"You could probably manage 20 trucks in your head for that. But with the number we have that's impossible if you want to consistently provide exceptional service," says Bowman.
In order to enable both functions, the company put in place a Navman Wireless system in 2013.
"We looked at a couple of solutions for this, but we decided on Navman, because of the R&D they had put into the product and also we wanted to go with a company that had a proven track record. We did not want too much personalisation, just something simple that worked for us," says Bowman.
The firm's mix of crane trucks, eight-wheelers, curtain siders and flat decks, was fitted with an M-Nav 800 messaging and navigation terminal in the cab and a Qube tracking device mounted under the dash. OnlineAVL2 software allowed despatch to monitor all vehicles on a big display and to communicate with drivers and manage their workflow.
The iCOS LIVE software is integrated with OnlineAVL2 so customers can place orders and check on pickups and deliveries in real time.
"The system has given us multiple benefits. We are able to track trucks, keep records and replay a truck's history easily. We are also able to message and keep in touch with drivers, which cuts down on costs related to voice communications, which was how we were primarily communicating with them before Navman," says Bowman.
Tutill employees simply have to log into PCs in the office to view tracking information. The company has also set up a huge despatch board that provides live information on the trucks plying the streets of Auckland.
"We used to despatch jobs by radio telephone. You'd have to repeat instructions and drivers had to listen to everyone else. Now we can send five jobs to a driver and we know he will see them all on the screen of his M-Nav 800. And we can check and see when he's picked them all up.
"We need to know where everyone is at all times. And we do, because it's all up on the big screen. That gives us the ability to see where everyone is and what they're doing — whether they're on the road or on site. If a customer asks 'Where's your driver?' we can say, 'He's right outside your door. He arrived at 8:27.' The system works off GPS, and GPS doesn't lie," says Bowman.
He states that the system has also reduced possibilities for unauthorised use of the vehicles by the drivers.
AJ Tutill pays for the Navman system on a monthly basis, which allows it to calculate costs accurately and cuts down on any possible fluctuations. Since payment is based on the number of trucks using the system
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.