Increasing Safety and Reducing Fuel Costs at DFS

Working with Microlise has been fantastic. They’ve been really thorough, kept me on my toes, made sure we do what we need to do and to be honest we’ve not had any need to go back to them. So it’s been great

Chris Bamford, Group Fleet & Transport Compliance Manager at DFS

The Challenge

DFS is a sofa retailer and manufacturer which has 51 operating centres across the UK. To deliver 12,000 orders every week across the UK, it has around 250 7.5 ton vehicles and 45 articulated vehicles with 80 trailers.

The main challenge is keeping control of driver behaviour and giving drivers the relevant feedback to ensure the safest, most cost effective and best fleet performance on the roads.

The biggest difference for the majority of the DFS fleet is that the drivers install furniture most of the day – so while they drive as a necessity of their work, there’s a very customer-centric approach with the delivery of a high quality service top priority.

THE APPROACH

DFS has implemented the Fleet Performance product from Microlise, including the safety module, which monitors harsh acceleration, braking and cornering.

The Microlise system will identify and record events and provide a whole raft of information outlining what the conditions were at that time, enabling the transport team to really drill down, interrogate the information and debrief the drivers.

“Driving awareness of these kinds of things makes a difference. People don’t want to do a bad job, they want to do the best they can and naturally, they try to better themselves and do the best for the company,” said Chris Bamford, DFS Group Fleet and Transport Compliance Manager.

DFS has also installed the Microlise ClearVision camera system, which integrates closely with the telematics and safety module. This is allowing DFS to go even further, enabling the team to review footage around incidents and really understand what was taking place before, during and after any incident.

The Result

DFS says it’s getting the best of both worlds by working with Microlise on this project – a reduction in fuel and a safer environment for its drivers out on the roads. In its first year the fleet has saved more than 6% in its first year of operation.

“Working with Microlise has been fantastic. They’ve been really thorough, kept me on my toes, made sure we do what we need to do and to be honest we’ve not had any need to go back to them. So it’s been great,” says Bamford.

DFS is already looking to the future, trialling the Microlise in-cab navigation systems and investigating how to establish an interface between its in-house systems and Microlise to give customers real-time information around delivery status.

Driving awareness of these kinds of things makes a difference. People don’t want to do a bad job, they want to do the best they can and naturally, they try to better themselves and do the best for the company

Chris Bamford, Group Fleet & Transport Compliance Manager at DFS