Over nearly two decades, Bestrane has forged deep and lasting partnerships with its clients and valued technology vendors like Geotab and The Descartes Systems Group. David Sanders and Adam Welch explain how they use telematics to derive new insights into driver behaviour and improve the efficiency and safety of heavy vehicles.
David Sanders co-founded Bestrane 18 years ago with a focus on creating long-term relationships with select clients and using best-in-class technology to maintain and best serve their evolving interests.
“We’ve grown our business substantially, and one of our key KPIs is to deepen relationships with clients and offer relevant solutions to other opportunities that have popped up,” David says.
Having long-term customer relationships also means having long-term supplier relationships. Bestrane achieves this by finding suitable vendors from around the world, securing the rights for them, and bringing them into the market with a full-service model to sell, implement, support, and operate.
David notes Bestrane’s longest relationship has been with the publicly listed Descartes Systems Group (DSGX), which started more than 13 years ago. David says Bestrane helps Descartes by being its eyes and ears in Australasia – with a focus on dedicated fleet route optimisation and execution, and management of third-party transportation.
Bestrane is always searching for ways to deepen its relationships with customers and to identify new sources of value, in line with its tagline introduced last year as part of the company’s re-brand: ‘Solving Complex Logistics Problems’.
Importantly, David notes that by engaging in ever-deeper work with a particular client, there often arise new insights and solutions that have relevance and applicability for other clients.
“A few months back we launched a new website together with our rebrand,” David says. “A key motivation for doubling down on our web presence was that – working as we do with customers on a long-term basis – we wanted a channel to tell user stories and share what we’ve learnt along customer journeys.
“The real story is always how a customer manages to achieve spectacular outcomes. Take, as an example, BC Sands, a landscape supplies company located in Sydney, which has a modest fleet of trucks. It may not be the biggest company, but is one of the world’s best users of route optimisation technology. It’s also received accolades in the United States.”
David says he is always looking for complementary service lines or solutions that can add value to route optimisation and execution processes. “We assist many clients to develop routes and track how the routes are being executed in real time,” he says.
“But there’s a whole regulatory framework that sits over the top of that, which means the development of routes and how they are executed need to comply with relevant legislation, company policy, etc.,” he adds. “We found that there was a real opportunity for us to sort of grow into a space we term ‘Assurance Services’.”
In short, Assurance Services refer to the use of telematics technology to ensure organisations can demonstrate to their stakeholders – internal and external – that they are managing their vehicle fleet in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations.
He explains Bestrane’s partnership with Geotab. “Geotab is one of the world’s leading providers of Telematics and Fleet management applications for commercial vehicles. Their technology adds significant value to our route optimisation and execution tools by providing detailed information on what the vehicle and driver is doing – using an integrated platform.”
Utilising Geotab’s telematics
Adam Welch is Bestrane’s Practice Manager, and has a long and strong record managing large scale fleets across Australia.
He says Bestrane uses telematics as its cornerstone in terms of assurance, especially to deal with heavy vehicles. He notes aspects such as speed, fatigue, load mass and dimension, load restraint, and vehicle standards/maintenance are the pillars of Australia’s heavy vehicle legislation.
“The Geotab device is fully self-contained and provides a rich stream of data directly from the vehicle’s engine management system,” Adam says. “What makes it especially interesting for Bestrane is the Geotab Marketplace, which links this data stream to many and various integrated, complementary solutions,” he adds. “This provides an incredible platform that is able to scale to address the diverse requirements of Australian Transporters.”
By combining route optimisation and execution with the Geotab platform, Bestrane can offer unique end-to-end management of the transportation process. For example, it can develop an optimised route, and understand how the driver is executing that route in terms of time and location.
Bestrane also says it is leveraging the Geotab platform to make sure that this is done safely and in compliance with relevant laws. This extends from basic checks such as detection and alerting of overspeed events, to road-facing and driver-facing cameras to verify what happened immediately before, during and after an on-road incident. This capability provides a significant tool to manage insurance risks.
Adam notes the use of driver electronic work diaries are becoming increasingly common in assisting with managing driver fatigue as required by the Heavy Vehicle National Law. These can be integrated into the Geotab platform using GPS data to accurately record time, distance, and location.
Bestrane says it also uses similar applications to capture vehicle standards/maintenance data through pre-trip checklists, allowing drivers to identify maintenance items – such as tyre condition. This type of data can be fed back through to MyGeotab to provide significant value to engineer fit-for-purpose vehicle maintenance activities.
Under its Assurance Services, Bestrane uses Telematics in its unique partnership with Geotab.
“Geotab is very good at turning data into reports,” Adam says. “There is just so much information available. We encourage our clients to start slow and initially only look at a few key items like speeding and driver behaviour.
“The beautiful thing about MyGeotab is that additional information coming from various other resources – such as cameras, trailer tracking, and load temperature sensors – are all managed on one platform, so users aren’t switching from one platform to another trying to see what a driver is up to. We also have the enhanced capability to create portals and other dashboard type environments specific to customers’ requirements.
“We could have a customer who’s running some routing solutions, or a dock management solution, or both. They want to integrate all that data into one Control Tower-styled dashboard to identify and respond to issues in a timely fashion.”
Using Geotab technology, Bestrane identifies risk factors such as when seatbelts are engaged or not, or if a vehicle is moving with an open door. In this way it can identify weaknesses and help drive improvement using timely, accurate, and relevant real-world.
“Bestrane has built up a portfolio of clients over the years, many of which are multiyear relationships that have developed considerably from the initial engagement,” David says.
“We’re not that interested in a ‘one-time’ sale of any product or service. What we are interested in is how to reliably provide ongoing sources of value with specific clients. With Geotab, we can maximise our ability to respond to new requirements, not just for today – but for years to come.”
For more information on Bestrane, click here.
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