Elite Truck Hire has been managing its rental business with a cloud-based solution from FleetDomain since 2017. The company’s business falls into two broad categories: it hires out a range of trucks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and also provides full-maintenance leasing for clients who want dedicated vehicles in their own corporate livery, but do not want to own or manage them. It has ten branches around the country, and operates its own in-house workshops, panelbeater, wash bays and fuelling capability.
Elite Truck Hire’s business is complex, thus visibility across its various operations around SA is important to ensure managers can optimise the use of expensive capital equipment and service-fluctuating client requirements. Key to this is understanding client demand patterns to ensure that the fleet is distributed optimally to take into account seasonal changes. Another important requirement is the ability to analyse the performance of the fleet in detail in order to prolong the useful life of each vehicle.
When MD, Byron Corcoran, joined Elite Truck Hire in 2016, he inherited a set of processes that were largely manual, inefficiently supported by an antiquated software program originally designed for workshop management and customised over the years. For example, the month-end process involved an enormous amount of work for staff over a short time frame, and the information was not always accurate. Expensive sales resources were then used to distribute the paper invoices, further impacting overall productivity.
Corcoran immediately embarked on a search for a specialist fleet management programme that could act as the backbone of the growing company, streamline business processes and ultimately allow managers to access reliable data to support fact-based decision making.
It was also important that the new software was backed by a financially stable provider with access to excellent development resources to ensure continuity and improvement. The software also needed to provide a robust business process architecture and workflow that would support best practice and make it hard to commit fraud.
“I also wanted a web-based system so that it could be accessed anywhere, anytime, and would not necessitate a significant increase in our in-house IT capability. We are a truck rental and leasing company, not an IT shop,” Corcoran says. “It was critical that the software included fully integrated accounting functionality rather than exporting data to a standalone accounting package.”
Designed specifically for the industry, FleetDomain’s software met the criteria and its implementation has delivered clear benefits to Elite Truck Hire. The application is delivered as a service to Elite Truck Hire via a web interface, and FleetDomain is responsible for all support and development.
Key benefits that the FleetDomain solution delivers to Elite Truck Hire include the following:
Early fraud detection or revenue leakage. One advantage is that the system makes it easier to detect internal fraud and avoid revenue leakage because it uses data from all parts of the business. Suspicious activity can be detected, and alerts triggered. For example, the system matches tracking data from a vehicle against the billing and booking systems to confirm that a legitimate client is using the vehicle and that the correct invoice has been raised. In the event of suspicious activity, the relevant manager is flagged.
Visibility across the entire operation, presented graphically. Because the system is web-based and creates a single repository of all data, managers can easily gain a bird’s eye view of the entire operation based on accurate data. This means it is possible to track all the variables within the business, from the location of vehicles through to branch performance, to name just two. For example, the system enables a manager to ascertain rapidly whether a client’s requirement for a certain type of vehicle can be met, something that is key to running a successful rental operation.
Dashboards allow managers to keep tabs on the information that matters to them, and the board receives detailed information in a format that makes it easy to analyse. Customised reporting is continually being updated in line with the evolving needs of Elite Truck Hire.
Streamlined business processes. FleetDomain incorporates more than 30 years of experience in fleet management. This intellectual capital in essence creates a best-practice framework for the company. Because FleetDomain integrates into the back-end systems, it supports end-to-end business processes. For example, a booking on the FleetDomain system will automatically generate an invoice, with all invoices stored in a central, easily accessible repository.
Valuable business intelligence. FleetDomain’s reporting capabilities mean that managers have access to valuable – and reliable – information that can be used to manage the business more effectively. For example, managers can use demand booking history to ensure that vehicles are optimally distributed around the country based on likely demand, or to identify underperforming entities within the group.
The business intelligence generated by the system can also be used to review the operational and business process architecture in order to identify bottlenecks or opportunities for improvement. “From a management point of view, FleetDomain makes it easy to access the information needed to understand not only how the company is doing but how to manage it better,” Corcoran says.
Attractive billing model. FleetDomain is billed per vehicle registered on the system. Because billing is not linked to the number of users, the company can add or remove users without unnecessary administration and without having to adjust billing each time staff changes.
“The billing model is just another way of making life easier for our client,” says Jai Kalyan, managing director, FleetDomain. ““This is a long-term relationship, and we work closely with Elite Truck Hire’s team to improve the software and provide additional value. We are currently working on ways to enhance the levels of automation to gain further efficiencies.”
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