ODS, a wholly owned company of Oxford City Council, is meeting its compliance agenda across its owned and grey fleets totalling almost 600 vehicles – thanks to the licence checking procedures and processes within Licence Check’s DAVIS platform.
One of Oxfordshire’s biggest trade employers with a workforce of over 600 people, ODS provides managed services for the construction of housing, highways, buildings and maintenance of roads, parks and properties.
ODS operates a fleet of 330 vehicles – cars, light commercials and heavy goods vehicles – plus another 250 grey fleet cars and vans, with almost 900 registered drivers on its books – and switched to the DAVIS platform two years ago.
Driving compliance falls under the remit of Transport Manager (Compliance and Training) Chris Noonan, who said that the DAVIS solution had transformed the way that ODS was able to check the licences of its various classes of drivers with total accuracy, speed and clarity – whilst also providing simplicity of use.
“As the person responsible for fleet operations and licence checking, there is no way that I could manually check all the licences across our 895 registered drivers. DAVIS gives us the ability to manage all drivers through one compliance system, on a transparent basis, with highly visual management reporting, exception alerts and with excellent back-up and support from the team at Derby,” he said.
To help management decision-making, the more straightforward, dashboard-style reporting in DAVIS shows results at a glance and highlights any exceptions, with alerts automatically flagging events such as drivers approaching 12 penalty-point limits, or photocard licences or business insurance expiring.
“This makes my job so much easier and allows me to see at glance where action is required,” said Chris Noonan.
For him, with such a large volume of licences, one of the key benefits of introducing DAVIS has been the speed of licence checking, thanks to the use of e-mandates for driver permissions and rapid response times from the DVLA. Drivers can now be added to the system and an initial licence check carried out within just 30 minutes.
“This has been a major improvement. Now, no-one is allowed to drive any of our vehicles without first having had an in-vehicle assessment with me and also having an initial licence check,” he said.
The e-approval process is Licence Check’s most popular and regularly used method of checking drivers’ licences to the system as it requires little intervention from the fleet or transport manager other than inputting the driver’s name and email address into DAVIS.
The system then does the rest, emailing drivers directly to gain permission to carry out a check through a digital driver declaration. The service also auto-reminds drivers until the declaration is complete, so that fleet or transport management do not have to get more involved than necessary. Some 54% of licence checks are now carried out by Licence Check using this method.
“This has greatly improved the time it takes us to carry out licence checks for all our drivers, which we do every month for those on six points and every six months for those on 3-6 points,” said Chris Noonan.
For full time employed drivers, ODS adds their licence details directly into DAVIS, with the system handling all subsequent checks automatically for as long as they are employed. Leavers are simply archived once they leave the Council and notification is received from the HR department.
To manage its grey fleet vehicles as effectively as possible, ODS uses the DAVIS grey fleet module which manages the compliance around employee-owned vehicles. This includes verifying vehicle registration, road tax and MOT and recording key requirements such as motor insurance policies, with the correct level of business use cover and reporting upcoming expirations.
“We have a large number of grey fleet drivers – some 250 in total. And if any drivers want to claim mileage for using their own vehicle on Council business, they have to be on DAVIS. It’s non-negotiable,” says Chris Noonan.
“For example, within our building services department we have around 70 van drivers who use their own vans for council work activities. They are all uploaded onto the DAVIS system and all relevant checks and compliance confirmation is carried out, just as if they were using the Council’s own vehicles,” he added.