Wakefield invests in "future-proof" systems

Wakefield Metropolitan District Council has recently invested in a fleet management system from the UK arm of US-based Maximus Corporation. This special feature on fleet and fuel management, complements the Tracking Trends review of Hire and Finance.


Wakefield Council has made a major investment in an advanced fleet management system with the purchase earlier this year of the web architected FleetFocus M5 Fleet Management System from the US-based Maximus Corporation. This has been successfully implemented at Wakefield by the Leeds-based arm of the Maximus UK operation.

The fleet management system went "live" in May at Wakefield. The council's Pete Johnson, Transport Services Manager, and his colleague Tom Shipp, Project Manager for Vehicle Fleet Plant Management Systems, are both convinced that the potential cost
and operational efficiency savings in the future through the Maximus system will result in the "payback" of their investment "within five years".

Mr Johnson first identified the fact that Wakefield Council would need to change its existing fleet management system two years ago. "We needed a more sophisticated system that would bring all our vehicle and workshop activities under one system as well as enable end users to have access to the system on line," he said.

"We needed a system that could cover all transport related matters as a total solution for our end users. In our case the end user consists of three fleets, Wakefield District Council's fleet, Wakefield District Housing Fleet, which is independent, and the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation fleet. The previous Wakefield Council fleet management system could not provide all these requirements and only covered the maintenance aspect of the council's fleet."

The Wakefield vehicle fleet consists of around 800 units, from small light vans, up
to 32 tonne rear end refuse collectors. The YPO fleet consists of mainly 17 tonne demountable vehicles and about 60 vehicles. The Housing vehicle fleet consists of 260 vehicles that are up to 3.5 tonnes, as well as some tippers.

Wakefield operates an in-house waste disposal fleet of 42 RCVs. In addition Transport Services looks after all the grass cutting equipment and also items for the Highways Engineers' function. If these are included the internal fleet increases to 1,500 items.
Wakefield also operates 200 vehicles that are externally hired in addition to its in house fleet. This will also be integrated onto the Maximus system.

'Future-proof' system
Project Manager Tom Shipp commented:
"We were looking for the best of breed solution to encompass everything we do at Transport Services. We were also seeking something that was forward thinking and which could integrate with existing systems and grow in tandem with the business. We wanted to be able to 'future-proof' where we were going."

Pete Johnson continued: "We have been delighted by the response from our employees. They are very pleased with the system and cannot speak highly enough about it. We will soon have all our various systems under the one solution. That will be a major achievement and a quantum leap for the business."
Mr Johnson added: "In my opinion, I can quite categorically say that it is the most advanced fleet management system in the local government sector today.

"It will place Wakefield Council at the leading edge in fleet management and ahead of every other local council in the country in terms of vehicle fleet efficiency. We have strived to be the best in every area of our business and the Maximus has provided us with the tools to bring measurable cost and efficiency benefits in Transport Services,"
he said.

Martin Greaves, Managing Director of Maximus, said his team "hit the ground running" with the new Wakefield contract which he sees as a first step into the local authority sector in the UK.

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