Road safety record puts transport manager in line for excellence award

Andrew Smith, a transport manager at Lanes Group plc, has been shortlisted for a Thames Water Spotlight on Excellence Award for his innovative use of one of the world’s most sophisticated vehicle tracking platforms.

He uses features in the Samsara software so cleverly to drive up Lanes’ road safety record that his work is being showcased globally to demonstrate what can be achieved with the system.

Now that determination to set high safety standards has been rewarded with Andrew being announced as a finalist in the UK’s largest water company’s annual awards, under the Take Care Category.

He will find out if he has won a Spotlight on Excellence Award at a  ceremony on Thursday 23rd November 23, 2023 – aptly, during Road Safety Week, run by the charity Brake, which Lanes is supporting.

Lanes Director Andy Brierley said: “Andrew has gone above and beyond. He’s a true road safety champion. Driving and vehicle maintenance are our biggest risks.

“So, arguably, he’s had a bigger impact on safety for Thames Water than any other individual at Lanes in the last two years. He deserves this award so we all hope he wins it.”

Andrew is responsible for managing the fleet of 660 vehicles, including cars, vans and HGVs, operated by Lanes as Thames Water’s wastewater network service maintenance partner.

He was instrumental in introducing Samsara to support management of the fleet – and his work has been so successful a major programme to roll out the platform across the whole of Lanes has just been completed.

Samsara uses AI software to monitor the way vehicles are driven and the behaviour of drivers, with cameras facing forwards and back into the cab.

It gives Lanes real-time information about driver speeds, driving style, vehicle condition, maintenance checks, and huge amounts of data for fleet safety analysis.

The impact of Andrew’s work to develop Lanes’ use of Samsara since its introduction in 2021 has been impressive:

  • Lanes drivers are in the top 15% for standards achieved for all drivers monitored by Samsara globally;
  • Average driver safety scores have risen from 60/100 to 82/100;
  • Lanes is within the top 3% for the strictness of the driving standards it sets using Samsara;
  • Annual insurance claims costs have fallen by £150,000;
  • Average claim costs have fallen by £1,000;
  • The severity of insurance claims has greatly reduced;
  • A substantial number of 50-50 blame incidents have switched to non-fault;
  • Dozens of fraudulent claims have been successfully challenged and dismissed.

Not content with Samsara’s standard settings, Andrew has seen the opportunity to use its form generation software to create powerful additional functionality. This includes:

  • A daily work form and wellbeing check, which asks every field driver how they feel as they open the Samsara app at the start of each shift, offering support if they want it.
  • A daily vehicle check and vehicle off road system, with transport managers alerted within 30 minutes if vehicle checks are not carried out.

Lanes Thames Water uses the Samsara document system to collect 49,000 forms per month, more than any other user in Europe.

It creates a rich pool of data for analysing performance, and saves 588,000 sheets of paper a year, equivalent to 35 tonnes of CO2.

Andrew’s innovative adaptation of the software for the Thames Water contract has led Samsara to use Lanes as an exemplar case study to show other customers globally how to optimise the software.

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