FORMULA CHEMICALS REAP THE BENEFITS OF EMBRACING FLEET MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
CHALLENGE – Reducing paperwork and ensuring compliance
Formula Chemicals is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned chemical companies. Founded in 1973 by owner Leigh Smart, Formula Chemicals employs more than 40 staff across four factories in Sydney, NSW. It’s a leader in the blending and delivery of chemical products such as windscreen wash concentrates, bulk detergents, degreasers, and general-purpose detergents for the food and meat industry.
As part of its delivery obligations, Formula Chemicals maintains a small fleet of Hino trucks that are used to transport dangerous chemicals through metropolitan and country New South Wales. The fleet consists of three 15-tonne trucks, one seven tonne vehicle and a purpose-built Omni Tanker unit. The fleet also contains three one-tonne trucks to complete urgent deliveries if the need arises.
Implementing the Teletrac Navman system has been the best thing we’ve ever done. Teletrac Navman has customised everything to what we need and want. It’s not a case of buying off the shelf and being stuck with the same product. It’s personalised to what we need.
Ensuring that all vehicles and drivers are adhering to strict compliance actions such as pre-trip checklists, the completion of Dangerous Goods Manifests and Chain of Responsibility compliance is essential. But this requires administration tasks that started to take up more and more time for back-office staff as the business grew.
The transporting of chemicals across the length and breadth of New South Wales also meant Formula Chemicals required a solution that could track its fleet of vehicles and keep staff in touch with drivers, ensuring their safety and the safety of other road users.
SOLUTION – Electronic Work Diaries and iFace help deliver the goods
Formula Chemicals transitioned to the Teletrac Navman fleet management platform for its fleet management needs, as its previous system didn’t provide the information the business required and no longer fulfilled the company’s evolving needs. Compared to the previous solution, Teletrac Navman’s solution assists Leigh and Formula Chemicals to cover various compliance requirements by logging and recording mass management, fatigue management, and vehicle data. In adopting Teletrac Navman’s Electronic Work Diary (EWD) solution into the organisation, Formula Chemicals is able to augment its cumbersome and time-consuming paperwork diaries, which are difficult to manage and potentially dangerous to file and store in a chemical factory.
Likewise, pre-checks and Dangerous Good Manifests were often completed very early in the morning before awaiting filing and verification while the drivers were out on multi-day delivery routes. These are now completed electronically via an in-vehicle compliance and productivity solution and uploaded to the system in real-time, with no waiting. The system then sends pre-check completion alerts through to the HR Manager, Transport Manager and Company Director.
When the business was reliant on a paper filing system, locating specific information through boxes of reports was difficult and time consuming. Now the data produced by Formula Chemical’s vehicles and its drivers is electronically recorded and easily located from anywhere with the cloud-based fleet management system. “Our HR Manager wasn’t able to get into her office at times because of the huge stacks of boxed filing. Now the checks and registers are uploaded straight to the system, we all get a copy and we don’t have to file and store huge amounts of paper on site,” explains Leigh Smart, Director, Formula Chemicals.
“It’s also made dealing with auditing requirements much easier. Now anyone can come to the office and request to be shown something, and we can pull it up on the system and show them pretty much anything they need.” Formula Chemicals also employs Teletrac Navman telematics to track the location of its trucks and utes. Reports are available in real time on driver’s routes. Formula Chemicals monitors dangerous driving such as speeding and harsh braking. It provides the organisation with a clear view of where drivers are at any given time, streamlining schedules and safety management through proper fatigue and compliance management.
Formula Chemicals has also been able to collaborate closely with Transport Certification Australia (TCA) on the Dangerous Goods Movement Study thanks to telematics. The study aims to investigate and address industry concerns regarding safe access to the road network for vehicles transporting dangerous goods. Formula Chemicals travel data – recorded by the Teletrac Navman telematics system - is supplied to TCA for use in the study. Without access to this data, the business wouldn’t have been able to take part in the initiative, which is delivering safety and efficiency benefits to the road transport industry.
Vehicle tracking has also revealed route optimisation opportunities that otherwise would have remained undiscovered. Thanks to the data that telematics records and brings to light, the business was able to remove an entire return trip to Cowra once a week by maximising payload to an existing run, which has generated efficiencies in fuel, maintenance and staffing.
RESULTS – Less admin, improved efficiency and greater peace of mind
Since implementing Teletrac Navman’s fleet solutions, Formula Chemicals has:
- Eliminated paper-based pre-trip checklists and Dangerous Good Manifests
- Cut down on storage of large amount of paper filing
- Streamlined adherence to Chain of Responsibility requirements
- Discovered route efficiencies, including eliminating an entire unnecessary journey from weekly schedules by changing a trip route
- Ensured driver safety through better on-road communication
- Reduced costs in fuel and operations by optimising the operation
About Formula Chemicals
Formula Chemicals is one of Australia’s largest privately-owned chemical companies. Founded in 1973 by owner Leigh Smart, Formula Chemicals now employs more than 40 staff across 4 factories Formula is a leader in the blending and delivery of products such as windscreen wash concentrates, bulk detergents, degreasers, and general-purpose detergents for the food and meat industry. An industry veteran of many years loyal service to trucking and transport, Leigh Smart won the Australian Transport Association (ATA) ’s Outstanding Contribution to the Trucking Industry award in 2019 and is Chair of ATA member association Road Freight NSW.