CCS Innovation in Logistics

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When Corinne Watson moved to New Zealand to find a job in the early 2000s she was surprised to discover her industry did not yet exist here.

A project and operations manager for corporate transport fleets in the UK, Corinne helped to analyse and interpret GPS data. However, she soon found out there were no equivalent roles in New Zealand and the technology was in its infancy.

“What I saw were a lot of fleets jumping into the technology but not knowing how to get value from it,” she says.

“So we started out back in 2005 helping people understand what the technology was.”

As the founder of CCS Innovation in Logistics, Corinne is now part of a team of six, four of whom are based in Christchurch, that investigate GPS data for transport fleets and then help them to use the data in a way that can benefit their business.

“There are a lot of different GPS companies in the country but we are the only people that work with anything. We’re saying to a transport company ‘hey, let’s help you get some more value out of that system.’”

Based in Christchurch, CCS Logistics worked with South Island based fleets prior to the earthquakes. However, due to the “survival mode” nature of fleets post-quake, the company decided to expand its reaches to the North Island.

“We really needed to lift our sights beyond the local market so we started talking to North Island transport companies and since then a significant amount of our work now comes out of there,” Corinne says.

Now, five years on, business is back to pre-quake levels locally and Corinne says that was due to South Island customers who remained committed to working with the
company.

In order to best benefit businesses CCS Logistics developed its own software that helps to analyse and breakdown fleet GPS data. Trends are then examined in the data and similar fleets can be compared against one another in the context of their industry.

Then what they do is create an action plan for the customer with five things that the customer can do that is going to make a difference to their stats.

“If you do five things every month, you’re going to have done 60 things by the end of the year and suddenly we’ve got fleets that have reduced their over-speed events by 90 per cent and they’ve cut their idling down from 60 hours a month to one hour.”

And they are not the only benefits, Corinne says workplace morale is also affected.

“One of the main bits of feedback we get through our programme is the fleets are seeing a massive improvement in their culture and their staff engagement.”

Aside from that, fleets that actively respond to their GPS data can expect to cut down on fuel, maintenance and safety savings – partly thanks to recent Government initiatives.

“The Transport Agency has the ORS (Operator Rating System) which monitors fleet infringements and safety issues; with a higher rating, the fleet benefits from better relationships with the authorities and fewer barriers to gaining approvals for operating permits”.

Insurance premium discounts are also an incentive, Corinne says. When risk is being reduced then there are generally a lower number of claims, which in turn means your premium falls, she explains.

“That alone can be worth more than anything else.”

With the introduction of the new health and safety legislation this year, comes changes to the way fleets must run their businesses. Now principle contractors need to ensure their contractors or owner-drivers are meeting the new health and safety rules, whereas once upon a time responsibility fell on the individuals.

“They can’t contract out their health and safety obligations anymore, so we are starting to work with a number of fleets that have owner-drivers to gain visibility of their levels of compliance, and provide support where necessary.” Corinne says that as awareness for GPS systems and its analysis opportunities becomes more widely known more fleets will get on board.

Currently she estimates around 75 per cent of fleets use GPS technology but only a third are using it for continuous improvement.

“It’s not rocket science; it’s just about doing basic things well.”

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