Many asset are taking drastic measures to survive volatile fuel prices. Some are cutting back on administrative personnel, taking aging trucks off the road or even turning away business they deem less profitable.
Nada Services Company (Distribution) is taking a different approach. Instead of cutting back and hoping for the best, they invested to improve their efficiency and significantly reduce fuel costs. They achieved this via the Smarttrace™ GPS Vehicle Tracking System, which they installed on their asset.
“In just our first seven months with the Smarttrace™ asset management system, we saved over 120,000 AED in fuel costs through improved routing and reduced idling times,” said Mr. Ibrahim Ahmed, Logistics Coordinator at Nada Services. “Over the course of the year, we expect to save close to 165,000 AED on fuel alone.”
Nada Services understood that by investing in the right technology, it could reduce its overhead, improve dispatching efficiency and better customer service. But it didn’t realize just how much. Once it installed Smarttrace™ in all its vehicles, it discovered that its initial calculations of savings had been greatly underestimated.
Vehicle idling, for example, was a big problem. Prior to implementing the GPS tracking system, the company had no way of knowing whether vehicles were idling or not. With Smarttrace™ installed, however, Ahmed could run a report in a few seconds that provided a detailed rundown for each driver of the amount of idling time.
“The idling report in Smarttrace™ is the one I use the most – I’m looking for anyone idling more than two hours per day,” Ahmed said. “If anyone is violating that, the matter is brought up in the daily meeting.”
As soon as idling began to be monitored, Nada Services used the information to educate its drivers concerning bad habits. Most were surprised by the amount of time consumed in idling. One major area of heavy idling, for instance, occurred when trucks would have to line up at a site. Drivers are now instructed to switch their vehicles off at such times. And as they know dispatch is watching, they comply.
As a result of paying close attention to the idling report, the company has reduced idling times by 45 minutes per vehicle per day. This directly translates into a substantial fuel savings.
Another way the company has successfully slashed diesel consumption is through improved routing. According to Ahmed, it used to be impossible to determine if drivers took the most direct routes. Once Smarttrace™ was implemented; he was shocked to discover that many preferred the scenic route instead of the highway. This added up to around 20 minutes per day per driver, sometimes a lot more.
“Instead of going from A to C to D and then to B, now with Smarttrace™ drivers are moving from A directly to B,” said Ahmed. “This has saved us an average of 20 kilometers per vehicle per day through improved routing.”
Speeding, too, is a sure route to inflated fuel bills. Smarttrace™ reports helped Nada Services to comprehensively address this issue. These are printed out with red flags to indicate any vehicle traveling more than 80 km/hr. This feature of the software highlighted the fact that some trucks either didn’t have governors or they weren’t set properly. The company engaged in a maintenance program to remedy this.
Today, dispatchers can see at a glance which truck is speeding, how often and for how long. The system makes it easy to differentiate between someone traveling above 80 km/hr for two minutes as opposed to traveling at high speeds continuously.
“This speed monitoring feature of Smarttrace™ has really helped to slow the drivers down and consequently has contributed to our reduced fuel costs,” said Ahmed “Drivers know I watch their speed, and I even get some calling me up to ask how fast the system says they are going.”