HOW MCGREGOR GOURLAY STREAMLINED COMPLEX OPERATIONS WITH ACCURATE DATA
Visibility into everyday operations of delivery drivers and specialists covering clients across 13 branches in northern New South Wales
Safety and efficiency – ensuring drivers get to clients and back home safely
Ensuring Fleet Safety
McGregor Gourlay may be a 120-year-old business, but it prides itself on being an early adopter of emerging technologies. As a passionate member of the agricultural industry, it offers everything from horticulture to cropping, irrigation and livestock services. But with a wide variety of clients across 13 branches in the northern New South Wales area, and delivery drivers and specialists covering a lot of ground every day, it can be challenging to get visibility into everyday operations.
“Some of our clients operate in remote areas, so we needed something that let us know where drivers were at all times, as well as how much time they spend on site”, says Allan Every, Group Systems and Processes Manager at McGregor Gourlay.
Being no stranger to innovation, Allan Every and his team looked into ways to overcome these obstacles. The search led to GPS fleet tracking and a partnership with Teletrac Navman.
Lets Get Tracking
McGregor Gourlay started working with Teletrac Navman over two years ago, after discussing its requirements during a tech conference with solution specialists. Once the business understood the benefits that fleet management software and GPS tracking could offer, it moved quickly to adopt the technology, implementing 20 telematics units in its on-farm agronomy vehicles.
“Once we saw the benefits, we quickly moved to roll it out to all our delivery vehicles as well”, Every says. To date, the solution has been implemented in 85 per cent of the fleet.
In conjunction with the DIRECTOR software, the units delivered McGregor Gourlay the high-quality data it needed for complete visibility over its fleet.
“The reporting tools are one of the most important technologies we’re leveraging for the business right now”, Every says. “We no longer use manual processes, like drivers submitting kilometre readings, but instead rely on live data from the Teletrac Navman solution.”
McGregor Gourlay generates regular reports on how many kilometres vehicles are driving, to determine the distance travelled and what roads they’ve been on – as well as any issues. The business also uses the system to compare like-for-like vehicles and pinpoint reasons for differences in operation, such as fuel use or cost to maintain. “It’s enabled us to look at any outliers. We can match the distance reports against vehicle repair and maintenance reports to ensure everything is operating correctly.”
But the solution doesn’t just provide historical reporting. It also allows the business to proactively improve client service and monitor operations.
“It’s been really helpful in terms of improving the service we provide to our clients. Not only can we see the exact location of our drivers and ensure they’re safe and on schedule, we can relay that information back to our clients, so they know what’s going on too,” says Every.
“We’ve also set up geofences around client properties to register vehicles accessing the area, which gives us a clear picture of client service levels.”
When operating in rural areas, ensuring drivers get to clients and back home safely is of utter importance.
“We had a situation where a vehicle broke down and the driver got caught a long way from home with very little support. He had no mobile service so there was no immediate way for us to find him,” says Every. “With GPS tracking we don’t have to worry about where someone is. In the event of an incident, we can act quickly and get them the support they need”.
The solution sends data straight to the back office, even in areas of low coverage. Drivers stay as safe as possible with instant alerts for speeding. Reports on speed, fatigue and driver hours are created to give management insights into the wellbeing of its drivers.
Making operations safer for drivers also makes things more efficient for the business. If clients request it, McGregor Gourlay sends a notification as soon as one of the delivery vehicles enters a property. Not only does this offer peace of mind that a driver has arrived on time, but it also offers an extra level of customer service.
“A lot of our clients’ properties are 20 – 30 kms wide. Notifying the owner as soon as a driver has entered the property means they don’t have to wait that extra 10 minutes for the driver to get to their base,” says Every. “It’s that extra service that can make a huge difference”.
Gaining access to dispatch and arrival times, time spent on work sites and driver behaviour allows the business to be more proactive with workplace health and safety and day-to-day operations.
Getting money back through FTC
After seeing the benefits of fleet management technology for reporting and efficiency, McGregor Gourlay also implemented the Teletrac Navman FTC Manager solution, enabled by real-time, accurate vehicle tracking data.
By using GPS tracking and custom geofences, the solution automatically tracks and apportions all idle, auxiliary, on- and off-road usage by its delivery vehicles. The business benefits from an exact fuel tax credit (FTC) rebate automatically calculated by the system, based on the fuel that was used during those times. The solution allows McGregor Gourlay to easily maximise the entitled amount as specified by the Australian Tax Office.
“FTC Manager has been great for us as a company, allowing us to be sure that we’re fully compliant with Australian Tax Office rules and regulations. We know we’re claiming exactly what we should be rather than relying on an estimation - not a cent less, and not a cent more. The solution has allowed us to recoup a proportion of our costs when it comes to fuel usage by providing an exact figure,” says Every.
“Our work with Teletrac Navman has been a real plus for us. By leveraging the solution to its maximum benefit we’ve been able to see advantages that were beyond our initial expectations”, says Every. “The team has also been great to work with. I know I can ring them anytime and they’ll be there to help with whatever I need.”
About McGregor Gourlay
McGregor Gourlay offers a highly customer-focused approach and specialises in the areas of chemicals, fertiliser, seed, agronomy services, rural merchandise, livestock, property and water equipment. It calls upon 120 years of service, through some of the best and toughest times the local agricultural community has experienced. With this tradition in mind, together with a wealth of knowledge and experience, its staff proudly strive to build enduring partnerships with leading service providers and customers for the reliable supply of all their agricultural needs.