Member Article

TomTom technology helps Scotia Gas Networks hit regulatory targets

Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) is using TomTom fleet management to ensure it hits strict industry service level agreements (SLAs).

The utilities giant - which supplies gas to 5.8 million customers and includes subsidiaries Southern Gas Networks and Scotland Gas Networks - has improved response times to ensure its engineers can respond to call-outs within an hour, in line with industry safety standards.

All 1,506 of the company’s vehicles and 100 contractor vehicles are monitored using the TomTom system, guaranteeing the most appropriate engineer is sent to each job and allowing the company’s Operations Control Centre (OCC) to monitor progress remotely.

“The TomTom system has provided a significant boost to service delivery, providing the necessary tools to make sure we meet our safety targets and exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Chris Stone, Finance Manager, SGN.

“Our First Call Operatives (FCOs) respond to reports of gas escapes within an hour and this system allows the process to happen even more safely and efficiently.

“Our OCC can make sure the right person is sent to each job and arrives on site on time. Meanwhile, our engineers can have directions sent directly to their navigation devices to drastically reduce the margin for error.”

The TomTom system uses a combination of live traffic data and historic road use data to generate accurate ETAs for every journey. This means the most appropriate engineer can be selected based on who will arrive on site quickest rather than simply who is closest. Directions can then be sent automatically to the engineer’s in-cab navigation device, allowing them to follow the most efficient route, avoiding traffic along the way.

SGN has also made a commitment to improving driver safety and reducing maintenance costs by monitoring driver behaviour. TomTom’s fleet management platform allows profiles to be built for each driver covering key aspects of safe and efficient driving - including speeding, harsh steering and braking, fuel consumption and idling time - also creating the possibility for substantial fuel savings.

This driver performance data has been used to support drivers on the occasions where they have been falsely accused of poor driving practice.

“Often you may think the drivers would be resistant to this kind of system but they now realise the benefits it can have for them,” added Chris.

“We don’t use the data to penalise drivers but instead to discuss performance with them and many of the drivers simply didn’t realise they were cornering or braking too quickly.

“This has also helped to settle claims of reckless behaviour. Due to our presence on social media, we sometimes receive pictures accusing our staff of driving badly but now we have the data to provide an accurate response.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James Thornton .

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