Adam Purshall, Fleet & Procurement Director at Menzies Distribution discusses how they adopted TIP Insight telematics, with BrakePlus EBPMS, following a short trial on their trailer fleet and now benefit from improved visibility of their assets, operational efficiencies and safety improvements
About: Menzies has been delivering across the UK since 1833 and today reach 31,000 locations per day, across the country. They provide distribution services for many different market sectors, including retail / e-commerce, pharma & healthcare, foodstuffs, paper / packaging and also offer a range of other logistics services and supply chain solutions. They were recently awarded ‘Innovative Business of the Year’ by Logistics UK.
Fleet: Menzies has a commercial fleet of 4,500 assets covering tractor units, trailers, tankers and LCV’s. In terms of trailers, there are 1,650 on fleet, of which TIP manages 1,300. The total trailer fleet is 100% dry freight and consists predominantly of curtainsided trailers (approximately 95% of the fleet), with the remainder being box-van trailers. The trailer fleet is based across the whole of the UK, operating from Menzies’ 110 operational locations.
“As part of our relationship with TIP, we use a variety of their services, including lease, flexible lease, rental, contract maintenance and ‘pay as you go’ maintenance. However, our highest priorities are always safety and compliance management, and the key to the successful ongoing relationship with TIP is based on how closely the teams from both companies work with each other. We have a partnership approach.
Throughout the past 12 months, TIP and Menzies have worked closely on various strategic programmes to improve efficiencies in relation to the compliance management of our fleet. This has involved the gradual integration of TIP Insight within our current and future trailer management programme.
Initially, we installed the TIP Insight technology on 30 of our trailers, as part of a structured trial, with the long-term aim of migrating to TIP Insight and replacing our incumbent trailer tracking solution with a smarter solution that provided further added value functionality in line with our project objectives.
It didn’t take long before we realised how much value add functionality the system was providing, not only in terms of the information that it provides us, but its ease of use, configurability to suit our needs and, of course, the level of support that we receive from TIP to ensure we get the best out of our investment.
As an example, we wanted to have all our own and our customers’ locations mapped in the system to help us when it comes to managing journeys and to also have the option of being alerted to when trailers were arriving and leaving those locations. To enable this, TIP imported geo-positional data, which we already had, into the system to create a ‘point-of-interest’ and ‘geofence’ for each site or customer location.
The platform, FleetConnected, also enables us to generate a daily report on the locations of trailers at a moment in time, which helps with our daily management of assets. We also report on the usage of each trailer, with the generation of mileage and utilisation based reports, to maximise the efficiency of our operations.
In addition to being able to track our fleet, the platform enables us to monitor the braking performance of our trailers via its BrakePlus module. The system monitors braking performance in line with the DVSA Electronic Braking Performance Management guidance.
BrakePlus alerts us by email if there is a deterioration in the performance of a trailer’s braking system, so that we can have it inspected, rather than wait until the next scheduled service inspection. We welcome this proactive approach to monitoring our fleet as it ensures we manage the safety-critical aspects of our trailers, whilst ensuring a proactive approach to uptime, enabling remote checks of performance in order to diagnose potential faults, before they have an operational impact.
The adoption of TIP Insight by Menzies is a consequence of our long-term working relationship and forms part of TIP’s overall offering to us, which covers asset provision, maintenance and repair, compliance management, KPI reporting and now, asset monitoring. TIP is a key supplier to Menzies and the way TIP Insight has been phased into our fleet, together with a real personal touch in the way support is provided, is testimony to TIP’s innovative approach to our business.