Luton Borough Council to share fleet best practice with public sector at Jamma workshop

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Best practice fleet management initiatives have been introduced by Luton Borough Council's transport department with the help of software from Jaama - and now the council is to share its processes and 'lean working principles' with other public sector organisations.

Jaama is holding a Public Sector Fleet Management Software Workshop in association with the Council on Tuesday, March 15. The free Workshop takes place at the Chiltern Hotel in Luton but will also include a visit to the Council's transport department to see Jaama's Key2 Vehicle Management system in action.

The Workshop takes place with public sector budgets under the microscope and the number of public sector bodies introducing Jaama's fleet management software to manage fleet vehicles, plant equipment and workshops increasing.

Cost control is the number one priority in 2011 for all organisations across the public sector with savvy decision-makers investing in technology to help them effectively and efficiently manage their transport operations, according to Jaama sales director Martin Evans.

Online flexibility, touch screen technology, in depth management reporting and across-department integration and accessibility were all key reasons behind the Council's decision to install the cutting-edge online technology two years ago.

With public sector budgets being cut and expenditure a focus for all management, the Council's pro-active approach to running its 563 vehicles and items of plant has won it a number of awards. The vehicles and equipment managed using Key2 range from a strimmer to a refuse collection vehicle and the Mayor's car to a 57-seat coach.

Now Council transport manager Don Allison believes the approach the local authority has taken can become a blueprint for fleet and transport departments at other councils and public sector organisations.

He said: "We needed to change our processes and working practices and have found that Jaama's flexible software is ideally suited. With the introduction of 'lean principles' we have removed duplication and waste and have made significant efficiency savings."

As a result, the transport department has recently won a number of awards from the Council including for generating income for the authority through the use of its workshops for the maintenance and repair of vehicles operated by local businesses. Additionally, it was the runner-up in the award for most efficient Council department.

Mr Allison said: "The transport department has made significant improvements in terms of productivity, efficiency and income generation. The public sector is under huge financial pressure and we want to share our best practice initiatives with other organisations."

The Freight Transport Association manages an online Public Authority Transport Network (PATN) which is used by managers to exchange ideas and best practice.

Mr Allison said: "I am a prominent contributor to the PATN forum because I believe that it is important that we share best practice. Everyone can learn from each other and ideas and solutions to problems should be shared, particularly in the economic climate within which we all operate."

Apart from Luton Borough Council other public sector fleets using Jaama's Key2 software include Chelmsford Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, the Norwich-based Norse Group, which includes the management of public sector vehicles within its portfolio, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the British Transport Police.

Mr Evans said: "Public sector organisations such as Luton Borough Council have recognised that if they 'spend to save' they will reap significant cost savings and administration efficiencies. If investment is axed local authorities will find they become less efficient and costs actually escalate.

"Our customers are cutting fleet operating costs, improving compliance and reducing administration across fleet, HR, finance and payroll departments through the effective use of software to manage vehicles - including privately owned cars driven on business - plant and workshops."

During the Workshop delegates will also hear from a representative of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport on compliance. 

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