Nelson-based Tasman Satellite Services installs satellite systems throughout the West Coast, Tasman and Marlborough. Servicing such a large, and in parts remote, area with a small team of technicians means efficient job management is essential.
The company needed to see if its technicians were running ahead of schedule so it could allocate more work to them and, if they were running behind, identify if vehicles were in transit.
The Christchurch earthquakes and after-shocks affecting the region meant it was also time to update the company’s health and safety policy and improve fleet transparency.
“I did my homework looking at different systems and they all looked pretty clunky. A colleague in Christchurch told me, ‘I use EROAD. It’s leaps and bounds ahead of every other company’. An installer also said he fitted a mate’s truck company with EROAD and they love it. So we had it installed and it’s brilliant,” owner Daniel O’Connell says.
Tasman Satellite Services installed EROAD’s Ehubo2 in-vehicle hardware in eight light vehicles, using AutoRUC for RUC (road user charges) purchase, and setting up automatic service scheduling with EROAD’s Service & Vehicle Maintenance.
To address health and safety, the company uses Driver Login to identify who’s driving a vehicle, and keeps track of where vehicles and drivers are with EROAD’s fleet tracking and Messaging service.
Daily Activity reporting make job management more efficient, and ensures accurate billing, with the ability to provide proof of service as well as more accurate mileage information.
“EROAD gives us a lot more transparency, so if we have a quake we can see exactly where the vehicles are. If we can’t get in contact we can see if the vehicle’s moving, so the tech’s okay. If it’s not moving, we know where to send someone to find them.”
Owner, Tasman Satellite Services
EROAD’s web application, Depot, offers Tasman Satellite a real-time view of its fleet, so it knows where its vehicles are all times.
“EROAD gives us a lot more transparency, so if there’s a quake we can see exactly where the vehicles are and the guys are. If we can’t get in contact, we can see if the vehicle’s moving, so we know the tech’s okay. If it’s not moving, we know where to send someone to find them.”
It has also meant happier customers: if a customer wants to know when a tech will be arriving, Tasman Satellite’s office staff have the information at their fingertips.
“We don’t have to guess, we don’t have to bother the tech, and we can accurately give the customer that information,” Daniel says. “If anything ever happens from a safety point of view, we can see if a tech’s been at a site for a long time. We do a lot of remote areas, and we can see exactly where they are.”
Automating service scheduling helps reduce vehicle downtime and administration time. “The service module is brilliant. Our previous system just told us when services were due. Now we can accurately schedule them, and we know 500km out so we can start booking them in. All the information’s in front of us - the exact odometer readings, and diesel miles.”
Reducing admin time has also been a significant benefit of buying RUC electronically. “It’s one less thing the office has to worry about,” says Daniel. “We were buying RUC in 20- to 30,000km lots every six months. Now it just does it automatically every 3000km.”
Accurate tracking revealed that the company was undercharging for mileage. “With EROAD we’ve discovered drive times were a lot longer than we’ve been charging on some jobs. Some of our contracts are a fixed price, and when they come up for renegotiation I can show mileage reports. The other day I had a tech drive 470km up to Collingwood and back. We were surprised how long he was driving – over seven hours driving time, which I don’t think anyone understood before. This gives you 100% correct information.
“I don’t know how we used to run the business without it.”