Back in early 1992, Nirvana was playing on the Royal Mail workshop radio while technicians were recording their jobs and orders with pen and paper. That was the process for many fleets 30 years ago, but Royal Mail had more innovative ideas on how they could optimise their fleet processes and improve operations. Those ideas included implementing AssetWorks FleetFocus system into their organisation which has since assisted operations as they have grown into one of the largest fleets in Europe. AssetWorks current Operations Director, Martin Greaves, was just a young implementation consultant back then and over many years he has helped provide Royal Mail with an ecosystem of fleet solutions from AssetWorks, the first being FleetFocus, its industry leading fleet management tool which has evolved and grown over the 30 years with the businesses that it serves.
Before AssetWorks, Royal Mail were searching for a way to operate a paperless workflow. Back then FleetFocus provided barcode technology as it was the most efficient way to minimise paper and record processes electronically. Barcodes removed having to manually input labour time and complete timesheets – freeing up time for technicians and management. No longer submitting manual timesheets saved each technician around 15 minutes a day, adding to hours’ worth of savings per day across Royal Mail’s many UK workshops.
FleetFocus did much more than just save Royal Mail time, it also helped keep better track of all their assets and whole life costs, including flagging and managing warranties. Before AssetWorks, Royal Mail’s vehicles could be maintained and repaired in different workshops across the UK making it impossible for technicians to know which systems and parts were covered under warranty. Thanks to FleetFocus, parts with a warranty are automatically flagged for claim in the software. Having warranty information stored under one system saved a lot of money for many fleets, including Royal Mail.
Technology has since moved away from barcodes, which has evolved along with the AssetWorks solutions. AssetWorks guarantees to grow alongside modern technology, which is why AssetWorks EDGE was designed. EDGE provides fleets the same benefits as barcoding but with modern functionality – in theory putting the barcode readers in the technician’s hand whilst keeping the technician at the vehicle. Technicians can now record their jobs while simultaneously updating other team members, like Supervisors – creating a seamless workflow. Royal Mail are planning to roll-out EDGE, so technicians can record inspections and maintenance through applications in workshops and receive live data to maximise workflows digitally.
Over those 30 years, Greaves and AssetWorks have always been right there with Royal Mail working as a team to embed AssetWorks solutions into the business to great effect. Greaves shares, ‘Royal Mail have been a great partner and business to work with. It has always been a collaborative and innovative environment and the AssetWorks team is very proud of the relationship they have developed over the decades. Royal Mail is a very progressive and open-minded company to work with. They are the biggest fleet in Europe so often look to the US fleets, which are generally larger, for advice and inspiration. As AssetWorks also manage the US biggest fleets, it is always a great opportunity to share knowledge within the global industry.’
Greaves traveled around the country sharing his internal knowledge from working in Royal Mail workshops. Many Royal Mail staff considered Greaves part of their team because he has worked with the business for so long, so he was able to provide insider insight to help evolve their Fleet operations. Sharing knowledge and developing leaders within their teams is a great attribute of the Royal Mail culture – one of the many skills Greaves has developed in his staff at AssetWorks.
Other fleets can learn a lot from Royal Mail. Their success is thanks to them:
- Using their good fleet data to make business decisions- such as the efficiency of vehicles and understanding why some vehicle models are better suited to specific jobs.
- Utilising AssetWorks software to stay on top of preventative maintenance, compliance, recurring faults and maximizing warranty
- Formulating a standard process for technicians that can easily translate between workshops across their operation
Criticism from other fleets has previously been about their buying power advantages, but Royal Mails success is down to process management and workflow automation whilst using the AssetWorks software to its full potential. This can equally be achieved across an operation with a single workshop or bigger organisations across many national workshops.
Due to Royal Mails forward thinking and collaborative attitude, they are able to help improve and inspire other fleets across the world. For example, Royal Mail recently were part of an AssetWorks Academy where best of breed solutions and ideas were shared across many global fleets to mutual benefit. Here they were recognised as industry leaders in parts management using FleetFocus solutions, and they shared their story with other AssetWorks customers to help them also understand areas to improve.
Over the past 30 years, every fleet has endured many operational hardships such as the covid-19 pandemic, various fuel crisis, and recessions yet Royal Mail has adapted and transformed with each challenge. These days not many partnerships stand the test of time, but 30 years on the AssetWorks and Royal Mail partnership is still going strong. And with Greaves and the AssetWorks team still enthusiastically working with Royal Mail, they will continue to reap the benefits of the AssetWorks fleet portfolio, no matter what challenge the industry throws at them next.