Construction materials supplier Cemex UK has streamlined its vehicle inspection management with an award-winning system from r2c Online.
When you have a fleet with as many moving parts as Cemex UK and you maintain as rigorous an approach to the highest standards of compliance as is possible in this industry, selecting a software supplier is a demanding process.
Sheffield-based r2c Online won the Workshop Innovation of the Year Award at the 2018 Commercial Motor Awards, backing up a win in the same category in 2017, so it comes with some pedigree. It won the two awards in part because of its work with one of the UK’s most demanding operators, Cemex UK, which included digitally managing vehicle inspections and helping it to become one of the first 20 operators in the country to obtain Earned Recognition status with the DVSA.
r2c Online’s compliance and maintenance platform supplies and connects more than 25,000 fleets and 1,100 workshops with over 11 million digital records processed and securely held online.
Paul Clarke, logistics fleet engineering manager at Cemex UK, says the company’s six-weekly fleet maintenance programme is challenging, given that its vehicle parc (including trailers) is more than 400 pieces of equipment. That leaves Cemex handling up to 40 planned maintenance events a week; on the afternoon we visited, it had handled 16 jobs, with 26 on the previous day.
At the outset of its search for a suitable software supplier, Clarke set up a working party comprising himself, a fleet administrator, and members of the audit team, its internal IT team and the operations team, so they could map out what the business wanted to achieve through the tender.
“We saw circa six providers,” says Clarke. “Some did not have the web portal that r2c had, so they were struck off pretty quickly. Then it came down to a normal tender with costs, but there were add-ons that r2c could provide.”
r2c and Cemex join forces
The tender was carried out at the back end of 2016 and r2c was selected as it gave Cemex the best option to get inspection sheets from dealers into a database accessible via a web browser, while providing a level of monitoring of vehicle maintenance that would allow it to apply for Earned Recognition. The operator ran a trial of the r2c system in late 2017 and went live in February last year, with staff training taking place in both Rugby (Cemex’s UK home) and Sheffield.
Automating the inspection sheet process has allowed Cemex to streamline its inspection records processes. For one thing, this has meant that instead of dragging and dropping ‑ les into a database, a digital inspection sheet is automatically added to the system upon job sign-off, eradicating the use of paper. The new system also flags late or missing inspection sheets automatically, so paper documents don’t have to be continually chased."We didn’t want to go chasing, which could potentially have led to missed services. And for our green OCRS, we did not want that to happen. The bonus was we did it automatically and reported on a weekly basis, and if you look on the dashboard you can see it on a daily basis,” says Clarke.
A big bonus within the r2c offer was the system’s automatic mapping capabilities. These allow it to take the inspection sheet from a manufacturer’s dealership, look up the vehicle registration, check what is on top of the inspection sheet and close off the job that was allocated. It also updates the MoT dates and highlights any upcoming work.
A key consideration, naturally, was the system’s interaction with those of Cemex’s main truck suppliers, which are DAF, MAN, Renault and Volvo.
“DAF was easy,” says Clarke of this process. “MAN had some different descriptions, so we had to get that mapping right. It wasn’t a major issue and we’ve resolved it now. There is still the odd vendor out there [that doesn’t comply with the system]. But Renault is on r2c and our main tank maintenance provider in Rugby is on r2c as well.”
Even though cement tanks are not part of a six-weekly DVSA inspection, these have their own inspections as pressure vessels and are tested every two years. These inspection sheets are also handled through r2c with the majority coming through Midland Commercials, Clugstons and TIP Trailer Services.
How r2c help Cemex stay compliant
“We are using tanker operator workshops to maintain the tank element to the right level,” says Clarke. “We have to make sure the pressure vessel is always up to standard so any cracks or cuts are dealt with, and make sure all the pipework is checked. Main manufacturers’ dealerships don’t have that experience on tanks and the pressure vessel is quite bespoke.”
With the compliance on the pressure vessels being handled through r2c, a report can be produced covering MoTs, tachograph inspections, LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) requirements and tank inspections.
Clarke says r2c has made managing compliance easier for Cemex.
“Under the old system – even two years ago – it could have been two or three days as we were having paperwork sent through the post. And there are still one or two instances out there where we have decided to change the supplier because they haven’t adopted the r2c system”.
Being one of the 20 pilot operators for Earned Recognition has been a vital benefit of adopting r2c. Cemex, says Clarke, prides itself on its green OCRS, so the next stage of implementing r2c was to look for Earned Recognition. This saw Cemex audited by the DVSA and Clarke says that without an r2c-type system, “you would not get Earned Recognition status”. Cemex passed an audit of its records (both pre- and post-r2c implementation) and was granted Earned Recognition status at the 2018 CV Show.
Walls of r2c Online says the company has helped dozens of operators join the Earned Recognition scheme with a “complete compliance software package”. His plan for the future of the Commercial Motor Awards winner, he adds, is “to promote and support the digital compliance movement further through our ambitious customer care and software development plans”.
The Workshop Innovation Award at the Commercial Motor Awards 2018 was sponsored by Hexagon Leasing
- The Commercial Motor Awards return on Thursday 28 November 2019 at The Vox Centre, Birmingham, celebrating the best in new and used commercial vehicle sales and aftersales. The awards welcomes not only dealers, but also bodybuilders, finance, rental, leasing and contract hire providers. Enter now for free and have your excellence recognised by the industry.