4 ways to reduce the Transport Cost per Employee

On an average Transport cost per employee per month varies from Rs. 3,500 – Rs. 10,000 depending on the city and scale of operation. Irrespective of the size and scale, companies can take steps to reduce the per employee transport cost which ultimately reduces the overall transportation and administration expense. Let us look at 4 actionable items that can lead to a reduction in expense.

Automated Routing

picture1 In a manual operation, creation of routes consume several man hours and the output is not optimized for efficiency. Some transport managers may argue that our routes are evolved through years of experience and knowledge of every nook, corner and lane in the city. While that may be true, knowledge of geography does not translate into mathematical precision and efficiencies. After all, Garry Kasparov was beaten by Deep Blue in the mid 1990’s. In our engagements with 60+ companies, we have found that there is scope for at least 3% efficiency gains going up to 12% in some cases. How the routing produces optimized output is a topic for another day. But broadly algorithms construct a distance matrix identifying the distance between one employee and the rest and similarly among all employees and generates a combination of routes. These routes are further refined to the most optimal ones (least distance and maximum seat utilization) subject to various constraints such as max distance deviation, max time, and available fleet mix. With cloud computing, this complex task is executed in a couple of minutes and the transport supervisors can quickly proceed to deploy vehicles to the generated routes. This not only saves significant time but also reduces the number of trips, vehicles and overall KMs, thereby reducing the overall cost.

Renegotiation of Contracts

picture2 With automated routing transport managers possess an important arsenal to generate a myriad combination of routes by varying the applied constraints such as distance deviation, max distance, max time and available fleet mix and algorithm type – distance, zone and cluster. The output can then be analysed and compared with the past trips and expenses and the one that offers the maximum efficiency without sacrificing employee convenience can be narrowed down to. Armed with this insight transport managers can now go back to transport vendors to restructure and renegotiate contracts which offer them the most value and benefits.

Reduction of Manpower

picture3 With end to end automation, companies achieve significant efficiency in every step of the transport operation, be it Rostering, Routing, Tracking, Trip deployment, etc. Where several resources were handling routing, MIS, employee queries, vendor management, etc can be reduced to one or two resources as a result of automated system. In a large scale operation, up to 40% of manpower can be reduced generating reasonable savings for the company.

Reduce Stationary and Telephony cost

picture4 While these may not be as big an expense, any reduction achieved can augment to the overall efficiency and savings. With automated system up to 80% of the stationary and outgoing calls can be avoided contributing to the overall reduction in transport expense. From an organizational perspective, reduction of paper usage enables facility team to contribute to the organizations green policy and initiatives.

Monitoring Driver Performance for Safe Employee Transport Operation

The performance of drivers largely decides the success and stability of any transport operation. Recent years have seen the proliferation of GPS devices, and most cabs on the road today have GPS device fitted in them. However, whether the device generates the right data and whether those are tracked by the supervisors/managers is questionable. One can blame the cheap GPS devices in the market and poor tracking software as major reasons. A sophisticated GPS device can gather lot of important metrics regarding driver performance which can help in identifying potentially risky drivers enabling supervisors to warn them at the right time. Let us examine some of the driver performance metrics that can help in establishing a safe employee transportation operation.

Speed Violations

1 Overspeeding is an indication of lack of patience and discipline and makes the driver erratic and risky. The number of speed violations and duration of the speed recorded by the GPS device can help manager decide on the risk profile of the driver. Most fatal accidents are result of over speeding and it is prudent to be watchful on this metric and share the feedback with drivers to avoid accidents.

Average Speed

2 Most drivers are not conscious of the average speed and would be happy to learn and adjust their driving behaviours. An average speed must be measured along the duration of the day to be able to provide constructive feedback. A driver doing trips during peak times might have a low average speed, which should be benchmarked against the average speed during those hours. Similarly, a driver doing duty in lean hours should be benchmarked against acceptable average speed in those hours.

On time / Late Arrival

3 This metric assumes significance in the IT/ITES industry as even a 5 minute delay in arrival can lead to loss in productivity and revenues for a company. With GPS tracking, geo-fencing and trip management, it should be easy to track and stay on top of this metric.

Scheduled vs. Actual KM

4 The difference occurs when drivers deviate from scheduled routes or tamper the odometers. In either case it directly results in inflated KMs and overpaying the vendors.

Harsh Events

5 An advanced GPS device comes with 3-axis accelerometer and extra sensors which helps detect core inherent driving patterns such as fast lane change, harsh braking, harsh cornering, sudden acceleration and other potentially risky manoeuvres. These metrics help in creating a comprehensive and accurate driver scorecard enabling managers to provide precise feedback to drivers and vendors.