B&Q chooses Microlise to improve fleet performance
DIY retailer B&Q is to implement a new fleet performance and journey management solution, from telematics platform provider Microlise, across a fleet of 185 vehicles.
Installation and delivery of the solution is beginning immediately and will be used to give the best possible customer experience for B&Q’s Home Delivery services. It will enable B&Q to monitor the status of deliveries against a schedule, in real-time, as each journey unfolds. This facilitates proactive customer service, where any issues identified can be addressed before the customer becomes aware through a missed or late arrival.
“We are always striving to improve the experience for our customers,” said Chris Blogg, Store Delivery Network Manager at B&Q. “That is why we opted for Microlise which will enable us to make significant savings whilst improving the precision with which we can track our home delivery vehicles. Customers expect specific allotted times for deliveries and Microlise helps us to meet and exceed customer expectations.”
B&Q will also utilise the Microlise Driver Performance Management mobile application aimed at engaging with drivers by delivering easily accessible performance league tables and real-time performance information. The implementation will reduce the fuel consumption and environmental impact of B&Q’s fleet, whilst improving safety and driver performance levels.
“We predict that B&Q will make a Return on Investment in a short timeframe following the introduction of our Fleet Performance product,” said Nadeem Raza, Chief Executive Officer at Microlise. “It will provide significant fuel savings for the company, but going further than that, it will also be a powerful tool in helping to deliver excellent customer service. Effective communication across the supply chain – including towards customers – is key to this.”
The Microlise Digital Tachograph Download feature, launched earlier this year, will also be used by the DIY retailer to reduce management overheads and administration time by allowing compliance data to be remotely collected.
As part of the Fleet Performance delivery B&Q also opted for the Microlise Safety Module which includes 3G forward facing cameras and, via the Microlise Incident Data recorder, gives detailed insight into what was happening 30 seconds before and after any incidents.
The B&Q home delivery fleet is run by BRS, one of the UK's largest Contract Hire and fleet Operators. The B&Q operation managed by BRS includes, 52 x 26 tonne dropsides with Hiab cranes and 133 7.5 tonne box vans with tail lifts. The Microlise solution will integrate with and work alongside B&Q’s existing home delivery management and route optimisation tool, Paragon.
For more information, please visit http://www.microlise.com/
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.