Elddis Transport is rolling out new mobile working technology as part of a programme to digitise the workshop.

Workshop fitters are being equipped with rugged tablets to replace paperwork, as part of a fleet maintenance system from Freeway Fleet Systems.

Freeway also receives drivers’ daily vehicle inspection data from mobile, which along with the workshop digital data, gives Elddis a complete and real-time insight into the status of the fleet.

Family firm Elddis specialises in the storage, supply and delivery of consumer goods for supermarkets and retail outlets.

Headquartered in Consett in County Durham, the company operates a fleet of 150 vehicles and 360 trailers with additional depots in Heywood and Doncaster.

Transport operations are given around-the-clock visibility of the status of the fleet through integration between Freeway and the Mandata transport management system (TMS). In turn, the workshop is provided with immediate information on defects using first-use-check data received from mobile data terminals used by drivers.

Alan Henderson, Elddis Transport fleet engineer said: “With the digitisation of the workshop we are closing the information loop giving us 24/7 visibility on the status of the fleet.

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“Freeway is proving invaluable as it links engineers with transport planners. This means we can reduce vehicle downtime and ensure the fleet is always operating at maximum efficiency and safety.

“For management, Freeway allows us to see the pressure points of resources so we can smooth things out. It’s a tremendous resource that allows us to better manage and optimise the use of all resources; assets and labour,” Henderson added.

As well as receiving 700 daily vehicle check reports, Freeway is also helping Elddis manage around 60 preventative maintenance inspections (PMI) and MOT preparations each week.

Freeway stores parts data and builds records of use and performance over time. Through the Freeway mobile app, fitters have instant access to historical maintenance information so they can immediately spot recurring defects.

Henderson said: “Our ethos is to fix once. We particularly like the fact that we can use Freeway’s analytics functionality to drill down to access the performance and value-for-money of every asset – right down from an entire vehicle to an individual bolt.”

Elddis also see seamless communications between other supplier systems as important. To this end, Freeway has integrated with North East Trucks Spares (NETS) which enables automated replenishment of stock used in the workshop.

Elddis is also planning integrate Freeway with their local Mercedes dealership.