Case Studies

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Bell Canada - Fleet Services

Case Overview
AutoVision® is a next-generation web-based fleet management system that provides administrators with operation management tools and reporting. It is modular and includes vehicle inventory, vehicle catalogue and provisioning, purchase and work order, employee timesheet, shop management, fuel card, invoicing and customer billing components. it was developed internally at Bell with Conet-Tech and ICS Solutions consultants and currently manages 15,000 vehicles for over 35 customers.

Customer Overview
Bell Fleet Solutions (BFS) has over 80 years of Fleet Management experience, and a strong team with Canada-wide bilingual customer support. The department manages the Bell Canada Enterprise “BCE” fleet of 13,000 vehicles using its buying power, fleet management knowledge, processes and systems to provide cost effective next generation fleet solutions including telematics. In addition, Bell Fleet Solutions manages a growing number of external fleets, currently covering about 2,000 vehicles, by offering fleet solutions to external customers using its in-house developed management systems.

Business Challenge
Bell Fleet Solutions (BFS) is mandated to schedule and report maintenance on every vehicle and pass regular federal inspections. Bell Fleet Solutions (BFS) was running its business using legacy systems; employees did not use these applications to track the safety compliance requirements. Instead, they recorded the information manually, which led to longer processing times, inefficiencies, and a growing staff workload. In addition, employees had no way to easily assess and benchmark maintenance activity from a collective perspective. The company needed a faster, more efficient way to keep up with this documentation.

Certain repairs happen repeatedly, such as alternator starter, heater motor, and battery failures. However, they lacked an efficient way to track them with the old system. The goal was to keep more accurate records of component failures so that when they bought new vehicles, they knew how to improve the specifications in order to obtain a lower life cycle cost.

In addition, the new solution should be scalable and flexible to meet the company business needs. This solution should allow reporting location and vehicle information, and being also available for the driver to use for laptop connectivity. Service technicians can use this feature to download their latest work orders, or sales staff can check inventory and availability on a company intranet. They can manage the fleet by doing “vehicle provisioning, leasing, maintenance, and fuelling as well as Automatic Vehicle Location, vehicle diagnostics and real time reports”.


Results
BFS specializes in vehicle life cycle management with an objective of minimizing total customer and operating cost. Bell Fleet Solutions manages internal BCE and external vehicle fleets and is one of the best value providers in North America.

- AutoVision® System is a multilingual up-to-date, flexible and scalable system needed to manage the BCE vehicle fleet
- Telematics is seen as a tool to reduce costs - developed in late 1990's as a next generation fleet management tool
- System enables scalable management of vehicles/equipment from cradle to grave
- Enables near real-time decision making with AutoVision®
- Offers a Web enabled .NET hosted solution
- Provides valuable data for cost analysis
- Customizable for company specific needs
- Reduce operating costs
- Locate expensive vehicle assets - stolen or lost
- Enhance safety and security. Respond faster to emergencies
- Reduce fuel consumption and air emissions
- Simplify vehicle maintenance. Minimize vehicle downtime
- Increase customer satisfaction with timely delivery of goods and services

Bell Fleet Telematics Service is a web-hosted fleet tracking and management service deployed both internally (e.g. Bell Field Services) and externally (e.g. Aliant, Parmalat, & MTS)

The solution fairly typical of vehicular telematics, combines:
• GPS for Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL);
• Wireless connection for data transmission from the vehicle to a central location;
• Internet applications for back-office administration and management;
• Vehicle-centric hardware (TelePod™) & antennae.

Automatic Vehicle Location in Real-time
• Increased revenue opportunities with optimal dispatching
• Enhanced driver safety and security
• Locate expensive vehicle assets

Vehicle Lifecycle Management
• Reduced cost with scheduled preventative maintenance
• Diagnostics allow for reporting of problems automatically - early warning system
• Lowered vehicle downtime and repair cost

Cost Reduction
• Automate tedious driver tasks such as manual odometer tracking
• Actionable reports on idle times to reduce fuel cost and improve environmental impact
• Reduce fuel and mileage by minimizing unauthorized vehicle use
• Reduce travel time by accessing your technicians' work orders wirelessly
• The expected Return on Investment (ROI) is between 3-12 months

Customer Satisfaction
• Better response time for the end-customer
•Improved customer relationship and satisfaction


The technologies
- Microsoft.NET Framework, C#
- IIS, Windows Server, SQL Server
- Web Services, ASP.Net, ADO.Net


 

 

AutoVision® consists of business modules providing important fleet and driver information to improve the management of fleet services. This advanced web-based fleet management system currently tracks 15,000 vehicles for over 35 fleet customers in North America. It collects and organizes detailed automotive information directly from the vehicle's engine computer and location-based information from a global positioning system. As a full function back-office system, AutoVision® provides comprehensive fleet management services. The main system consists of business modules, including but not limited to (Telematics, Total vehicle life cycle management, Vehicle catalogue and provisioning, Advanced exception reporting, Complete vehicle, cost tracking and reporting, Time reporting for employees, Fuel cost tracking, Asset tracking and assignment, Fast access to vehicle history maintenance, Management of Work and Purchase Orders, Automatic Vehicle Location, vehicle diagnostics and real time reports)

Solution
To provide a customized, easily accessible and consistent experience for its staff, Bell Canada worked with Conet-Tech and ICS Solutions, to create a cost-effective and manageable solution.

Automatic Vehicle Location & Mapping: TelePod™ uses a GPS receiver installed on the vehicle to report back geographic locations at a specified interval. These locations can be charted on an advanced interactive map, and can be plotted together to show the route traveled. When out of network coverage, the unit queues up location reports in an onboard buffer.

Remote Vehicle Diagnostics: Modern cars and trucks since 1996 offer standard interfaces for engine and vehicle diagnostics. TelePod™ taps into these interfaces to read engine performance, trouble/fault codes, odometer readings, vehicle speed, and other important data. It can be instructed to send this information on vehicle ignition and shutdown, or at a specified interval.

High Speed Data Connectivity: TelePod™ features a high performance data connection through the 1xRTT wireless network. This is not only used to report location and vehicle information, but is also available for the driver to use for laptop connectivity. Service technicians can use this feature to download their latest work orders, or sales staff can check inventory and availability on a company intranet. TelePod™ offers a regular Ethernet port, so no additional hardware is required.

System Architecture
The Bell Fleet Management solution is a web-hosted solution that can help fleet owners not only locate vehicles but also manage the lifecycle of their vehicle fleet. It includes an in-vehicle telematics device to locate vehicles and sends that data over Bell Mobility’s wireless 1X network with primary and backup communications methods. A direct connection to the vehicle diagnostic bus allows for automatic collection of vehicle performance data to support preventative maintenance. The solution consists of the in-vehicle TelePod™ hardware and web-based AutoVision® software.




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