A courier delivery company, which has shipped giant corks to a wine exhibition, transported a large plastic snail film prop to cinemas and carried blood to hospitals around the country, has boosted driver productivity after investing in a new transport management system (TMS).

Tamar Couriers, which operates a fleet of 18 vehicles, clocking-up more 1.5 million miles a year from its base in Plymouth, has seen significant efficiency and administrative savings after adopting transport management technology from software specialists Mandata Ltd in 2016.

The move to Mandata’s system, which is currently based around cloud technologies accessed by three users, has enabled director Louise Winchurch and her four-strong dispatch team, to save an estimated six hours a week in tracking down drivers to check on deliveries and re-schedule drop-offs.

She believes that the decision to go with a TMS is paying dividends, supporting core services as the firm looks to expand its UK and international operations.

“The Mandata technology replaced an older system that couldn’t support the business any longer,” she says. “Integrating TMS, the Manifest app, portable vehicle tracking and other features with our own processes and procedures has been both easy, procuring a welcome boon.

“The many drag and drop dashboard features are easy-to-use, while the simplicity of the whole system, and the way it has seamlessly integrated across the business, has also been impressive. We’ve seen significant improvements across the board, culminating in tangible efficiency and savings in man-hours.

“Because all the important documentation is available to hand in a single place, previous time-consuming tasks such as reconciling jobs with invoices can also be simply completed at the press of the button.”

Delivering outsized promotional corks to a wine company’s exhibition stand and gastropod-styled cinema props are among some of the more unusual jobs Tamar Couriers has completed as part of a package of services, which include hazardous goods delivery, light haulage, warehousing, and parcel and pallet delivery.

While electronic POD (Proof of Delivery) capabilities are improving services – drivers can use their smartphones to click into the app to confirm that deliveries have been completed before a confirmation is sent to the customer – the Mandata Manifest app is another beneficial feature adopted by the courier.

This is advanced digital solution, which sends work instructions to the driver enabling him to see at a glance the sequence of jobs, obtains signatures as proof of delivery and photos of POD paperwork as well as non-conformance. Incorporating a range of accessible and convenient features, the mobile app offers a reliable connection between the Plymouth-based systems and its drivers to power paperless and secure sharing of data and information.

The app is popular with drivers, who appreciate its easy-to-use features, adds Louise Ruxton. These include manifests, job status updates, electronic documents and images of paperwork – effectively streamlining the transfer of timely information to provide greater transparency throughout the supply chain.

She says that the adoption of a Vehicle Checks app, which provides a paperless checklist, is another feature that’s proving its worth as the vehicle fleet expands.

It’s a legal requirement to maintain a road worthy vehicle, so integrating the easy-to-use smartphone app improves the way drivers capture and record daily vehicle checks, contributing to more effective workshop maintenance planning and scheduling.

Drivers carry out daily inspections of their vehicles via the smartphone app before they set off, ensuring legal compliance thanks to Mandata’s user interface. “The app allows us to monitor driver performance, providing assurances that they’re checking their vehicles daily, and not taking shortcuts or risking safety,” she adds.

Investing in technology to drive significant cost and time saving advantages is part of a strategy that will see Tamar Couriers continue to streamline operations in the face of coming growth.

Looking to the future, Louise Winchurch, who is impressed by the capabilities of its integrated TMS, firmly believes that Mandata’s role as a strategic partner, will only increase on the back of expansion plans.

“We have ambitions to significantly increase the scope and scale of the business, investing in more drivers as we move forward to meet growing customer demand. With its ease-of-use, flexibility and demonstrable added value, I can only foresee us relying more and more on Mandata’s technology.

“We have only scratched the surface of the TMS’s capability. We look forward to realising its full potential as we aim to work ever smarter, thanks to solutions that deliver savings, operational efficiencies, and support our commitment to the highest standards of driver and vehicle safety.”

Mandata is a UK leader in the provision of integrated transport and logistics software for companies operating in all sectors of the road transport industry. Its software automates and simplifies complex processes and enables operators to plan, manage, monitor and invoice work with one centralised system. More at https://www.mandata.co.uk