Descartes UK

Improve your operational costs

Improve your operational costs

The UK’s dynamic political environment looks unlikely to change in the immediate future and one focus for businesses is to keep a very keen eye on unnecessary expenditure. The battery management team at Rotronics works closely with fleet owners and managers to help improve their operational costs.

Ken Clark, Managing Director at Rotronics, told Truck and Track that they have noticed heightened activity to improve expenditure with battery management and operational practices, ensuring that budgets are being controlled more prudently with proactive battery management.

A well-managed battery maintenance programme can combat the excessive drain on vehicles - at every opportunity, the batteries on vehicles should be tested and charged and fleet managers can build this process into normal workshop practices without any disruption.

Says Ken Clark, “The workshops using our Battery Management Programme, which have seen the best improvements, keep charging trolleys in every pit. They charge the vehicles at every opportunity and batteries are tested at least every month. These workshops see fantastic improvements and have cut non-starts by up to 75%.”

A battery management programme ensures that:

  • Return-on-investment can be proved, and each workshop will have the expertise and knowledge to maximise fault diagnosis, increase productivity and customer service. 
  • A full auditable record is available to monitor and track a fleet’s battery performance. 
  • Batteries are tested pro-actively, at the point of service and routine inspection.
  • Imbalanced batteries are identified and charged accordingly.
  • Batteries are maintained to optimum levels.
  • Defective batteries are identified and replaced before they affect vehicle reliability.


Rotronics has recently developed ROBIS, the industry-first web-based dashboard and reporting system that collects battery and electrical data from several national/regional workshop sources to update software across the fleet. The Rotronics team is currently working with major national commercial and fleet operators. 

A workshop that invests in battery maintenance equipment is making a great start to improve vehicle performance and increase battery performance. However, the benefits can only be achieved if the equipment is used as part of a pro-active and regular maintenance service maintenance process.

Benefits to your business with ROBIS
A significant benefit of using ROBIS is that non-starts will reduce, which in turn saves workshops money by bringing down their battery budgets due to decreasing roadside defects. The battery performance across a fleet will be improved and warranty processes can easily be streamlined as ROBIS provides under-the-microscope data regarding battery performance. ROBIS will deliver proven ROI, supporting any workshop battery management programme and will provide uniform testing practices across your business. ROBIS will reap benefits for your customers when lost miles are reduced and you will not incur delivery penalties. 

Key features of ROBIS 

  • Centralised dashboard showing regional and national KPI output of workshop battery test performance.
  • Early detection of vehicle and battery related performance issues.
  • Instant online access to current and historical workshop battery test results.
  • User uploadable fleet information list to enable vehicle performance and trend analysis.
  • Tracking of equipment usage across multiple locations.
  • Benchmarking of regional and national tests result comparison and league tables.
  • Auditing of technician input, to measure and identify any training needs required.
  • Delivery of continuity across business, with KPI dashboard measuring key deliverables.
  • Centralised database enabling visibility of all data, without risk of data loss.
  • Active vehicle database exception reporting of vehicles not being maintained.
  • Highlight battery performance issues and trends, to understand the quality of the batteries you fit to your vehicles.
  • Active Warranty management reporting processes, enabling semi-automated warranty process.
  • Multiple reporting software, enables numerous bespoke reports to be produced. 
  • Proven ROI capability, enabling measurement of success versus impact of non-compliance.
  • Personalised database with company logo.

Gloucester Fire and Rescue Services Case Study

ROBIS pays for itself within six months

Rotronics has been working with the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Services since December 2017. The workshop management team had, for some time, been looking for better ways to manage battery maintenance within their workshop programme at their Gloucester workshop. The group previously did not have any form of effective battery management programme in place, apart from a simple battery tester.

They were aware that the Police workshop had been using a Midtronics battery tester as part of their workshop maintenance to identify faulty batteries and wanted to explore how this may help them better diagnose battery defects.

Whilst the workshop had traditional 24v battery chargers in use, they did not form any part of a routine maintenance process or procedure and, as a result, balanced charging was not a consideration within their maintenance procedures.

Battery warranty claims were not effective, with most claims not being accepted by their battery supplier.

In December 2017, the Rotronics team visited the Gloucester site, to demonstrate and provide an overview of the Rotronics Battery Management programme. Equipment was left on trial to enable workshop staff to evaluate it and offer feedback as to how it was used. A follow-up visit was made in January 2018 and further training was given to the team. With extremely positive feedback, the trial continued to enable extended usage of the equipment.

In March 2018, the Rotronics team received the order to supply a full workshop programme supporting the team, including ROBIS, and they have been using the equipment as part of their everyday routine maintenance and feel they are getting real benefit from its use. 

  • Battery sets are receiving a regular “balanced charge”.
  • Defective batteries, that would have previously gone unnoticed, are being identified and replaced before a vehicle defect occurs.
  • The warranty claims process is much more effective, with faulty batteries covered under warranty now being accepted and credited by their battery provider, through providing a printout of the faulty battery to support the claims process.
  • A total of 11 batteries (at a cost of £1,760) have been successfully claimed to date, without the use of the Rotronics EXP100FHD, these claims would have been lost.
  • The return on investment calculation will result in the equipment paying for itself, within the first six months of use.

Workshop Supervisor Adam Fowles says “Our technicians think the equipment is fantastic and find it easy to use and integrate into our planned maintenance procedures. It’s really made a difference in helping us to identify and better manage battery defects within the fleet, so much so we have already secured 11 warranty claim credits, that would have been rejected if we hadn’t been using the tester.”

The data below highlights the number of tests recorded on ROBIS during the start of the programme, and how, through pro-active testing and charging, we can already see the positive impact pro-active charging is having on battery performance as the number of battery sets in balance continues to rise month-on-month.

  • A total of 269 batteries were tested during the period.
  • 105 individual vehicles were tested.
  • 23% of all batteries tested required charging.
  • 10% of those batteries tested required replacement.

For more information on Rotronics and the battery management programmes, go to and call Ken Clark on 0121 526 8185. You can also email

Rotronics is part of Rubery Owen, a company at the forefront of automotive component technology since the birth of the motor car and has been synonymous with quality and enterprise over the years.