient, thus ensuring a driver-friendly work schedule that allows regular return home.
Recalling the situation that led to the change of service providers, Artūrs says: “In practice, when entering Russia or Belarus, the vehicle disappeared from the map, even though the service provider claimed to provide a tracking service there as well.
We contacted another carrier who recommended Mapon. We made the switch within a couple of days. At that time we were all actively watching on the platform as the first truck checked the same border, and everything worked! No interruption at all!“
2. Telematics solutions that work
When asked about the solutions that RMC-Transports uses most often and which has made the biggest impact on their daily operations, the company’s CEO immediately replies – the uploading and management of tachograph data: “The biggest benefit is definitely Tachogram, where we can see all work times. Before we either had to take the drivers at their word or literally count on our fingers just to know how many hours a driver had driven, the amount of working time used and the amount left. It was very difficult to accurately plan the schedules.”
Describing the situation in the company before the solution was implemented, Artūrs shares a case in which a driver was dropping off a shipment in the north of Italy, when a manager called him up and asked to pick up a load later that day in the south of the country. The driver replied, “Sorry, I’m out of hours!” Now it’s possible to see whether and how the driver will be able to pick up a load, make a plan and not waste time with unnecessary back-and-forths.
“Now you simply open the platform, one click and you see everything. The driver has to rest and that’s it. With Tachogram, dispatchers and logistics staff find scheduling ten times easier, if not more!”
Remote digital tachograph data download
In addition, the company’s representative highlights the possibility to download tachograph data remotely. As European Union regulations require frequent tachograph data downloads, and failure to do so can lead to heavy fines, companies are paying close attention to this. In practice, however, manual data download means physically visiting each vehicle and its driver. For a company with a large fleet, this provides a significant burden.
As Artūrs points out: “I had to tend to each of them and download the data myself. Naturally, this takes time. The drivers don’t always arrive during working hours, and they don’t always leave during working hours. It also happened that sometimes data wasn’t downloaded, which meant a large fine.
“If Tachogram is a great benefit for dispatchers and managers, it is the remote download solution that has made my job easier.”.
Apart from the time it took to collect the information, it used to take me 2-3 days to download and round up all the information. Now it takes 20 minutes! Out of interest, I actually took the time and checked!
The company representative highlights that colleagues in accounting also really appreciate information that is clearly summarised reports and is immediately ready for further use.
The fuel control solution has also been an important benefit for RMC-Transports in its daily work. When the cooperation with Mapon started, none of the vehicles were equipped with fuel level sensors. Now almost all of them are.
When asked whether the company has seen a reduction in fuel consumption, the answer is affirmative. “We chose the first vehicles for fuel level sensor installation based on their past performance, picking the ones which had higher consumption than they should. And, miraculously, the 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 has not only proven to save money, but has also helped to improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations.
“At the end of each month, I can tell my accountant exactly how much fuel is left in each tank, which makes reporting easier. It has also contributed to an overall reduction in fuel consumption in the fleet,”
says the RMC-Transports manager.
Currently most of the company trucks are equipped with fuel level sensors, which have also shown themselves to be effective against fuel theft. Artūrs shares a case where, in the middle of the night, the Mapon mobile app alerted him to a rapid drop in fuel levels of a particular vehicle. The driver was immediately contacted and, because he was resting in the vehicle, could immediately start it and scare off the thief. Although some damage had already been done, this alert avoided further losses.
The company plans to add smart fuel caps to its fleet in the near future, as it believes that both solutions complement each other. While smart fuel caps provide additional protection, fuel level sensors not only allow them to understand and note damage caused by thieves, but also to monitor fuel consumption on a daily basis.
“Let’s be honest – 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 precise amount. Drivers often call me up and ask if there will be enough fuel to reach the next fuel station, which is 1000 km away,” Artūrs points out.
3. New, perspective solutions, and a professional team
During the conversation, we repeatedly come back to the positive cooperation with the Mapon team, in particular their client project manager and technicians, with whom they interact most often.
“I really appreciate the cooperation with Mārtiņš, our client project manager, who took the time to come out and see us. He presented some of the latest features, did a quick showcase and explained how the information could improve our everyday operations. Obviously, I do browse the platform and try to catch up on what’s new, but it’s very nice to have someone come and show and explain things,” says Artūrs.
After the meeting with Mapon, the RMC-Transports team started using the vehicle inspections feature, where drivers can make notes on the technical condition of their vehicle via the Mapon GO mobile app. As Artūrs points out: “When I have time, I take a look at how it works myself. Then we install the app for drivers with smartphones and slowly learn together.”
“Once more, this is a feature that makes my job a lot easier. Previously, I had to ask that each driver wrote all the information down on paper, and then I would periodically collect them. Once every six months, I went through the information and put all the ticks together. With this solution, I can quickly send a task to the driver on the app, he checks everything during a break and I don’t have to worry about it. I can see the current condition of the vehicle, what, if anything, is missing, and whether I need to get it, all on the same day. No more unnecessary stops at the office or filling in paper forms,” says the CEO.
Driver behaviour analysis is also one of the solutions that the company uses from time to time, but for which additional inspiration has now been found.
“During my last meeting with Mārtiņš, I found out that other companies have a practice of encouraging drivers to follow good driving principles by organising a competition. I plan to present the idea and the solution to the team in more depth, look more closely at the results next month and reward the most efficient drivers,” says Artūrs.
Finally, the CEO also recalls a less positive instance in which the Mapon team was able to proactively respond and find a great solution. Apart from the client project manager, the company’s representatives most often communicate with technicians who install GPS tracking devices and other equipment. Although Artūrs describes their work as smooth and of high quality most of the time, there was an instance, in which the slow performance of the technician forced him to stay well past working hours.
“The next time I booked a technician through the Support team, I wanted to specify who’d get assigned. Without even mentioning anything else, I was immediately asked if there had been any problems, to which I answered honestly about my last experience. Since then, the specific technician hasn’t been assigned to perform work for us and the collaboration has been great!” says Artūrs, adding that it’s nice it is to be heard and to see that the Mapon team cares about improving their client experience.
At the end of the conversation, Artūrs points out that he also appreciates the smaller features that are not significant in day-to-day work, but nonetheless ease several company operations. For example, reminders about vehicle insurance, tachograph calibration or technical inspection deadlines. “If you take each button on the Mapon platform, it seems that each of them makes something easier!” Artūrs concludes with a smile.
If you would like to know more about working with Mapon or any of the solutions available on the platform, sign up for a consultation with a Mapon expert or call +371 6727 1803.