Improved asset reporting helps Dorset Council cut costs

Dorset County Council has implemented a bespoke system to report fleet data. By assessing vehicles’ performance through the Chevin system, the council can better pinpoint – and reduce – unnecessary expenditure.

dorset council vehicles

Dorset Highways Fleet Services is Dorset County Council’s in-house fleet management service, responsible for a diverse fleet of 440 vehicles and 800 items of plant. It operates out of two workshops, one located in the east of the County and one in the west. It also supports a large private sector customer base, providing a broad range of vehicle maintenance and fleet management services.

Dorset started using FleetWave in 2012 to help improve its fleet costs and workshop performance levels. At that time, it had noted that it could cut back on non-essential expenditure by streamlining its processes and reducing administration.

The council had needed to increase visibility of its assets and enhance its understanding of how these assets were being used, in order to identify areas for improvement.

Previously, all of Dorset’s fleet information had been managed within an in-house vehicle maintenance system. However this system was not capable of dealing with the growing levels information required and it lacked the functionality to produce sufficiently high-quality fleet and workshop performance reports.

The search was on for a new management system powerful enough to hold existing and additional data, and capable of creating advanced asset reports – and to meet Dorset’s needs, Chevin stepped forward with the FleetWave information management solution.

The Chevin team was able to import Dorset’s pre-existing data directly to FleetWave and also enable secure input and import of huge amounts of additional data.

Using FleetWave, the council could quickly and easily access and sort through data and create very deep-level, bespoke reports on costs and performances: transparency of management information, monitoring levels and asset use quickly improved as a result.

FleetWave’s powerful reporting functionality also helped Dorset understand specific details relating to asset performance: By identifying which assets were performing better or worse in specific ways, the council was able to identify areas for improvement.

Dorset also utilised FleetWave as a means to reduce administration. Actions that had previously been carried out manually were now automated within the fleet management system, with the effect of reducing man hours. Elsewhere, touchscreens were installed in workshop to remove the requirement for job cards.

The fact that the system was accessible online also meant that customers could now be kept more informed about relevant actions. Via FleetWave, these customers were provided with secure data about vehicles’ job costs and work schedules.

FleetWave was implemented for Dorset in 2012 – meaning that the council has used the software to manage its fleet for around approximately four years so far.

Catching up with the Chevin team in 2016, Sean Adams, Corporate Fleet Manager, Dorset County Council, explained:

“Dorset has been using Chevin Fleetwave 2 for approximately four years and found it to be a very flexible and intuitive platform, which has enabled us to change our processes and procedures to not only meet our customer’s needs, but ongoing financial challenges the public sector faces.

“Like many local authorities we have less people doing more work so it’s critical to our service that we can remove inefficient manual process and cost to continue to deliver an efficient and cost effective service.”

Over these years, he continued, Dorset has worked closely with Chevin Fleet Solutions to help develop new ways of working, such as:

Productivity monitoring;
 Streamlined administration;
 Improved workshop planning;
 Improved time recording;
 Automated vehicle parts to job allocation

According to the organisation, the original business case projected £60,000 per year savings due to reduced administration hours and workshop supervision – a saving that Dorset feels that this is easily being achieved.

Sean added:

“Improving visibility of its assets and being able to hold all asset data in one place was a key requirement, Fleetwave provided us with a fully transparent desk top system, giving our internal customers access to their vehicle records, planned inspections/maintenance, historic and current repairs and costs.

“Before Fleetwave, all of Dorset’s fleet information had been managed within an in-house vehicle maintenance system and manual filing system. However, this system was not capable of dealing with the growing levels of information required and the need for change and would not have been able to deliver significant cost reductions and improved delivery achieved over the last 4/5 years.

“Operating a diverse public sector fleet in the current economic climate continues to be challenging. Using technology and constantly challenging existing processes and procedures is essential to try and stay ahead of the game.

“Fleetwave has been an enabler and a catalyst for change and we look forward to seeing what further changes we can develop together.”