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Quartix tracks charity drive

September 22, 2016

charity-picLast month Mr. David Berry successfully completed a charity drive all the way from John O’Groats to Lands-End, raising money for The Mary Stevens Hospice. The entire journey was tracked using a portable Quartix unit, which was provided especially for the occasion.

Mr. Berry, who heard of Quartix through Shire Consulting, led a team of three who drove the entire distance in a classic Rolls Royce, making scheduled stops along the way.

He explains,

“We zig-zagged our way down the country stopping off at various clients and suppliers my company has used for the last 50 years. It was great for them to be able to follow us on the interactive map and chart our progress.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing however, with one incident threatening to bring the journey to a halt. Within the first few days, David and his team found themselves almost without fuel and with no petrol station in sight. After having no luck searching with their satnav, David had an idea:

“I suddenly had a eureka moment, called the office, and on the tracker they could see exactly where we were and that we were thankfully only a stone’s throw away from a back of beyond one man filling station. Tragedy averted!”

Back on the road again they completed their challenge safely and in good time.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all concerned at Quartix for providing us with one of your vehicle trackers during our charity drive. For so many reasons, all-in-all a resounding success for your system.”

Mary Stevens Hospice provides free specialist care for people living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses in Dudley Borough and the surrounding area, as well as dedicated support for their families and carers.

 

 

 
 

Quartix appoints head of French operations

June 1, 2016

Donato Quagliariello 01Quartix Ltd, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of vehicle tracking systems, software, and services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Donato Quagliariello as a director of the company responsible for operations in France.

Donato brings to Quartix an extensive track record of success in international business development. He spent the first decade of his career with ExxonMobil where he worked in a succession of management positions and national/global account management roles.

From ExxonMobil he joined CeDo, a manufacturer of household products serving Europe’s leading retailers and wholesalers, as Country Manager for France and Iberia. Under his leadership, the unit experienced sustained and profitable growth to become a leading contributor to the overall performance of the company.

He was appointed to the role of Group Sales and Marketing Director in 2012, based in the UK, with responsibility for CeDo’s international business.

Donato graduated from the ESLSCA Business School, based in Paris, and is a fluent speaker of French, English, Italian and Spanish.  He will start his new role with Quartix on July 1st.

Commenting on the appointment, Andy Walters, Managing Director of Quartix Ltd., said: “We are delighted to welcome Donato to the company. His education and background in international sales and marketing are a perfect fit with the requirements of our operations in France, which have been steadily growing since 2010.’’

 

Tracking Quartix’s 250,000th tracker

February 22, 2016

Just in time for the celebrations around our 15th anniversary on 14 February 2016, we at Quartix have produced our 250,000th tracking unit, a milestone achievement of which we are immensely proud.

In honour of this, we’re taking a closer look at unit 250,000, by tracing the first few months of what will be a long life of service and highlighting the different departments within Quartix that have played a part in getting this unit up and running.

unit2

Development – Unit 250,000 was designed and assembled in Cambridge by our in-house technology team.  If any future software updates are required for the tracker itself, our telematics team will be able to coordinate these over-the-air, without the need to physically access an installed unit.

 

sales

Sales – The Quartix Sales team is the first point of contact between us and our customers.  The customer who will eventually have unit 250,000 was brought to us by the efforts of our Sales team and it’s through their dedication to our product, not to mention the benefits, features and affordable price of the system itself, that they arrived at the decision to choose us as their vehicle tracking provider.

 

admin

Admin – The Sales Administration team are charged with the follow-through of a sale. Once the Sales team takes an order, Admin takes over, raising the appropriate paperwork. Their attention to detail gives our customers peace of mind.

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Four easy steps to help maximise your telematics system experience

December 7, 2015

The decision to start tracking your vehicles requires thought and research and, in the end, may come down to the availability and variety of features provided by the supplier. But once your choice is made, the tracking units are installed, and data begins to come through, your management of that data ultimately decides whether or not you see savings.

In other words, although installing a tracking system is a fantastic step towards fleet efficiency, it’s just the beginning. Not only is it important that you understand how to analyse the information you will receive, but you must have a plan in place for how to apply it to your current practises to effect changes for the better.

vehicle tracking image for blog2

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you find the right system for your company:

  • Before purchasing or renting, demo the system. Quartix provides a free demonstration of our award-winning vehicle tracking that can take as little as ten minutes, or as long as a customer needs. One of our experienced sales team members can guide you through the demo or you can choose to explore the site on your own. Having a complete understanding of the system before you decide to rent or buy will ensure that you’ll be able to take full advantage of its features when your own vehicles begin to be tracked.
  • Provide training for any and all employees who will be monitoring and/or utilising the tracking information. To this end, Quartix offers a variety of free training opportunities, including sessions conducted in-person, over the phone or even online, that are all designed to make our user-friendly system even easier. Since the sessions are live, our team will be there to answer any questions you or your employees might have. Our goal is to make certain that you are comfortable with every aspect of our system.

Still, having telematics in place and even having them monitored isn’t enough. Here are a few further steps you can take to ensure that you see results:

  • Encourage your drivers to perform better through rewards. There could potentially be instances where information captured by your telematics system warrants immediate disciplinary action, but many customers find that rewarding good driver performance, rather than penalising poor performance, is a great motivator towards improvement. Quartix Driving Style can help you identify which drivers are performing well and which drivers need attention, which will make your fleet safer and could even reduce fuel costs.
  • Ensure that any necessary actions are taken and documented. The Quartix system has comprehensive reporting features that are easily read and understood, ensuring that you are always aware of your fleet’s activities. In the case of reckless or illegal behaviours that are recorded via tracking, it is imperative that appropriate actions are taken to avoid liabilities, and with the Quartix system, you have the tools needed to react to any situation rapidly, with a complete understanding of the circumstances.

There’s no doubt that the wealth of information provided by a system such as Quartix Vehicle Tracking can seem potentially overwhelming, but with a plan in place and with the right training needed to implement it, you can get the absolute most out of your telematics system and the best returns on your investment.

 

Quartix Telematics, data protection and human rights

October 26, 2015

Andy_Walters

Andy Walters founded Quartix in 2001 with three colleagues. All four founders are still associated with the company, which now has more than 7,000 fleet clients, and operations in the UK, France and USA. Quartix has also carried out more than 110,000 installations for telematics-based insurance policies. Prior to Quartix, Andy held senior positions in technology and communications businesses within Schlumberger and Spectris.

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In my last blog article, I looked at the introduction of vehicle tracking into a mobile workforce, focusing in particular on the impact on employment contracts and implementation issues.

In this article, I will concentrate on the implications of vehicle monitoring with respect to the Data Protection Act and Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. A good guide to this is published by the Information Commissioner’s Office, or ICO. Part 3 of their guide specifically covers “Monitoring at work,” including vehicle tracking. It lists the following core principles:

  • It will usually be intrusive to monitor your workers.
  • Workers have legitimate expectations that they can keep their personal lives private and that they are also entitled to a degree of privacy in the work environment.
  • If employers wish to monitor their workers, they should be clear about the purpose and be satisfied that the particular monitoring arrangement is justified by real benefits which will be delivered.
  • Workers should be aware of the nature, extent and reasons for any monitoring unless (exceptionally) covert monitoring is justified.
  • In any event, workers’ awareness will influence their expectations.

It is useful to start with the third of these principles. Can vehicle monitoring be justified by real benefits which will be delivered? The overwhelming answer from our customers is yes, but despite this, it remains essential to manage this telematics technology in a way which respects the rest of the core principles and the Acts themselves. Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which states that “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence” is also covered by these principles, and so what follows here is a short guide concerning the impact of both Acts on the use of vehicle telematics tracking:

shutterstock_99310907_smallPersonal data. In the context of vehicle telematics tracking this is mainly the storage and processing of information related to places visited and routes driven by an employee in his or her own personal time. If the employee is allowed to use the vehicle for private purposes, he must, as a minimum, be aware of this practice and must have consented to it freely. The vehicle tracking system should preferably be set to maintain complete privacy for the driver’s personal time (see below).

‘Covert’ installations. The guide makes it clear that installing a monitoring telematics box without the employee’s knowledge will rarely be justified. It is also difficult to justify in management terms – as the user would be able to do nothing useful with the data. An example of this in our customer base concerned a worker and co-worker claiming 8 hours each at double time for a job carried out on a Sunday. The vehicle tracking system, which had been installed without their knowledge, showed that they had been present on site for just 2.5 hours. Unfortunately, the workers’ timesheets could not be challenged because they had been unaware of the presence of the vehicle tracking system, and the employer had to pay for 27 unwarranted hours of labour. Had the workers been aware of the vehicle tracking system they would not have filed a fraudulent timesheet in the first place and the discrepancy would not have arisen.

Maintaining worker privacy. One of the unique features of the Quartix vehicle tracking system is that privacy settings for personal time can be customized and maintained via our website or the driver’s mobile phone. The employer can set up standard working hours profiles for each vehicle (covering Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and the system will not record vehicle movements outside of these periods. The user can, however, override this using his or her mobile phone, by sending a coded text message. Similarly, bank holidays and annual vacation periods can be ignored by the vehicle tracking system simply by changing the configuration on the website. The telematics system still maintains the ability to locate the vehicle in the case of theft.

Access to data. It is important that workers are aware of what information is being recorded, and why. It is also important that they should have free access to the data stored and be allowed to challenge it. Some systems dispatch vehicle tracking reports by e-mail to the employer and can also dispatch the same reports directly to the user of the vehicle – so that he or she is aware of the data at the same time as the HR department.

Control of data. The provisions of the Data Protection Act apply to the control, storage and processing of personal data recorded by a vehicle tracking system, although it would be impossible to cover these in enough depth in this article. Breaches of the Data Protection Act fall under the purview of the ICO, as do the subsequent investigations.  For breaches that are deemed serious, heavy penalties can apply. It is recommended that use of the vehicle tracking system is placed under the control and management of those responsible for compliance with the Act within the organisation.

In my next post, I will bring together the various topics covered in the first three articles by presenting a case study of the implementation of vehicle tracking in a large fleet – looking at the financial benefits, implementation issues and management of the telematics system.

 

Quartix Vehicle Tracking Director Completes Chicago Marathon Trip

October 16, 2015

Hi, this is Peter Brown again the Quartix Vehicle Tracking Systems Development Director, following on from my previous blog post about my recent Chicago Marathon in the US.

I completed the Chicago Marathon on the 11th October 2015 in 4 hours 23 minutes and 45 seconds; please click this link for the results details.  It was a fantastic event on a clear and sunny day in Chicago with lots of support throughout the 26.2 miles.  Below is the view of the trip as recorded by the Quartix Vehicle Tracking Device I carried with me and, for comparison, the route map from the Chicago marathon site (www.chicagomarathon.com) .

The Chicago Marathon as recorded by the Quartix Vehicle Tracking unit

The Chicago Marathon as recorded by the Quartix Vehicle Tracking unit

Chicago Marathon route map from the Chicago Marathon web site

Chicago Marathon route map from the Chicago Marathon web site

Going back to the day before, it was a bit frantic as my flight was 3 hours late which left me just one hour from when we landed to pick up my participant pack. The Chicago Marathon team were very understanding and were waiting with my pack when I got there half an hour late.  Once that was done, it was a short trip to my hotel and after a pre-race burger and fries (did I say I was an athlete?), it was time to rest.  My hotel was thankfully just on Michigan Avenue, opposite Grant Park where the race started, so for the 07:30 am start, it didn’t take long once I was up to get out and find my starting corral.

For an event of 45,000 runners, it was well organised with plenty of marshalls directing the participants to their starting positions. Despite the early start everyone was in good spirits and raring to go.  I had expected a slow congested first few miles, but it was actually not too bad.  There were spectators along the route with entertaining, encouraging messages both on boards and being shouted, which I won’t repeat here as the ones I can remember are not for family consumption.  There were a large number of messages encouraging a ‘random stranger’; that was a great thing to see, as some would say runners are quite random and strange.  The support was fantastic throughout the course in all the neighbourhoods, with music at various points including live performances.  I may have been hallucinating, but I am sure I saw Elvis.

Peter Brown After Marathon

Peter Brown after Marathon

As shown in the maps above, the Quartix Vehicle Tracker worked and even kept going to the end, which means it lasted almost five hours, as I turned it on when I got into the corral around 07:15 am.  It was 07:41 am when I passed the start line; I finished and turned it off at 12:05 pm.  As stated in the previous post, the Quartix Vehicle Tracker is not much bigger than a mobile phone, although a bit thicker, so it was no problem to carry it in the pouch you can see on my waist in the photo.

Yes, this is me, fit as a fiddle after the event, struggling to stand up under the weight of my medal.  We will look at the data and see whether there is anything to be learned about slow moving vehicles…and for the last few miles it was tracking a very slow moving vehicle.

I would like to thank all the people who have sponsored me so far, and if anyone out there would still like to contribute to the Make a Wish foundation then my page will be active for a month after the event at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=PeterBrown320.

Again thanks for reading,

Peter Brown

Quartix Vehicle Tracking Systems Development Director

 

Marathon Trip for Quartix Vehicle Tracking Director

September 21, 2015

PeterBrownHi, my name is Peter Brown and I am the Director of Systems Development at Quartix Vehicle Tracking.  This blog post is to let people know that I will be running the Chicago Marathon on the 11th October 2015 in aid of the Make a Wish Foundation.  Back in 2010 I ran my ‘last’ marathon in a small event in Abingdon when I was younger, lighter and had more hair, well maybe I didn’t have more hair but I was definitely 5 years younger and about a stone lighter.

Quartix Vehicle Tracking has a Sales and Support office in Chicago covering the whole of the US, supplying Fleet Tracking devices to our customers and supporting their use of the online Fleet Management Software application.   The Quartix Vehicle Tracking Devices are compact and lightweight, they need to be as I am planning on carrying one on the 26.2 mile run with me.  The device is usually powered by the vehicle battery but hopefully something smaller than that will last the 4 hours I am expecting it to take me to complete the course.  The Chicago Marathon starts and ends in Grant Park and takes tens of thousands of runners through 29 neighbourhoods in front of 1.7 million spectators.

vehicle tracking unit

vehicle tracking unit

The Quartix Vehicle Tracking Device works over the mobile phone network to send Vehicle Tracking data to the Fleet Management System that we develop and support end to end.  By setting up the device I will be carrying the system and I will appear on the Quartix online web application probably as one of the slowest vehicles the system has ever reported on.   I doubt I will get up sufficient speed to register a Driving Style score let alone an incident alert, but there may be a few stop events especially towards the end.

Briefly the Make a Wish Foundation grants magical wishes to children with life threatening conditions around the world.  I have set up a fundraising page using the Virgin Money Giving Site and would be very grateful for any sponsorship and support :

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=PeterBrown320

If anyone from the US would like to contribute I have also set up a page on the Make a Wish Foundation site there:

http://site.wish.org/site/TR/FriendsandFamily/Make-A-WishIllinois?px=2983642&pg=personal&fr_id=1581

Thanks for reading this, there will be a post race post to follow.

 

Driving-style monitoring beneficial for grounds maintenance company

June 17, 2015

MattOConnerHertfordshire-based John O’Conner Ground Maintenance has been a customer with Quartix Vehicle Tracking since 2004. It’s a privately owned company with people at its heart. It is not hidebound in hierarchy; if anyone needs to speak to one of the company’s Directors, the MD, or even the Chairman, it’s a matter of picking up the phone – or walking into the company offices.

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Quartix builds room for expansion

April 2, 2015

AMK_1 head

Andy Kirk, Sales & Marketing Director, is a co-founder of Quartix and has over 37 years’ experience in sales, marketing and operations within the technology and precision engineering sectors. Prior to founding Quartix, he was Head of Operations at Telespec plc having previously held senior operations roles at Arcom Control Systems and Shrewsbury Technology Ltd. Andy has a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).————————————————————————————————————————–

We have enjoyed rapid growth in both our fleet and insurance businesses over the past few years, but this has inevitably put some strain on office capacity at Chapel Offices in Newtown, our main centre. All sales, marketing, support, installation and administration functions for our core fleet vehicle tracking business are based here, as are our insurance telematics operations. So we were delighted to be offered additional office accommodation directly adjacent to our existing premises, and were given access to half of this space at the end of January.

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27th January we take possession of the new offices and start the complete renovation process

In less than eight weeks we have had these offices completely refurbished, rewired and configured to meet our needs for internet access, networking, VOIP telephone systems, decorations and fixtures. The final stage of implementation will bring enhanced network bandwidth through direct fibre connection from the exchange to these premises and our existing office buildings within the next two weeks, completing a fibre “triangle” with active fail-safe redundancy between the exchange and our offices.

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13th March – less than 2 weeks to go

Our insurance telematics operations successfully moved across at the start of the working day on 26th March without any disruption to our clients whatsoever. The project was successfully managed by our systems team, based in Bishop’s Waltham, led by Peter Brown, and our support manager, Ian Pawley, who is based in Newtown. The same VOIP telephony, VPN networks and SQL database systems are now used across our operations in Bishop’s Waltham, Newtown and Chicago.

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 26th March – our Insurance and Installation teams are in place and fully operational

The ground floor of Chapel Offices has now become available for the planned expansion of our UK sales operation, which will triple in size over the next 6 months. Recruitment is well underway. The other half of the new offices will be made available to us during the next three months, allowing us to continue the expansion of our French sales team.  tombstone