Howdens Joinery supplies over 400,000 kitchens each year to UK homes. The Howdens range is the UK’s largest ‘from stock’ kitchen range and is available from over 500 trade depots, which means kitchen trade professionals can collect exactly what they need, when they need it, to create perfect kitchens for their customers.
Howdens have recently signed a deal with Microlise who are implementing their Fleet Performance and Journey Management modules.
Fleet Performance is Microlise’s Telematics solution which allows customers to understand vehicle activity and utilisation as well as monitor how economically and safely their vehicles are being driven in order to provide targeted driver feedback and training with the goal of improving fuel economy and reducing accidents.
Microlise’s Journey Management module allows vehicles to be tracked against delivery schedules in order to provide enhanced customer service information – for example, alert as to impending deliveries as well as proactively react to drops which are forecast to be late. Driver’s can then be debriefed against deviations from the plan, which then underpins detailed delivery performance reporting – as well as allowing planning rules to be revised as a better understanding of how accurate leg rules and turnaround times are. The goal here being to enhance customer service whilst improving fleet utilisation and productivity and reducing management overhead.
In taking the decision to use the Microlise solution, Howdens trialled the Fleet Performance module. Initially, it was planned to do this for 12 weeks. However, Howdens chose to team up with Microlise after only 8 weeks when the system, having been well embedded with the Howdens operation, had helped deliver a 5.44% improvement in fuel economy across the two trial sites.
Microlise have completed the roll out of the Fleet Performance module to 104 delivery vehicles across six sites (some of these sites are DHL sites who run part of Howdens distribution operation).
In addition to Microlise’s own MTU3 Telematics unit which reports on the location of the vehicle and driving style information via a direct connection to the vehicle’s CANBus, Microlise are implementing the new DCM4 Driver communications module and panic buttons.
The DCM4 will provide Howdens drivers with voice calls & driver phone book, two-way messaging and task management, with the objective of reducing call costs and making the exchange of information between the driver and traffic office more streamlined and effective.
The Journey Management Module will be implemented as a 3rd phase in the project, whereupon the DCM4 will also be used to convey schedule and delivery information to the driver.
A key component of the solution Microlise is providing Howdens is the services of Microlise’s Benefits Realisation Consultants. Their role is to ensure that the Microlise system is perfectly embedded within Howdens day to day operation in order that they device the maximum amount of benefit from the solution. This service typically takes the form of monthly analysis, site visits and calls to ensure everyone is happy with the system and its operational usage.