Ken McEwen looks after security, emergency management, building access, housing, fleet and event management at the University of Canterbury.
With a fleet of up to 60 cars, light trucks, vans and four wheel drives on the road at any given point in time, late in 2015 Ken decided to manage the fleet smarter, rather than harder.
EROAD impressed Ken with its ability to support university staff wherever they are, from working in the field alone, to driving large groups of students from place to place, or travelling to teach in other cities.
“It was hard to believe that it was going to change behaviour so quickly. But speed dropped, fuel dropped, and no one moaned. It literally happened in no time at all.”
EROAD gave Ken the tools he needs to help protect the university’s image on the road, and pinpoint drivers who may need extra help. “I get the speed alerts by email, as they are happening, and can have a conversation with a driver as soon as they return the car. I’ve not yet had to have the conversation twice.”
By leveraging EROAD fleet management tools, Ken established a charging system for the fleet, which has seen a change in the culture towards vehicle use, with individual departments now responsible for using vehicles efficiently and effectively.
“Departments used to assign roughly $6K per month to vehicle cost allocation. Now it’s around $2500 per month,” he says. “EROAD has also had a huge impact on fuel costs. In the first month of using EROAD we received 7000 over-speed alerts. We now see fewer than 150 a week, and only four or five of these are for sustained periods of time.
“I’ve seen my fuel cost drop by up to $3,000 per month, with increased utilisation and kilometres travelled by the fleet.”
Manager Security & Campus Community Support,
The University of Canterbury, Christchurch
"As a result, I’ve seen my fuel cost drop by up to $3,000 per month, with increased utilisation and kilometres travelled by the fleet.”
EROAD’s pool car booking system, U Book-It has also helped the university increase the efficiency of its fleet.
“People used to book out vehicles for days or weeks to make sure that when they needed it, it was there. U Book-It is helping us change this. If someone books a vehicle and it doesn’t arrive, then we can jump on the computer and see how far away it is, and provide them with a spare car if needed.”
Ken estimates that simply better utilisation has allowed him to reduce the size of his fleet by two cars, which he estimates to be worth around $30K a year to the university.
“We really appreciate the system. It’s very, very usable, and was the smoothest IT rollout we’ve had in years. Operationally, there have been no problems for our staff. When we tell them it is going to do something, it does.”
Ken explains that EROAD has been beneficial in unexpected ways, including assisting with tax requirements. The year before installing EROAD, the university was audited, and time and resource had to be diverted into proving that the vehicles were being used in the right way in regards to fringe benefit tax.
“EROAD removed the manual burden associated with fringe benefit tax. We are now able to prove exactly what our vehicles are being used for, and by whom.
“Before we could never claim insurance on any of our vehicles because we never knew who was driving when small incidents occurred.” Now vehicles are inspected at the end of every day, with any problems recorded in EROAD’s vehicle inspection tool, and the drivers identified through U Book-It for the claim.
EROAD has even helped shape the layout of the university, as it helped Ken identify significant vehicle use between departments, resulting in the two departments moving closer together.
“We are now better off, financially, operationally, and in the community. Our brand, our cars, our people; everything matches.”