Given the small stature as a charity, many people believe that our operations and organisational capabilities are ‘adhoc’. Nothing could be further from the truth, so in this series of articles, we explore the various people, systems and mechanisms used by BBE to highlight the highly efficient and advanced organisational skills and capabilities brought to bear on our emergency medical transport service; as rightly demanded by our client hospitals.
In this article we look at the implementation and use of vehicle tracking on our fleet.
If the riders in BBE are our backbone, our vehicles are the body, carrying the items we collect and deliver from point to point. But as BBE developed and we began carrying more critical items more often, our hospitals wanted better governance and information about the location and in some cases ETA of a rider. To achieve this we have implemented GPS tracking systems on all our vehicles.
This allows both the controller and fleet manager to monitor both live and historic journey information providing benefits that go beyond reporting for our hospitals. Here are some of the benefits of this technology for BBE:
- As outlined above, we can provide very precise informations about the whereabouts of a rider and ETA to our client hospitals.
- We can review historical journey information to provide followup information to our hospitals, should it be required.
- Our controller can better manage requests from hospitals, sometimes assigning a rider who is already on a run because they can see that the busy rider will still be able to get to the hospitals before the idle rider due to their geographic locations.
- We are able to locate the rider in the event of an incident (breakdown or accident), with our first concern (after ensuring the rider is OK) being the quick transfer of the goods in transit to a new rider.
- We are able to monitor rider behaviour to ensure all riders maintain the very highest standards of riding and adherence to the rules of the road.
As with any technology used properly, these systems have revolutionized how we deliver and organise our service, but we also ensure that we maintain our paper-based systems for a complete audit trail that still functions even if an issue occurs with the technology. This is only precautionary, but anyone who works with technology would agree it to be a prudent course of action. So, on arrival, the rider makes his/her way to the approved collection point and they fill out the relevant sections of the docket book and have the consigner sign the sheet. They then hand that person a copy of the docket sheet and leave to make their way to the destination. At the destination, the rider goes to the approved drop-off point and completes the remaining sections of the docket book. They have the consignee sign to accept the package and then hand them the second copy from the triplicate book. This leaves BBE with a permanent record of the delivery and all key details, should the consigner or consignee have any need to track it in future. Finally, the rider sends a message to the Controller, informing him/her that the delivery is complete and includes the unique docket number, which is recorded in the official call log.
Thank You To InCar Solutions
We cannot complete this article without a special mention of a company that has assisted us with this technology. These systems are not cheap, requiring a hefty hardware cost and a monthly subscription per vehicle. If we are honest, we would have struggled to implement such a system and it certainly would have required significant fundraising to cover the costs. Despite that we were researching possible solutions when, having read about our work and wanting to get involved, InCar Solutions reached out to us with an offer of support and readily and happily offered to provide everything we needed, covering all the costs of both the hardware and the yearly subscriptions.
This is an incredibly generous donation to BBE by a very community-minded company and we are very grateful.
Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Rider Or Corporate Sponsor For Blood Bikes East?
It takes a very special person to become a Blood Biker. A mix of goodwill, skill, patience and determination. Do you want to join us? Check out the details on our Become A Volunteer Rider page and apply today! If you think you could help BBE with a corporate donation of goods or services, please reach out to us here.