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Vehicle Tracking Case Study

Chiltern Cold Storage and Distribution Ltd

Finding the Satellite Vehicle Tracking System that delivers all of your business needs is quite a challenge, as Chiltern Cold Storage and Distribution Ltd, Managing Director, Paul Jackson discovered.

Background

Chiltern Cold Storage Group Ltd is a leader in the competitive food service market, with a range of tailor made, flexible storage and delivery solutions.

From its purpose built cold storage and distribution centre in Cambridgeshire, the company offers temperature-controlled deliveries across the UK and Europe, while its highly skilled, professional team provides advice and support to a growing range of clients.

Chiltern has invested in a large fleet of modern temperature controlled vehicles and cold storage facilities to ensure its service is second to none. It now has 15,500 pallets of frozen and 3,000 pallets of ambient storage, with the space for further expansion as the company grows. A range of added value services is also available on-site including cross docking, freezing and tempering.

Chiltern's distribution services operate with a fleet of specialist courier, rigid and articulated vehicles, with all of the company's services tailored to the individual requirements of each customer.

The Business Requirement

Chiltern Cold Storage Group needed a vehicle tracking system that would deliver a reliable, effective control and management solution across all of its business operations.

It needed a tracking system that would enhance the efficiency of its nationwide chilled distribution service, enabling it to monitor the exact location of its whole fleet, or an individual vehicle at any given time.

With vehicle location and progress updates originally done by phoning the drivers on their mobiles, which was both time consuming and costly, the company needed to invest in a solution that would offer faster, more detailed control and visibility of the fleet.

Chiltern Managing Director Paul Jackson says: "We did a lot of research before choosing the V-SOL system - we needed to be sure we had found a solution that was exactly right for us. As soon as I saw the V-SOL system in operation I knew it would greatly benefit the company's efficiency and operations."

The Solution

Following several months of extensive research, Chiltern commissioned a brand new 'real time' satellite vehicle tracking system from V-SOL.

The V-SOL model offers a major advantage - it provides accurate, reliable and easily accessible, up to date information - unlike the historically based information provided by most other systems.

This 'real time' technology allows it to combine live and historical data at the click of a button. The system now monitors Chiltern's entire fleet while also allowing their head office to view individual vehicles - tracking progress from the coldstore throughout the journey to delivery.

Exact delivery times are then stored for reference and can be utilised for future planning, report generation or to settle timing queries when needed.

Information is relayed from each vehicle via an unobtrusive box, no bigger than three inches, that gathers data during the journey. This provides instant access to details such as the length of journeys completed, miles left, fuel used, speed and waiting time at each collection point.

Previously all such data was compiled manually on a daily or weekly basis but with the new system it can all be generated at the press of a button.

The Chiltern vehicle tracking configuration updates automatically every 15 minutes, but also includes the flexibility to request instant updates at any time of the day or night. Chiltern also benefits from the technical support that comes with the system, with the V-SOL team providing proactive advice and support throughout the integration of the system into the company's operations and on a day to day basis. In addition, as the system is based on Microsoft Windows it is easy for everyone in the Chiltern team to operate and generate reports from.

Results

While Chiltern invested in the tracking system predominantly to enhance operational efficiency, the system's other benefits also influenced its choice - providing clear route planning together with reports on issues such as fuel usage, speed and waiting times at each collection point.

With all of Chiltern's operational programmes integrated into the one package, the tracking system saves time and creates a more efficient system of data gathering, with the benefits felt throughout the company's operations.

The system ensures that any of Chiltern's vehicles can be pin-pointed by simply clicking on a map of the UK, before being able to follow its progress or replay where it has been for the last hour, day or week.

This means that when customers book a collection Chiltern can look at the system and know exactly which vehicle is closest to ensure a very accurate collection time - significantly improving customer service and the efficiency of operations. Similarly, if a vehicle is delayed for any reason the Chiltern team can be very specific about its distance from the delivery point and give a more accurate arrival time.

Paul added: "At Chiltern we have always prided ourselves on the efficiency and quality of our service and the introduction of the V-SOL system has made it possible for us to work even smarter and deliver that little bit extra to our customers."

View some typical vehicle tracking scenarios

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