Descartes UK

Earned Recognition

As of 24th April 2018, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the executive agency responsible for setting, testing and enforcing driver and vehicle standards in Great Britain, confirmed Earned Recognition as ‘Business as Usual’, following the successful completion of its pilot.

The challenge

The DVSA reported that in 2016/17 a hefty 6,637 penalties were issued to HGV drivers or operators who had violated drivers’ hours or tachograph rules, the equivalent of £1,487,750 in fines. With greater demand to achieve more with less, coupled with increasingly complex processes, it’s more important than ever for companies to ensure the right technology is in place to guarantee compliance. Drivers should no longer find themselves in situations where they have to park up in laybys for a rest. Nor should they ever be faced with a choice between exceeding drivers’ hours or missing a delivery slot.

Understandably, many transport operators were cautious about this form of data sharing to begin with. However, through modernising in this way, the DVSA is advocating a more efficient and pragmatic approach to monitoring compliance, freeing up resource, and allowing compliant transport operators to achieve a clear reduction in costs and the impact on customer service.

By inviting transport operators to voluntarily share Key Performance Indicators on their tachograph data, Earned Recognition enables the DVSA to refocus their resources on the seriously and serially non-compliant. In return, operators receive fewer roadside checks, as well as a reduction in the associated cost and time that hauliers can lose during these stops.

The positives have already far outweighed any initial apprehension; essentially, those looking to work within a compliance first framework should have nothing to fear.

Driving efficiency through compliance

Organisations are under increasing pressure to, not only remain compliant, but also to drive further efficiencies from their operations to meet growing consumer demand. There are many benefits of moving to electronic road transport compliance management software. It improves accuracy, cuts costs, and it creates visibility and therefore accountability for maintaining a compliant and legal operation. However, there is also the potential to drive greater value by moving beyond siloed technology deployments to joined-up paperless operations.

By utilising their telematics data across the business, transport operators can drive greater performance, efficiency and service. Using telematics with a routing and scheduling system, for example, not only allows the fleet manager to see where a vehicle is, it enables them to compare this to where it should be. New jobs can be added in real time or corrective action can then be taken to re-route a vehicle to keep to a committed delivery time, or warn the customer in advance should the driver be running late, all in a compliance first framework.

By automatically sharing compliance data and opening up the organisation to more collaborative processes, operational efficiency can also be improved and wider benefits gained. Streamlining fleet operations with route planning software will minimise costs by reducing the miles driven, the fuel consumed, and the vehicle servicing and maintenance necessary as a result.

Intelligent solutions

Today’s industry pressures demand a highly efficient, compliance-led approach to road transport operations. Compliance management solutions, along with collaborative technology and processes, are the key to achieving tangible business benefits; it is the ability to leverage and share accurate real-time information that will enable transport operators to better manage assets, vehicle and driver compliance.

Descartes Smartanalysis is the industry’s leading tachograph analysis and compliance management solution. Descartes successfully worked with the DVSA, alongside other providers and operators, to provide the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) required throughout the Earned Recognition pilot. The Smartanalysis solution has the ability to provide more than 100 standard reports and has these KPIs configured specifically to meet the requirements, allowing transport operators to achieve Earned Recognition status easily and simply.

To sum up, a far more efficient approach to fleet management, and transport operators must be compliance-led, proactive and technology-enabled. Organisations should embrace the opportunities that Earned Recognition provides them with, in order to thrive in these challenging and evolving times.

To find out more about how the Descartes solutions can enhance fleet operations, visit:

Andrew Tavener, Head of Marketing, Descartes Systems UK