David Armstrong, Fleet Manager

Story Contracting

Story Contracting cut reporting time from hours to minutes with Verizon Connect Mobile Resource Management
  • Industry: Infrastructure
  • Location: Nationwide (HQ: Carlisle, Cumbria)
  • Fleet size: 300 drivers across 230 vehicles

Story Contracting is a family-owned, award-winning infrastructure company based in the North of England and Scotland. The business is highly respected nationally for providing construction, plant and rail solutions and was named Network Rail Supplier of the Year 2014.

With a growing fleet operating in an increasingly competitive market, Story needed to gain greater visibility of their operations to improve processes and increase efficiency wherever possible.

The Challenge:

Story Contracting faced an all too common challenge: fleet visibility. Or rather, the lack of it. With around 300 drivers out on the road, covering the length and breadth of the country, Story required up to the minute information on driver location and vehicle status – and its current system wasn’t up to the task.

Even where information was available, it lacked clarity. Story’s system only reported on the behaviour of the vehicle, not the driver. As Story has multiple drivers using any one vehicle, it was not always easy to work out who was driving where at any time. What’s more, this information was only available after the fact and accessing it was an arduous process – often taking hours to run a simple report.

It was clear a change was needed. With the need for the fleet spend to be visible, and to understand productivity and asset utilisation, the decision was made to search for a new supplier – one that could offer detailed, driver-specific information in near real-time.

The Solution:

The Verizon Connect Mobile Resource Management (MRM) system offered the solution to every one of Story’s challenges.

The Driver ID feature allows Story’s mobile resource managers to visualise their entire fleet, monitoring safety, efficiency and productivity through detailed driver-specific reports. Auto-reporting and intuitive dashboards offer near real-time information without the need to manually search through records. Plus, Verizon Connect’s deep integration with Ford gave Story confidence that the system would offer a wealth of valuable insight into vehicle health and driver performance, and could be painlessly and professionally integrated across its current fleet.

Verizon Connect, working in partnership with Story, created a bespoke implementation plan to suit the company’s specific fleet requirements. As many vehicles are stationed off-site, rather than in the company’s Carlisle depot, the Verizon Connect system was implemented gradually nationwide.

The unique Verizon Connect onboarding process which combines vehicle surveys, unit commissioning, initial system access, start-up training and installation into a single engineer visit ensured minimal downtime and upheaval during the implementation period – keeping Story’s vehicles on the road, earning money.

With an eye on the future, Verizon Connect’s hybrid install training and quality assurance process allowed members of the Story team to be trained and certified on-the-job, meaning they can remain self-sufficient if required to swap de-fleeted vehicles or add new units further down the line.

The Results:

Verizon Connect MRM almost immediately helped Story Contracting overcome its biggest challenges.

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With the Driver ID feature in place, Story’s management team now have complete visibility of who is driving each vehicle, at what time, in which location. What’s more, with the Spotlight mobile app – which displays critical information regarding utilisation, driver location and vehicle maintenance – Story’s department managers now have access to this information in near real-time and on any device.

The Verizon Connect MRM solution has also revolutionised reporting at Story. Where previously, managers would have to manually pull information to build reports – a process that could take up to six hours – auto-reporting now delivers vastly more detailed information in minutes. The Trip History feature has also been of particular use.

David Armstrong, Story’s Fleet Manager told us: “Previously, if we wanted information on an incident that occurred at 10pm last night, we would have to manually sift through trip history in five-second increments from 0:01am the previous day until the time of the incident – with no way to skip through. Now we can access that information in seconds, in just a few clicks.”

More detailed reporting has also helped Story to improve driver behaviour and increase efficiency and productivity. The long-standing relationship between Verizon Connect and Ford allows Story to get a much deeper insight into the health of its vehicles and the behaviour of its drivers – including information on AdBlue levels, whether maintenance is required, if drivers are wearing seatbelts, and fleet diagnostic data such as Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) which can then be dealt with proactively.

With data collected on everything from idling to vehicle utilisation, Story can now quickly and easily identify areas of waste and inefficiency and work to eradicate them: “We’re now able to look at our fleet by department and see exactly where we’re less efficient than we should be. Who is not fully utilising their vehicles? Who is idling excessively? With this information, we can implement changes and make savings.”

Idle time was a previously unsolved issue for Story, with a one month spend alone of £44,000 on fuel waste due to idling. With the Verizon Connect solution in place, idling time has now been limited to a maximum of ten minutes – minimising waste and helping to bringing down fuel costs.

Story also intend to implement new policies to help improve driving style and eradicate bad habits, making for a safer and more compliant fleet – something which was not considered possible before the implementation of Verizon Connect MRM. With the new policy in place, Story hopes to improve fleet safety and bring the business further in line with the motto of its close partner, Network Rail: ‘Everyone Home Safe Every Day.’

Ultimately, Verizon Connect MRM has removed the key headaches around fleet visibility, driver safety, in-depth reporting and vehicle utilisation, making life simpler and more productive for Story’s drivers, department managers and directors alike. Most importantly, Verizon Connect MRM was able to provide answers where Story’s previous MRM solution was found wanting.

David Armstrong couldn’t be happier with the results of the implementation: “The Verizon Connect solution is light years ahead of our previous system. We’ve got total visibility, and tasks that previously took hours now takes minutes – saving us both time and money.”

The success of the Verizon Connect MRM solution is set to be the start of an ongoing relationship with Story. The company plans to continue reviewing its processes with a view to investing further in the Verizon Connect platform. Expansion into dynamic routing, Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) compliance and fuel card integration are some the additional features Story Contracting may unlock with Verizon Connect in the future.

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