Rounded Edge were at the Enhancing Housing Services Through Innovation & Technology 2017 Conference this week (catchy title, eh?), helping TomTom Telematics showcase WEBFLEET, their award-winning fleet management solution.
On the road with TomTom
WEBFLEET uses TomTom’s proprietary mapping software and information from Google Maps to facilitate real-time information about the location of a fleet of vehicles. We should remember that TomTom were pioneering satellite-based positioning systems back in the day, when Google still thought of itself as just a search engine.
TomTom’s map shows traffic and other information pertaining to possible delays that can help to organise routes and lower journey times. Tracking gives access to data on things like the speed, fuel consumption and current direction of the vehicle, together with the more obvious trail of where it has been and where it is now. This information is cross-referenced with the route and traffic information to give estimated time of arrival.
The driver’s name and vehicle type are also logged and a messaging system allows for objectives to be updated, orders to be added, information to be shared and so on. Vehicle details can be managed including a maintenance schedule and a monthly reminder to write CLEAN ME in the dirt on the back doors.
TomTom even claim that the system can help to improve driver behaviour. This is partially due to awareness of economy and avoidance of bad routes, but might also be the consequence of the Big Brother level of knowledge available to system administrators. In other words, accountability is built-in. We’re guessing the drivers might feel a bit twitchy about that.
A fleeting crisis
On a more serious note, the conference’s aim is to drive efficiency and productivity in the social housing sector, and social housing is more than usual at the forefront of our minds following the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14th June. So the conference may have focussed on technological transformation in the management of services, but the human story behind social housing will no doubt have impacted the presentations more as a result of recent events.
And on a much less serious note, we had some fun and games with the build for this event. On the face of it, it was quite straightforward – a 3x2m space with a back-wall using our ever-popular Twist display banner system, including an audio-visual unit in the right-most of the 3 seamlessly-linked panels.
Behind the scenes though, we found central London parking to be its usual nightmare for our van. Our installer, Lee, had to burn off a few doughnuts running in and out of the conference suite to get the kit in quickly, desperately scanning the horizon for the dark menace of a traffic warden each time he emerged.
What’s more, we later got that sinking feeling when we realised towards the end of the build that there was a graphic panel missing. Let’s be honest about this; occasionally even solid stock management systems can struggle a little with shared kit that comes in and out regularly for use at multiple events. Mistakes like this are very rare, but they do present an opportunity to fulfil an aspect of our business at Rounded Edge about which we are rightfully proud.
We’re quite happy to be judged on the way we dealt with this mini-crisis, because it highlights our ‘above and beyond’ attitude to service. We immediately had someone pick up the graphic panel from our warehouse in Skipton and organised a courier, who got it to the London venue (Park Plaza, Victoria) by 9am the following morning, in time for the start of the conference.
Let’s hope the courier was using TomTom Telematics WEBFLEET in his vehicle, because that would just be a beautifully poetic way to end the story.
Premium portable and modular exhibition display system
Entry-level exhibition roller banner
Packaging and dispatch