The end user for this project was Rentokil Initial France – the French division of the well-known pest control provider. We were engaged by Trimble Inc. (Rentokil’s telematics provider) to develop and implement a timely and efficient installation plan to fit approximately 500 devices in their vehicles stationed at thirty separate depots throughout France.
We assigned a project manager and administration team to the project to develop an effective plan of action. The key to a successful project is understanding the various restrictions that affect each party and seeing that they are taken into consideration.
For this project, the main restrictions were twofold. First, there was the geographical challenge of visiting 30 different depots throughout France to install their telematics equipment. The second was a matter of access. We were only able to access the vehicles from 14:00 each day, but French working restrictions meant we were unable to work beyond 18:00, giving us a limited window for installation.
Since this was a relatively small project, we decided not to use French contractors, as the time and resources it would take to train engineers local to each of the 30 depots would have been impractical. We also needed to be able to control the efficient use of our engineers since we would be working to such a tight schedule and over such a wide area. Quality control was another concern, as we would have needed to arrange for quality checks on all installations carried out across the country.
We arranged for two small teams of installers to travel from the UK to handle the fleet installation. Both teams were composed of experienced installation engineers whose quality and efficiency we knew could be relied upon. We developed a deployment strategy that allowed each team to travel between depots in the morning (often a 4 or 5 hour drive) and install the telematics devices in the afternoon.
We used an efficient routing system to maximise the efficiency of travel. This, combined with the speed and strong work ethic of our installers, meant we were able to deliver the project on time, with quality checks being performed alongside the initial installations.
In addition to installing the telematics equipment, we were also responsible for managing it. Our stores team in Manchester received the components from the suppliers, inserted SIMs into each unit, and performed a full test and configuration on each device. The units were then packed up as individual installation kits, ready for dispatch to our installation engineers in the field.
The accurate recording of SIM and unit details is essential to completing a project of this complexity. We carried out the process quickly, thanks to our electronic recording system, which ensured no issues.
Our administration team provides essential support to both our stores team in the UK and our installation engineers working out of France. The team works with the stores team to keep an accurate record of equipment coming in and going out, as well as making sure that all deliveries are fully monitored and any locations are constantly supervised.
They keep details of what equipment has been dispatched to which depot in France and the vehicle into which it was fitted, allowing us to cross-reference delivery and installation records. This way, we know where all our telematics equipment is held at each stage of the process.
From start to finish, the entire project was fully delivered within 6 weeks.
Following the original installation, we were required to perform a number of service visits to handle repairs to the telematics equipment. Thanks to the quality of the equipment and our own installation service, these numbers were kept to a minimum.
Given the low number of equipment failures, it was agreed that we would send over an engineer to tackle any repairs across the fleet every six weeks or so. For each visit, a geographical plan was developed to ensure optimal efficiency by our engineer as they travelled across the country.