: September 27th, 2013

The cost of operating a fleet of vehicles is steadily rising. This article describes how to get a grip on the costs, drive them down and increase safety at the same time.


Founded in 1988, Shred-it is the world’s largest mobile secure document and paper shredding company, working to help businesses meet their compliance obligations by delivering unparalleled security and service for the information they value.
On a global scale, Shred-it has more than 140 branches worldwide, servicing over 150,000 customers on five continents, which include the world’s top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges.

The Challenge

Shred-it opened its first franchise in the UK in 1999 and since then has experienced tremendous growth. It currently services over 17,000 customers across its national network of 15 branches and operates over a 150 vehicle fleet.

Maintaining the security of its customers’ confidential material and doing everything it takes to exceed customer expectations is of paramount importance to Shred-it but a lack of overall visibility of its fleet of vehicles proved detrimental to achieving this. The Shred-it fleet was not fully equipped with a solution to monitor where a vehicle was at any given time or how efficient the workforce would be performing job-to-job. It became apparent that a comprehensive vehicle location solution was required to better manage fleet utilisation and worker productivity.

As well as knowing where its vehicles were at any given time, there was also a concern, for Shred-it, for knowing how they were being driven. Safeguarding its drivers, mitigating the risk of collisions and reducing insurance premiums were all priorities. A solution to help monitor driving behaviour was required.

Shred-it’s fleet of vehicles are constantly out on the road, which consequently means running up high fuel bills and high mileage. With no diagnostic information on fuel use or the health of the vehicle available, Shred-it had no clear idea on how much they were spending on unnecessary operational costs.

The solution

As a leading provider of field service management solutions, Shred-it turned to Trimble to help them streamline their operations. To achieve this, Trimble’s GeoManager Fleet Management and Driver Safety solutions were deployed across its UK fleet of 150 vehicles.

The technologies were rolled out as part of the Zurich Fleet Intelligence programme which offers a complete solution, combining vehicle telematics technology, insightful reporting, driver development tools and support from Zurich’s risk engineering and underwriting experts.
John Gavin, UK Operations Support, Project & Standards Lead at Shred-it said, “We considered a number of providers to equip us with a long-term solution but working with Trimble was the natural first choice. Not only were they recommended as part of the Zurich Fleet Intelligence programme but they provided the most comprehensive and cost-effective solution for vehicle management and managing driving behaviour – our top priorities.”

GeoManager’s Fleet Management capabilities provides real time visibility into day-to-day fleet operations, enabling managers to identify, manage and improve key areas such as vehicle utilisation, maintenance planning and customer service. Fleet managers are also able to pick up on location, diagnostics and exception alerts to help decrease fuel costs, increase vehicle utilisation and reduce vehicle component wear and tear which in turn helps reduce vehicle downtime.

Shred-it also invested in Trimble GeoManager Driver Safety, an advanced telematics solution that allows fleet managers to monitor driver behaviour and provides comprehensive analysis of manoeuvres, such as hard acceleration and braking, aggressive turns and speed. The solution also provides instant alerts to the driver allowing them to modify their driving behaviour immediately. With this data at hand, managers can then effectively manage the driving behaviour of their workforce through looking at trends over time or drilling down into individual events, allowing reward or training and awareness programmes to be put into place.
The benefits

Since deploying Trimble’s fleet management technology, real-time visibility into the location of a vehicle on the road has helped Shred-it to make more informed decisions in the planning and allocation of work across its workforce.

Audits are run daily on vehicles to compare driver logs which have essentially provided a ‘productivity check’ for individual drivers. Shred-it is also able to pick up on any vehicles across the fleet that are being under-utilised and what vehicles aren’t being used at all. This has helped them to increase efficiencies, leading to an 8 per cent growth in the business, achieved without introducing any additional vehicles to the fleet.

As well as the fleet management capabilities, Trimble vehicle diagnostics tools have also helped to lower the risk of mechanical failure by identifying potential faults before a breakdown occurs. This has kept vehicle downtime to a minimum whilst optimising the time and effectiveness of the fleet. Being able to obtain real-time data on fuel consumption so exact fuel use can be monitored, has also helped to identify where fuel is being wasted on poorly performing vehicles.
The deployment of Trimble’s driver safety solution has resulted in lower collisions and liability therefore helping to manage the risks and costs associated with work-related driving. John Gavin said, “We were particularly impressed by the driver safety in-vehicle hardware that alerts drivers to behaviours outside set guidelines. They are provided with real-time feedback about their driving behaviour so they can make immediate changes to their driving style. This has proven beneficial to accurately measure and mitigate fleet safety risks and we have seen a difference in that our drivers have slowed down in regards to speeding and we have seen an increase in driver score.”

Mark Forrest, general manager of Trimble Field Service Management, said: “With a company consistently striving to meet and exceed customer expectations, streamlining business processes with the best technology available to support this was essential. From having little visibility of their fleet , Shred-it are now able to accurately report on and manage all aspects of its fleet down to individual drivers, which has led to increased productivity, improved driver safety and reduced operational costs.”