Apprenticeship of the Year - Northside Truck & Van
Northside Truck & Van, the Mercedes-Benz CV dealer group in the North, launched a Future Leaders initiative three years ago to identify weaknesses and opportunities across the business.
The group’s apprenticeship programme was seen as an area of great potential due to the benefits of developing talent in the business, yet the scheme was seen as “slowly but surely losing career interest and appeal”. An overhaul saw the development of a sector-leading apprenticeship model with outstanding results for both candidates and the business:
100% pass and 98% retention rates for all apprentices;
15 of 52 apprentices still employed have managerial or director status;
265 unprecedented applications (2014) for an intake of 13 apprentices;
three of the six finalists at Mercedes-Benz’s Apprentice of the Year Final are from Northside;
third-year apprentices produce a turnover of about £80,000 a year.
Apprenticeships undertake a four-day induction where they meet the management team and spend time in all departments. They spend 12 or 20 weeks, depending on discipline, at the Mercedes-Benz dedicated Training Academy. Cross-discipline training takes place in year two to promote team working and understanding of how departments integrate. Specialist modules have also been developed for Northside, such as fabrication, welding and hand fitting and are delivered with AMRC at Sheffield University. Extended training modules are offered by Mercedes for high-performing apprentices (all of Northside’s) that demonstrate development potential.
A fourth-year improver training module is available to maximise career opportunities. It includes HGV training, O-licence, OCRS and CPC, legislation, product courses and spending time with customers. Apprentices are assigned a mentor throughout their training and receive a Boxo Tool Kit worth more than £3,000 following a successful trial period.
Northside supplements wages 30% above standard and contributes monthly into a 10-year or 15-year savings pot allowing apprentices to earn a maximum bonus of £21,600.
Best Use of Technology - DPDgroup UK - DPD & Interlink Express
Almost by definition these days technology means sophisticated software or computer systems and it is sometimes difficult to grasp how they benefit customers or improve a business. This was not the case with DPD’s submission. The judges had no difficulty in appreciating the value of its Predict system, deciding that it stood out from a plethora of clever IT projects to scoop this award. “This is an excellent application with clear benefits to customers and the operator alike,” concluded our judges.
DPD has been using Predict since 2009, progressively enhancing it with new functions, making it easier and more convenient for consignees to take delivery of their parcels.
The reward for DPD is a right-first-time delivery rate of almost 93% and a public satisfaction poll rating head and shoulders above rival carriers.Our judges were particularly taken with one of the more recent enhancements to Predict, namely the introduction of 4,800 hand-held terminals (HHT), each incorporating a camera, for delivery drivers.
If the parcel is left in a safe place, the driver takes a picture of it in situ and a text or email is automatically sent to the consignee with a link to view the picture online as proof of delivery.
The HHTs cost £2.88m and DPD says it had to overcome several technical challenges to get reliable photographic transmission. It now stores about 45,000 new images every day, each one potentially avoiding a delivery dispute or a claim for loss. “This is exactly the sort of thing that the parcel industry needs,” commented one judge. “DPD appears to be several years ahead of its competitors when it comes to technology.”
The icing on DPD’s cake was a robust submission with plenty of supporting data and glowing customer testimonials. “It is clear that you and your team have demonstrated a competence and commitment that allows our customers to enjoy a service level well above that which we have previously been able to achieve,” wrote one customer.
“Your contribution to our trading success has been material and for this I am very appreciative,” he said.
Business Excellence Award - DPDgroup UK - DPD & Interlink Express
DPDgroup UK (formerly GeoPost UK and a subsidiary of French postal group La Poste) comprises parcel companies DPD and Interlink Express. While both share central functions such as marketing, IT and finance, the two divisions run very different business models: DPD (which accounts for 73% of turnover) carries for high volume shippers and a greater proportion of international traffic while Interlink – via its franchisee model – looks after low-volume SME shippers with a greater focus on domestic services and personalised customer care.
Between 2010 and 2014 DPDgroup UK has increased its sales by 93%, and its profits by 144%. In 2014 DPDgroup UK achieved sales of £806m, compared to £417m in 2010, and is number one in market share for domestic parcel revenue, growing faster than all of its competitors. Growth has also been driven by the introduction of its Predict advance notification service in 2009, which has improved right first time deliveries by 12.5% over five years.
Over the years Predict has reduced redeliveries and improved customer service for DPDgroup. Its right first time delivery levels stand at 92.9%. If it had not made such improvements it would have had to redeliver 5.6 million parcels last year a cost of £9.2m. Predict has also boosted efficiency and improved its environmental footprint.
Its financial strength is shown in its credit rating – lending to an Interlink franchisee is as secure as lending to a McDonald’s franchisee. The company also has also fuelled its growth via its 100-strong credit and billing team, with a clear focus on the customer and risk management best practice. This lead to the company winning three awards at the OCM British Credit Awards last year.
Growth has also lead to it becoming a key employer. Between 2009 and 2014 its workforce grew by 91%, from 4,861 to 9,300. Even during the recession, when UK unemployment reached its highest level for 14 years, it made no redundancies.
Award judges singled out its “stellar growth”, “leverage of technology” and its innovative use of social media. They said that DPDgroup had demonstrated a “proactive response to market challenges and the recession” with a “clear focus on the customer proposition”.
View full article here.
Customer Care Award - DPD UK
DPD chief executive Dwain McDonald says delivering the best possible service all year round, not just for the pressured Christmas peak period, is “a state of mind for everyone at DPD”.
Following demand from 76 of its top 100 customers, it launched a Sunday delivery service last summer. DPD invested £1.2m and created 1,000 jobs to get what it claims to be the “first truly nationwide” Sunday service off the ground. The service was so popular that it repaid the £1.2m start-up cost within seven weeks of its launch.
DPD claims Sunday deliveries helped take the strain out of its network during the Christmas peak, with 130,000 parcels delivered on its busiest Sunday. These deliveries could have otherwise affected service levels had they been made during the rest of the week.
The company believes its customer-centric approach has helped it expand and win business over the past 12 months. In 2014 it claims to have taken £63m of new business from its competitors and retained 98.5% of existing revenue. It also says it has customers “queuing up” to use its services.
DPD’s MT Award-winning Predict service also received a makeover in 2014 with the addition of five new ‘in-flight’ options, allowing recipients to alter the way their parcel is delivered the night before their one-hour delivery slot.
Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, recipients can choose a different delivery day; delivery to neighbour; delivery to a safe place; collection from a depot; or to upgrade their delivery. The company is also able to give consumers a 15-minute delivery slot with the launch of its ‘Follow my Parcel’ service, which uses Google Maps to pinpoint the location of their DPD delivery driver.
DPD owes its success at this year’s MT Awards to what the judges described as “a very strong all-round focus on customer service” and its “very comprehensive approach to customer care”.
The panel also praised DPD for preparing to invest in giving customers what they want and for its innovative use of technology. Positive testimonials from some of its largest customers also highlighted the value it places on customer care.
View full article here.
Fleet Truck of the Year - Scania R-series
Scania’s R-series turned 10 last year and for all but one of its full years in production it has been one of the UK’s three most popular tractor units. Last year it was number two, with 15% of the market. By any measure this is a remarkable achievement for a truck taking on far newer rivals. At a time when pictures of a heavily disguised successor have been circulating for well over a year, it is testament to a truck that commands huge respect and loyalty.
But it was not pure sentiment that prompted our judges to award the Fleet Truck of the Year title to the R-series. The R450 model, far and away the most popular R-series last year, is unique among Euro-6 tractors in that it is available with either an EGR plus SCR engine or with solely SCR. The latter is Scania’s latest and preferred Euro-6 strategy for the future and, by all accounts, is turning in some highly competitive fuel figures.
The 12.7-litre engine’s nominal power rating of 450hp is on the money for many tractor unit applications and its torque of 2,350Nm is above average. Those who want more have the option of 490hp/2,550Nm before stepping up
to the 16.4-litre V8.
Scania has quietly been developing the software for its Opticruise automated gearbox, notably integrating Scania Active Prediction GPS-activated cruise control to give topography-sensing intelligence for both speed control and gear-shifting, undoubtedly contributing to good fuel economy.
Add in a reputation for reliability, top-quality interiors, the best residual values in the business, plus immense driver appeal and it becomes clear why our judges opted to award the R-Series the top accolade, despite stiff challenges from newer rivals. It bodes well for what will follow when Scania finally reveals the R-series’ much-anticipated successor.
The R-series has seemingly been around for ever, which is perhaps why the judging panel praised its bullet-proof reliability, as well as recognising Scania’s fantastic aftersales service when things do occasionally go wrong.
View full article here.
Fleet Van of the Year - Vauxhall Vivaro
Over the years, Motor Transport’s Fleet Van Award has regularly gone to the stalwarts of the LCV sector. Mass appeal and a product weighing in at 3.5 tonnes were seen as two vital criteria for a vehicle to be judged as a fleet van.
But times are changing and in acknowledging the Vauxhall Vivaro as fleet van of the year our panel wanted to reflect the changing nature and needs of fleets, their willingness to downsize, and their push for greater efficiency in fuel economy and productivity.
Vivaro ticked the boxes on several key fronts and despite being relatively new to market, testimonies from large blue-chip firms that have found the new model reliable, efficient and cost-effective, led the panel to believe the new Vivaro has a long future ahead as a fleet vehicle favourite.
Because it is a joint-venture vehicle, special attention was paid to Vauxhall’s LCV package to differentiate it from Renault’s Trafic. Based on their experiences, our panel concluded that the Vivaro is supported by a strong network with centres across the UK that have worked especially hard to gain and retain customers since the vehicle launch.
The panel was also impressed with the manufacturer’s willingness to provide solutions to aftermarket problems direct from the factory, with one judge commenting: “Vauxhall is trying to work with its customers to provide a great overall experience, and has a van that in terms of total cost of ownership is at the top of the list.”
It was also felt that the new twin-turbo engine is one of the best new LCV engines on the market. Its warranty offering and high level of standard specification in a competitive sector were praised.
The Vivaro is strongly endorsed by drivers from several large fleets where innovations such as the built-in mobile phone holder and blind spot mirror have proven particularly useful in reducing the need to fit aftermarket accessories.
The previous generation of Vivaro was on sale for 13 years, and nearly one million were produced at Luton. Given the warm reception already received by the new Vivaro, Vauxhall could well have even greater success with its new model.
Potter Logistics celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. A Palletline member, it also works in the container and multimodal sectors, operating a fleet of 47 vehicles. It acquired House of James Transport in 2012, a company that brought with it Palletline’s York city centre postcode for which it acquired two diesel-electric hybrid vehicles to make quiet, low-carbon deliveries.
Some of Potter’s clients have been with the company for more than 30 years and it strives to promote a can-do attitude towards its customers to help them become more successful.
It has developed added-value services for its large customers including the twinning of 60,000 cases of jarred sauce mixes each week along with an on-site shunting service to ensure raw materials arrive on time for production and finished products get to warehouses for early despatch. Other added-value services include relabelling hazardous consignments, breaking down over-size pallets, and providing storage and delivery.
“We realise the importance of the two-way relationship with customers and we aim to help them become more successful and efficient,” said Potter’s entry.
Potter employs an in-house driver trainer to enable it to recruit young drivers and see them through their C+E test. It has also taken on a graduate to train up to replace a transport planner who is retiring this year.
Managers can attend external management courses, which has reaped benefits in terms of delivering a happier, better motivated team.
In 2012, Potter went to an all Mercedes-Benz fleet after a review of all the major marques that included feedback from drivers. The company uses FleetBoard to monitor the performance of vehicles and drivers and to minimise fuel consumption.
Potter saw turnover rise nearly £2m to £25m in 2013/14, with pre-tax profit up from £600,000 to £1.7m.
Judges said the company had put in a strong financial performance and had good control over all aspects of its business.
It is a family business with a customer-centric ethos that resulted in some very loyal long-standing clients. Potter offers comprehensive training and takes a flexible, innovative approach.
View full article here.
Home Delivery Operator of the Year - DPD UK
Consistent, innovative, consumer-minded. Just three of the words used by judges to described DPD UK, a business that has gone from strength to strength in recent years. In 2014 the company became market leader in the home-delivery sector, overtaking Yodel and completing the year with a 22.8% increase in sales revenue.
A key factor behind the growth and success of DPD has been its use of technology in improving the customer experience and delivery rates. The introduction of its Predict one-house window delivery system, which uses text messages to allow customers to request alternative delivery dates if they know they won’t be in, has increased customer satisfaction and improved the delivery rate and carbon emissions. As a result, DPD has seen sustained growth in its home-delivery business. It made 84.4 million stops in 2014 and achieved an impressive 92.87% first-time-delivery rate and a 99.6% on-time service level. Using route optimisation software it reduced the average distance between stops by 30% and lowered average CO2 emissions per parcel
Before the launch of Predict, DPD’s first-attempt delivery rate was 82.59%. The introduction of a deliver to neighbour option saw figures rise to 90.59%, while adding the “leave in a safe place” feature further increased right-first-time deliveries to the current 92.87% figure.
Other innovations such as the new Follow My Parcel tracking service, which receives 3.5 million views a month, have not only enhanced the delivery system but also cemented business with key customers such as online fashion retailer Asos.
Success has allowed the company to invest £81m in 14 new depots with a further £100m investment in a new facility in Hinckley, destined to be Europe’s biggest automated sorting hub. As well as notable growth and innovation, judges were impressed by DPD’s commitment to staff training, its efforts to create carbon neutral parcel deliveries and its careful planning for seasonal peaks. In summary, one judge said: “If you order something online you want to know when it arrives. You get that warm feeling that it will arrive when they say and you’re not going to be sat around waiting.”
View full article here.
Innovation Award - SDC Trailers & Malcolm Logistics
SDC Trailers and Malcolm Logistics’ 15.6m extendable skeletal trailer won over the judges at this year’s MT Awards for its “good innovative engineering” and clear benefits to the operator, its customers, and the environment.
Growing concerns about its CO2 emissions and road congestion led Malcolm Logistics to commission SDC Trailers to develop an extendable trailer that would accommodate a 50ft rail container for use either side of its rail operation. Previously, it was only able to transport containers with a maximum length of 45ft by road, meaning that it was left with additional volume that could not fit on a single truck either side of the rail journey.
A 50ft container equates to a metric length of 15.24m, which can be carried on the 15.6m skeletal trailer with room to spare. However, realising that producing a trailer limiting it to carrying just one length of container would not be cost effective for Malcolm, SDC introduced a rear section that can be extended and shortened as required to accommodate smaller trailer sizes.
This uses a manual winding mechanism, which is locked by heavy duty pneumatically-operated pins. When retracted, it complies with current standard weight, length and turning circle regulations, but when extended it will operate under VSO and complies with the DfT’s longer semi-trailer trial. Its retractable nature also means it can be used by Malcolm Logistics even if the government decides to discontinue its longer semi-trailer trial in 2022.
So far, 20 of the 15.6m extendable skeletal trailers have been put on the road by Malcolm Logistics. It has reduced the number of trailers required and saved on both fuel usage and carbon emissions. Cost savings have also been passed onto Malcolm’s retail customers.
SDC Trailers and Malcolm Logistics’ entry was a clear winner among our judging panel with one judge commenting that the operator was “brave to pioneer” the initiative, while another said the trailer was “a subtle but complex mechanical solution”.
The judges also hoped the trailer would help spark ideas among other trailer manufacturers and operators, inspiring them to develop more environmentally-friendly, multi-purpose technology.
Livery of the Year - John Donovan and JJX Logistics
JJX Logistics, based in Wolverhampton, specialises in same-day fast freight and offers next-day pallet services throughout the UK and on the continent. Its main clients are in aerospace, defence, rail, automotive, marine, drinks, IT, technology, print and packaging as well as more general cargo.
In the past, all JJX vehicles were usually painted blue, featured the company’s logo, and incorporated other minor visual modifications. However, the firm decided to start wrapping the vehicles with images relevant to its larger clients in the aerospace and aviation sector.
JJX’s airfreight division delivers goods to specified air freight depots and uses a tracking system that ensures its clients are in touch with their air freight consignments 24 hours a day.
In the new design the driver’s compartment resembles the cockpit of an aeroplane while the side of the van shows a view of the plane in flight. Also, the light bar across the top of the windscreen resemble the lights on a plane.
Crew members situated on the wing of the plane are young family members of JJX employees demonstrating how the company has retained its family ethos as it has grown.
JJX says that the time it took between purchasing an initial plain Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to having the new livery, lights and bars added was about four weeks.
For similar works carried out on its other vehicles the timescale has been approximately four to five weeks for each one.
Since the changes to the livery, the company says it has had a lot of attention from potential clients and large aerospace companies.
JJX says the new livery is particularly apt as it travels throughout all of the UK and Europe, very much like an airline service.
John Donovan, who founded JJX in 1997 and is the current MD, describes the livery as “fantastic” and says the project has been a huge success.
Judges said that the design was “modern and clearly demonstrates the industry the firm operates in”. They added that “using images of the children of employees gives a real family feel to the company”.
Malcolm Logistics’ 50ft container and road trailer has, in the judges’ opinion, integrated rail freight in the carbon equation in a simple, effective way. Malcolm runs 24 trains every week between three terminals and has become a leading participant in the DfT’s longer semi-trailer trial. Its approach within the scope of that trial is unique and is perfectly in-tune with a government experiment that, at its heart, is about efficiency and carbon reduction.
Showing enormous vision, Malcolm identified that on the rail side of its multimodal business, the wagons being used to carry its almost 13.6m-long intermodal units were themselves almost 16.5m long! In its own words the operator, “saw the potential to reduce carbon emissions through the development of a longer container for transportation on the same rail wagon”.
Working with SDC, Malcolm took a standard 13.6m container, lengthened it to 15.24m and after rigorous testing, and approval, modified 39 more. It then designed an extended road trailer (15.6m skeletal) capable of carrying the containers while adhering to the appropriate, unyielding legislation.
The trailer is designed in such a way that while it is intended to handle a maximum load, it can also take a combination of shorter intermodal units at various lengths, ensuring operational flexibility.
Carrying capacity of the longer containers is 30 rather than 26 pallets, boosting capacity by 15%.
One of our judges said Malcolm’s approach was practical and a bold use of its longer semi-trailer trial allocations. Another marvelled at how different its approach to the problem of carbon reduction had been in a sector where so much progress has been made already.
With thousands of skeletal trailers in the UK, our judges were also excited about the potential Malcolm’s winning concept has. “If it was adopted down the line across the industry it would do nothing short of change the market,” suggested one of our panel.
On a night dedicated to celebrating the best in road transport, it’s the reason why Malcolm Logistics is the deserved winner of MT’s Low Carbon category this year.
View full article here.
Operational and Compliance Excellence Award - Hotpoint Logistics
In a top-notch field, the winner is sometimes decided by the smallest of margins and this year’s victor in our Operational and Compliance Excellence category was a prime example of this. Its entry was excellent, well presented and to the point (while containing enough detail to sate our industry experts).
But it was the “pride” evident in the submission that was the icing on the cake for our panel. “This isn’t an entry that’s been thrown together by someone because their boss told them to enter. It’s clear that they really live what they do,” said one of our panel, summing up the majority view.
It was, of course, also a superb submission, with a great tale to tell. Own-account operator Hotpoint Logistics offers delivery to consumers’ homes as well as trade customers (delivering well-known white goods brands such as Hotpoint and Indesit). It delivered more than one million own-brand appliances through 11 satellite depots in 2014. The operation employs a team of drivers and attendants and has more than 150 vehicles.
Hotpoint’s entry covered its home delivery operation, with 2014 representing a year-on-year improvement and its best-ever fleet compliance performance at 96.6%. Last year’s OCRS stood at 100% (across Hotpoint’s eight O-licences) and its MoT pass rate was 94% compared with the industry average of 82.13%.
Furthermore, in 2014 the fleet mechanical and tyre breakdown rate was less than 1%.
Despite making thousands of home deliveries last year for several high street retailers, Hotpoint’s on-time measure was high. Its right-first-time service score was even better and is attributed to a three-hour window and one-hour pre-delivery notification for customers. This meant a 2014 incidence rate of customers not in of less than 1%.
Judges were impressed that the operator had broken down cost on an averaged per driver level, stating how much revenue each bought in against cost, and therefore the margin. They described it as “a real line of sight” that allowed everyone in the business to understand profit. Another added: “There’s a real sense that they have a handle on the operation.”
View full article here.
- News UK, Telegraph Media Group, CEVA Logistics UK
Printing and distributing national newspapers, magazines and supplements is a time-sensitive and complex transport activity. Every night, News UK and The Telegraph Media, in partnership with Ceva Logistics UK, distribute more than three million newspapers to 75 regional wholesalers from print centres in the UK.
Both publishers’ titles were produced at the same print sites and delivered to the same wholesale locations. They were however, distributed across the UK on separate fleets by multiple logistics providers. The two news businesses are market competitors, however, both realised the practical and financial benefits of a joint venture operation for the primary distribution of products and in 2012 explored combining their distribution requirements.
The partnership found that transparency and trust were vital components in making the scheme work. All parties had to share commercially sensitive information, including sales volumes, network development strategy, internal logistics costs, operational performance and service levels. A proposal was made to create a single logistics service, with Ceva awarded the contract, followed by the creation of a management steering committee formed with representatives from all three organisations.
Project workstreams were set up, including: operational planning; commercial negotiations, HR; and transport network development. Detailed route planning started on a minute-by-minute basis, while base plans were shared between parties and wholesalers and adjustments made when required.
Results since the venture went live on 8 September 2013 have seen significant improvements, including:
on-time delivery performance achieves better than target of 99.75% from March 2014 to February 2015 (average 100 vehicles per day);
reduction of vehicle routes by 40%;
reduction of three million vehicle miles a year;
a 3.8 million kg reduction in carbon emissions.
View full article here.
Safety in Operation Award - Palletline
Established in 1992 as the first hub and spoke pallet distribution network, Palletline has a network of 70 members operating more than 6,000 vehicles and employing 12,000 staff.
Palletline can claim to have led the pallet network sector on a number of key health and safety initiatives, including depedestrianising its hub operations and bringing in full health and safety audits for its members.
As a result, its accident rates are 79% lower than the industry average, and in 2014 it recorded just seven accidents, or 1.84 for every million pallets handled.
Between 2007 and 2014, Palletline reduced total accidents from 47 to just seven, only one of which came under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (Riddor).
This year Palletline also led the industry in announcing a ban on tail-lift deliveries over 750kg to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries to drivers. Palletline is campaigning, along with the RHA, for this weight limit to become industry standard.
“We don’t simply believe that being safe improves safety. We believe it feeds into all areas of the business and ties in with our ethos of innovation and excellence, to improve everything we do for members and their customers,” Palletline said in its entry.
“Palletline has created a culture where health and safety is central to every task undertaken by every member of staff. This top-down thinking is driven by our QSHE manager Ken Bell, who has the full backing of the board, management team and, most importantly, the staff.”
Constantly reviewing new legislation, its health and safety policy, monthly accident and incident statistics and operating systems is key to Palletline’s progress on improving its safety record.
Judges said Palletline had achieved results beyond expectation and had continued to improve. This was a well-presented entry with good data, and judges praised the tail-lift weight limit as a good initiative. They added it was good to see a strong safety culture being led from the top down.
View full article here.
Service to Industry - Theo de Pencier
Theo de Pencier stood down from his role as CEO of the FTA in April after eight years, having been its first boss with a true business background.
De Pencier has more than 20 years’ board level experience in the logistics and supply chain industry, working for NFC, Danzas and Bibby before moving to the FTA. His early career was spent in sales and marketing with brand-leading food and drink manufacturers Heinz and Diageo and he had a successful career with NFC before moving to Switzerland to work for Danzas in a strategic role handling mergers and acquisitions. He returned to the UK to run and expand Bibby Distribution in 1999.
De Pencier used his industry experience to streamline and modernise the FTA while ensuring it provides a range of business services that meet its members’ and customers’ needs. He oversaw the expansion of the FTA to establish representation in Ireland and Brussels and ensured it continues to be the true voice of the freight users, across all modes, with strong relationships throughout industry and government.
A notable achievement was to successfully collaborate with Geoff Dunning of the RHA to launch the highly effective FairFuelUK campaign that secured the repeal of the highly unpopular fuel duty escalator mechanism. De Pencier also worked tirelessly to convince TfL commissioner Sir Peter Hendy that freight plays a vital part in the smooth running of London and ensured that, despite the huge challenges facing the industry, visitors to the London Olympics in 2012 did not run out of food and drink.
He is a strong supporter of the need to broaden the appeal of logistics and has championed the Women in Logistics campaign as well as making the FTA the lead sponsor of the Everywoman Transport & Logistics Awards in 2013.
De Pencier joined the board of Passenger Focus, the independent rail and strategic road user watchdog, in March 2015 and has taken on a number of non-executive roles since he left the FTA, including the London Ambulance Service.
View full article here.
Team of the Year - Pall-Ex
A recent major Pall-Ex IT project was its automated, cloud-based system to manage the processing of customers’ own paperwork (COP). Its aim was to make it easier to manage the paper documentation that accompanies freight consignments at the request of the customer, which is typically troublesome to manage for any business in the sector.
To achieve this, the directors brought together a team of experts from IT, marketing and customer services to oversee the implementation of the system. The COP implementation team’s remit was not technological development. Instead, they would communicate the benefits of the system to ensure it was adopted consistently and willingly – learning from the results and findings of previous IT projects. The team was cross-departmental and brought together several aspects of Pall-Ex’s business, representing varied levels of authority and technical experience. The team met weekly to encourage regular feedback and created a forum to put forward new ideas. Each representative relayed the outcome of each meeting to their department. Jargon-free promotional posters were created as internal advertisements.
Objectives were to have all members process COP through the new system; to increase calls from members to the IT helpdesk promoting availability of support and expertise; to achieve objectives without any additional budget apart from expenditure on printing/promotional sundries, by using existing, internal resources; and to have the new system implemented and operational by May 2014.
Selected Pall-Ex member hauliers sampled the system and the most vocal and influential haulier managers were strategically selected to trial the COP system before promotional activity began. They suggested changes to perfect the system before its release as part of a “leak, tweak, release, repeat” procedure. This has resulted in all members using the COP system, with the aim to use the team again in future technology projects.
Judges said the team had delivered the project on time and budget-free using a multi-functional team of experts. They also said clear KPI improvements had been shown.
View full article here.
Technical Excellence Award
- DPDgroup - DPD & Interlink Express
It was a unanimous decision: the transport team supporting DPD’s huge parcels business is a worthy winner of the 2015 Technical Excellence Award.
This is a mammoth operation: 664 Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units, 1,200 trailers, 330 smaller trucks and 4,000 vans. DPD is not afraid to run its vehicles well past normal replacement cycles, keeping tractor units for 11 years or one million miles. It says it avoided £9.3m of capital expenditure in the past three years, money that would have been spent on replacing 150 tractors over eight years old, which went down well with our judges. “They are not just throwing money at it,” said one.
It might be assumed that reliability suffers, but not according to DPD. Tractor and trailer availability in last year’s eight-week pre-Christmas peak averaged 97.6% and only six trunks in the whole year missed their sort hub time slots – all due to punctures. The key to making this strategy pay dividends is total confidence in cost-effective maintenance.
DPD has two main in-house workshops, supplemented by 50 external repairers. The first-time annual test pass rate in the workshops stands at 98.2% – outstanding for a fleet with an older profile.
Technicians earn a bonus for first-time test passes. Audits of external repairers’ maintenance standards highlighted that some small independents were outperforming Mercedes dealers. The information was passed to Mercedes, which admitted that its own standards have improved as a result. Similarly, DPD worked with suppliers to develop better theft-proofing for van exhaust catalysts and door and bonnet locks. Regular audits and a new electronic weekly compliance reporting tool drive up compliance across all 54 DPD depots, tackling the less-strictly regulated world of van operations. Owner-drivers in the delivery fleet who fail to meet compliance standards are issued with breach letters and their contract terminated if they accumulate too many infringements in a given period. Owner-driver compliance scores rose from 47% to 74% in the year to December 2014.
“This company is serious about getting the basics right,” concluded one judge. “It has the right culture, with strict in-house rules and thorough auditing.”
View full article here.
Temperature Controlled Operator of the Year - Turners (Soham)
Turners (Soham) operates more than 600 temperature-controlled vehicles from 11 UK operating centres. It makes, on average, around 1,000 temperature controlled deliveries a day, and the company’s KPIs show a large amount of flexibility around periods of seasonal variation, at times meeting a need for more than double average capacity.
Its ability to accommodate peaks and slumps throughout the year is demonstrated by the number of contracts Turners holds with large retailers, and a series of related accreditations secures its reputation as a responsible and reliable handler of the cold chain.
Turners operates seven temperature regimes. Its Newmarket HQ operates across five of these, which Turners believes is the only site in the UK to manage this number of different temperatures.
It bought temperature-controlled haulier Browns Chilled Distribution in 2011, integrating the temperature-controlled vehicles into its fleet. Where others have tried and failed to venture into the sector, Turners (Soham) has transformed into one of the leading operators in temperature-controlled distribution.
Turners teaches its drivers to recognise the importance of cold chain security as part of its in-house CPC training, as well as giving training on how to handle food products and vehicle and trailer hygiene. With every trailer fitted with thermograph recoding equipment, Turners ensures the cold chain is never jeopardised.
Turners has a sound environmental policy and can demonstrate how it has reduced its carbon footprint. Results of its fuel management system,
which measures drivers’ performances in comparison to driving styles with least environmental impact, are sound, with gains in MPG across the temperature-controlled sector.
The judges were impressed with the group’s strong financial performance, demonstrating a sustained year-on-year growth. One judge said: “Looking at the financials, the procedures are excellent. This is an outstanding document.”
Judges also praised the group’s “strong development of technology and excellent service”. They were impressed with its commitment to cold chain security. “The group has strong methodology in place and impressive accreditation.”
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Training Award - Hotpoint Logistics
Hotpoint Logistics, part of the Indesit Company, is one of the biggest movers of white goods in the UK, delivering about three million appliances to consumer homes a year.
Hotpoint Logistics’ home delivery operation employs 300 people and delivers around a million appliances to customers’ homes each year. Hotpoint’s entry stated: “At the heart of our company are our people – they are our greatest strength.”
The company takes the same approach to training as with all other processes and systems
– investigate, plan, do, check. It uses a variety of KPIs to monitor and highlight the need for training, including accident rates, customer surveys and product damage.
A team of four in-house trainers, with over 100 years collective experience in white goods, carries out on the job assessments of operational staff, recommending any refresher training needed at a dedicated Home Delivery Logistics Academy. Almost 90% of employees attended the academy in 2014.
The results of this training for both existing and new staff are impressive: average assessment scores up to 93% from 89%; a reduction of 17% in customer complaints; and an increase in service levels of 2.2%.
The 10,000ft2 academy includes: a mock up of customer’s home, complete with a range of typical hazards; a vehicle and classroom area, which has a 7.5-tonne Daf truck built to Hotpoint specifications to cover daily vehicle checks; a product training room displaying all the models in the current range so trainees can learn set-up procedures; and a training room for general theory training.
The course is five days in duration, of which three count towards the Driver CPC, and there are never more than seven trainees on any one course.
Judges said this was an honest, transparent entry, showing how the company had identified a training need through on the job assessment. It had aligned training to the drive for customer service excellence, and had created a great facility to provide hands-on training that had produced quantifiable results across many areas.