We’re generally working on numerous major fit-out projects in London on any given day. This means we need to get the right materials to the right jobsites at the right times.
Originally our journey planning was very simple. We used a whiteboard to plan trips and allocate drivers. It worked, but as our business grew it soon became clear we’d outgrown this system. We urgently needed to co-ordinate our fleet better to get materials to sites faster while covering fewer miles.
Luckily, we had the right person on hand to help us. When Lee Burningham took over as our Transport Manager, he was able to draw on a long career in the logistics industry which has seen him work for companies such as TNT, Antalis and Eddie Stobart.
Lee and the team set about developing our Daily Transport Sheet (DTS). This now allows us to quickly allocate a driver to each job, add delivery times and notes and check which vehicles are available. It also shows us at a glance whether drivers are undergoing training or are otherwise absent, or whether we need to use a subcontractor on any given day.
“The DTS tells a story,” Lee explains. “People across the business can add to it, allowing us to respond to changes rapidly. It allows us to plan journeys efficiently, save costs and reduce pollution.”
The system has also been key to our recent success in gaining FORS Gold accreditation. To achieve this, we had to demonstrate that we achieve exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. Lee adds: “FORS also requires you to be able to capture a certain amount of logistics information that allows you to plan efficient journeys, not to mention analyse your costs.”
While our DTS system has transformed our logistics, we’ve still got an eye in the future. In the coming years we’re hoping to develop a system that allows drivers and others to use PDAs to check journeys and instructions in real time. That will help us gain extra efficiencies and cut the number of miles we cover still further.