Flexible workshop management from Trace
Software solutions provider Trace has highlighted some of the ways in which fleets can benefit from the use of workshop management systems to help streamline their processes.
According to Trace managing director Bill Davies, the inflexibility and intricacy of some software packages has led operators to avoid reinvesting in such technology following bad experiences.
“Since the 1980s when we launched, Trace has been upgraded and improved to meet industry and customer demands, and we still work to the same philosophy we started with: providing flexible and complete fleet, garage and stores management software solutions,” said Bill.
“Trace has developed over time by listening and responding to the needs of the people who work inside the transport industry; in fact all of our team have worked client-side, so have the experience and understanding to develop a system that actually does what we say it will do for you.”
The company says it works with emergency services, in-house fleets, haulage companies, commercial vehicle garages and local authorities of all sizes, who use Trace to manage their fleets and garages, ensuring they remain within DVSA guidelines and keep in the green zone of the operator compliance risk score (OCRS) system.
“Our flexibility and willingness to work alongside our customers is attracting an increasingly diverse range of customers looking to manage a broader and more complex range of assets; we’re extending our reach in parts of the commercial vehicle management sector that we haven’t traditionally targeted,” said Bill.
“We’re been asked to build enhanced versions of our system for different companies and, as a result of such enhancements, we’ve subsequently been able to test, develop and offer new modules and enhancements to our existing users to help them be even more competitive and meet market demand.”
One new client, HAJ Repairs, is a commercial garage in Ireland that services and repairs a diverse vehicle base including lorries, coaches, vans and cranes. The company needed a system that could manage broad vehicle diversity efficiently and effectively.
“We added a vehicle registration look-up to Trace so that, when a vehicle arrives for the first time, Trace quickly populates with the relevant data such as make, model, engine and chassis number to speed up and automate the process,” said Bill.
Another new client, Crusely Trailers in West Thurrock, don’t have stores at all and obtain all their parts from the factory right next door, which, incidentally, they own.
Until the introduction of Trace, the firm used a large whiteboard for all scheduling and rescheduling. They now have a comprehensive and extensive integrated package, says Trace, which includes a large screen display so that the whole workshop can view jobs at the same time, alongside Android devices for driver walk round checks and vehicle inspections.
“The devices update Trace directly so that, when a driver reports a fail or advise on his walk-round check, it automatically creates a defect report in the Trace workshop system. Furthermore, a fail on a mechanic’s inspection creates a job line on a workshop job card, and when the fail is corrected this updates the inspection report; a completed report is emailed along with the invoice.”
A third new Trace customer is Hugh Simpson Contractors (pictured). The company has two main fleets – its construction vehicles, including very large mobile cranes, and a tanker fleet – with three main workshops in north-west Scotland, all using Trace.
“In their case, we build specific, not generic, inspection sheets into the system on their behalf, meaning that all items are applicable to the vehicle being inspected,” said Bill.
“Trace prints, or sends, the appropriate inspection sheet to the tablet for the mechanic working on that specific vehicle.”
He concluded: “There’s no need to sit there thinking that your business can’t afford or won’t be able to use a system – we can help. We are able to make all kinds of system developments and enhancements to meet your specific needs.”