Van drivers have never been more important to the success of the UK economy, but with stress factors increasing amid mounting economic pressures, their well-being and productivity risks being compromised.

The correlation between employee well-being and productivity, retention and brand reputation has become abundantly clear over recent years. For van fleets, technology can offer a panacea – a pragmatic solution for mitigating the impact of heavy workloads, tight deadlines, challenging job schedules and traffic congestion.

A tech stressbuster

The opportunities for telematics solutions – such as Webfleet, Bridgestone Mobility Solutions’ fleet management solution – to streamline fleet processes and improve the working lives of both drivers and managers are many.

Smarter navigation and routing systems, for example, allow companies to plan around delays, helping reduce journey times, driver frustration and the pressures of leaving customers waiting.  

Jobs and orders can be sent with automatic routing information directly to drivers’ dedicated terminals or to a mobile app, reducing the pressure of them having to manually update their own schedules. Jobs can be reallocated when new ones come in or should delays occur, with daily workflow and the sequence of jobs optimised to help ensure sensible workloads and realistic deadlines.

Handheld driver devices can host applications to simplify and streamline a range of daily tasks. Business partner apps on the Webfleet PRO M, for example, can be used for order management, for proof of delivery and conduct vehicle checks.

Telematics applications that digitise the mileage and expense claims process, meanwhile, are easing the administrative burden, freeing up time for both drivers and the back office. 

With the Webfleet Mileage Logbook app, for example, drivers can clarify whether a journey is for private or business purposes via their smartphones or in-car driver terminals. The app gives them access to their individual journey logs and expense reports can be generated and exported directly into company accounts.

For Konica Minolta, the app is saving drivers an average of 45 minutes each month on claims administration.

Elsewhere, driver performance feedback provides further transparency for fleet managers. They can be alerted to driving styles becoming erratic, such as an increase in incidents of speeding and harsh braking, which may be stress-induced. Drivers then can be given coaching on adopting a more relaxed style behind the wheel. 

Webfleet in action

Technology company Telent is leveraging Webfleet to support the mental health and well-being of its mobile workforce. As long shifts are often required when dealing with emergency situations, Webfleet alerts have been set up to manage driver hours and help prevent fatigue.

The system issues automatic alerts when it identifies employees approaching the 12-hour door-to-door working time limit, triggering a dynamic risk assessment process.

Telent managers can use Webfleet to check in remotely with engineers who have not made contact or have deviated from their work schedules. In an emergency, they can use the solution to create a geofence around an incident to identify and communicate with any employees at risk and, if necessary, dispatch support workers.

By investing in such fleet management technology, organisations can help foster a happier, healthier work environment, while improving operations to protect the bottom line in this testing business landscape.

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