Compliance systems provider OE Services has offered its take on how digital solutions can help fleets ensure regulatory requirements are met across a variety of areas.
“Compliance, generally, is best addressed by digital technologies,” said Steve Oates of OE Services.
“There are many drivers’ hours analysis software packages out there, in addition to the option of utilising an analysis service. Likewise, route analysis and planning packages, showing actual delivery performance as clear unambiguous data, can be completely automated from GPS data provided from vehicles.
“The advantages, for example, of being able to see traffic delays and being able to modify schedules accordingly, has a clear impact of costs.
“Being able to analyse delivery and collection delays, can similarly preclude disputes with consignors, or, consignees, by presenting objective data.”
The company also emphasises the potential for technology to assist in health and safety compliance. It says its health and safety system has been adopted by many of the top truck and car dealer groups.
“Health and safety of lone workers, working in remote locations – such as drivers – is always a concern; HGV workshops also represent significant risks,” said Steve.
“There are around 40 H&S record categories that require maintenance, from people [to] processes and premises. Our systems provide auto e-mail reminders and instant visibility of H&S compliance status to help show effective management.
“Being able to demonstrate systematic control is helpful for HSE inspections, and is often a contract condition for public or major contracts. It is also significant for insurance brokers as insurance clauses have ‘suspensive clauses’, which may result in claims not being met due to non-compliance.”
Steve added: “Whilst these compliance systems have many advantages, being structured, and reducing your time and resources required for proof of compliance, never forget, as with all compliance, responsibility always remains with the employer.”
OE Services has been writing compliance applications for over 40 years.
“We were early adopters of cloud storage for our applications; this proved a real advantage for multiple locations and mobile operators,” continued Steve.
“During Covid, it facilitated maintaining compliance records whilst working from home.
“The focus is making sure the evidence of compliance is simple to maintain. All our systems have reminder intervals for all records and risk assessments along with escalating e-mail reminders. All have a management hierarchy for ‘who does what and when’.
“Whilst compliance is not intended to generate profit, it does protect your reputation; it may help win significant business. There are always cost savings to be won from having a closer look at your environmental performance, particularly with the cost of energy…
“There are literally hundreds of records to be maintained to prove compliance, from VAT returns to meeting demands of GDPR. For our sector, there are significantly more record and policing requirements than a more simple business, with additional regulations around vehicles, drivers, road use, etc.
“Fortunately, technologies facilitate a disconnect between cost and compliance.”
The downside for smaller businesses, contends Steve, is that maintaining the evidence of compliance for a small number of units (be they vehicles, premises, or, people) is more disproportionate than for a larger number.
“However, the technologies do facilitate making businesses scalable, both up and down,” he said.
“The reality is that non-compliance is always, by design, more costly than compliance.”