Vehicle carrier Brit European is using a transport management system (TMS) from transport and logistics software provider Mandata to improve finished vehicle services for customers including construction equipment maker JCB.

Mandata works with a number of automotive logistics providers and Brit European has been using the company’s Manpack3 TMS technology for more than a decade now. With the inclusion of an Advanced Services application, customers are now able to login to a web portal and book services as well as check the status of deliveries in real time.

“Customers like the system as it enables them to control their deliveries and the system has given them complete visibility,” said Brit European’s IT administrator, Andrew Shore.

He went on to describe how the company delivers JCB stock to a holding compound and, when they are ready to release the vehicles, uses the technology they can indicate when and where they want them delivered.

“One of our operators sees it on the system and plans the delivery,” outlined Shore. “This is a huge leap forward as using the online system enables them to manage their own deliveries, and as the onus is on the customer to input job details correctly, there are no errors. It’s proving to be a strong differentiator for us.”

Brit European has added number of bolt-on modules to the Manpack3 system that allows it to integrate PDA, electronic invoicing, client web booking, workshop management and PDA vehicle inspection features. PDA vehicle inspection reports enable drivers to record the results of inspections on the wide range of vehicle types they transport.

Each driver can take pictures of any vehicle defects and make notes when undertaking deliveries said the company. This information can then be uploaded immediately to a secure area of the company’s website and the information shared with clients to resolve any issues quickly. The ability to quickly register information about the vehicle also applies to Brit European’s own fleet of carriers where alerts regarding any damage to the vehicles can be sent to the workshop. It means that if repairs are needed traffic planners can see when the work will be carried out so they can schedule operations accordingly.

In addition, rather than handle customer contracts from different sources manually, the company has tailored the Mandata system to automatically import contract information, a feature that has saved time and improved accuracy, meaning the company can delivery more vehicles in faster times.

JCB is also seeing the benefits.

“The vehicle compound system has streamlined our processes for adding and releasing vehicles for Brit European to deliver,” said JCB’s transport analyst Nick Dutton. “We are able to manage deliveries ourselves online, and see immediately the delivery status of vehicles and the results of vehicle inspections.

Dutton said the advances had given the company better control and transparency throughout the supply chain.

Earlier this year JCB signed a five-year extension to its contract with Brit European, central to which was an initiative to cut carbon emissions and improve fuel efficiency for the benefit of JCB’s customers.