Established twenty years ago, Affordable Windows and Conservatory Group is Lancashire’s largest manufacturer of UPVC windows and doors.
Operating from three sites in the Blackpool area, the company distributes its products throughout the country through a network of accredited conservatory and double glazing installers – many of them long established, family-owned business run by professional tradesmen. All AWCG’s installers are FENSA registered and provide and insurance-backed guarantee.
Now that Affordable Windows and Conservatory Group has its fleet equipped with Quartix telematics any member of staff can locate any vehicle round the clock.
John McVey, sales director of the £20 million Lancashire company, said: “I wanted anyone in the company to be able to go on any screen in the company to find out where a vehicle is and answer the question a customer has asked, which is usually ‘when am I getting my windows?’ So this is of great benefit to us.” He also said it was important for the company to know where their vehicles were at any time, and how they were being used or even abused.
Affordable Windows and Conservatory Group (AWCG) is also benefiting from the Quartix system’s ability to highlight shorter routes, the resultant fuel savings, reduced phone bills – there is now little need for staff to call drivers to find out where they are – and opportunities to divert drivers quickly.
“Now if we have to divert a driver, we know where the nearest one is to where we need them to go. Before, you could have six drivers roughly in the same area and it was a wild guess as to who to send. Today, we can look at the on-screen map and see who’s nearest,” said Mr McVey.
The company runs eighteen 7.5 ton Daf trucks equipped with Quartix vehicle tracking, plus in-cab cameras which, said Mr McVey, drivers have welcomed – especially since a recent accident staged by criminals. “It was a case of these people pulling up abruptly and causing the accident with the aim of claiming compensation. Fortunately, the evidence was on camera and they were prosecuted. After that all drivers wanted cameras in their cabs. Our drivers have got used to the cameras, which show them and what they see.”
AWCG, which has grown rapidly over the years, eventually reached a stage where its transport-fleet management had become “erratic” and realised vehicle tracking was becoming essential. Fortunately, Mr McVey had done “a bit of spadework” on the internet to discover who was offering the best telematics system and support. After looking into five different companies he decided on Quartix.
“I found them business like, they offered the goods, had good practice and provided a good deal. Also, they were good to negotiate with and the easiest people to deal with,” he said. In fact, he is so pleased with the Quartix system’s overall efficiency he plans to add more vehicle tracking units as the company’s transport fleet expands.
Andy Kirk, Quartix sales and marketing director, said: “By helping customers reduce their routes and journey times our telematics system is saving them fuel and, therefore, cash. At the same time, it is letting them know where their vehicles are round the clock, as our important Lancashire customer, Affordable Winows and Conservatory Group, highlights here.”