With over 25 years of fleet management experience, SMH is recognised by the UK motor industry for its trusted reputation and for consistently delivering the highest standards in vehicle management and logistics. SMH’s comprehensive corporate vehicle support services include demonstration, company car, pool fleet and press vehicle management as well as car transporter and individual driver vehicle movements.
Whilst managing the logistics of over 150,000 cars per year, whether inbound or outbound movements, inspections, repairs or vehicle preparation, their key objective is to provide the best possible service to its customers, without compromise.
Challenges & Installation:
Given the value and importance of the vehicles they are responsible for; to have any doubts over a cars location is not an option. SMH must know where every car is at any time and furthermore, every movement/location change must be recorded in order to ensure the smooth operation of the business is maintained.
A single lost car at the wrong time can waste many man-hours or days, all of which is avoidable if a tracking process is used.
ExPD is a supplier of Auto-ID solutions with over 25 years of experience in this area. Having previous experience with airport car parks and dealings with SMH, ExPD were ideally placed to understand the importance of the SMH challenges. Working in conjunction with SMH, ExPD constructed a solution based on their standard bespoke barcode tracking Asset-i product, with modifications to suit SMH individual requirements.
The application built is a web-based Asset Tracking system whereby all assets, in this instance cars, are uniquely identified by their VIN number, and then barcode tagged/scanned to make their respective identification quick and intuitive. The application supports a multi-tiered location structure meaning that visibility of cars can be global, such as – ‘in the business’, ‘on a site’, ‘in a Zone’, ‘lane’ or down to a specific ‘bay’.
Integrating directly with the SMH core vehicle management system, e-Vision means comprehensive information about each car is readily available at any time and from any location to system users, whether on the website or on a mobile device. The mobile application, in this instance installed on Android devices from Datalogic, enables mobile users to identify, move, audit and inspect vehicles at each of the locations, ensuring every time a car is ‘touched’ it gets recorded.
It was key to SMH that e-Vision remained the ‘master’ and Asset-i was integrated into the system to provide the user with visibility of vehicle locations, daily reporting, KPI’s and alerts to ensure cars are where they should be at all times.
The benefits of using the mobile devices to record every vehicle movement and scan activity ensures that any changes or new information are instantly sent to the hosted service providing its worth in a very quick time – with an immediate reduction in time spent looking for temporarily ‘lost’ cars.
Other benefits include the identification of vehicles that shouldn’t be at that site at the point of arrival, thereby reducing the retrospective administration. Every car now has a barcode ID label, which means a single ‘quick scan’ can give the user all the information needed – instead of handwriting the VIN number and walking back to the office to perform a slow vehicle look-up – huge time savings are realised which the staff have embraced.
The system has been deployed at each of the SMH 5 sites – Worcester, Chorley, Bedford, Throckmorten and Gloucester. ExPD worked closely with SMH to ensure the system provided the functionality and information required. The key objective being to ‘know where every car is’.
Martin McAuley, SMH Director commented, “We always knew implementing a system of this size into our live operation was going to be a challenge, we did experience some minor issues, which ExPD handled promptly”, Martin continued, “since the initial rollout, we have added specific reports and checks to fine-tune the tracking process – and it works – we now have absolute visibility of car movements and locations.”