– By Greg Newham, APAC Associate Director Verizon Connect –
The Australian Foundation for Disability (Afford) is one of the longest serving disability service providers in Australia. Serving more than 6,000 clients throughout Australia, their mission is to provide high-quality, personalised support for people with disability and help them live life to the fullest.
The team at Afford relies on its Australia-wide fleet of more than 400 vehicles to carry out their day-to-day operations. They needed an effective way to keep things running smoothly and to manage the vehicles to deliver exceptional service to their clients.
Part of Afford’s daily activity involves ferrying clients on social outings, day trips and community activities. This means that driver behaviour and on-road safety is a top priority.
In addition, the team also needed to gauge each driver’s driving proficiency. This, however, proved challenging without a comprehensive vehicle tracking solution. The safety of clients is of the utmost importance to Afford, as families place their trust in the not-for-profit organisation to deliver reliable and high-quality disability services
Safer driving to improve service delivery
After studying options available in the market, Afford turned to Verizon Connect’s Reveal, a cloud-based, fleet management platform that provided GPS fleet tracking to help the company gain a 360-degree overview of all fleet management operations.
Afford’s Reveal platform is armed with an integrated “smart” dashcam technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and capture potentially dangerous or harsh driving behaviours. If a driver shows any of these behaviours, for example hard braking, hard cornering or rapid acceleration, the video clip is automatically classified by the software as a collision, dangerous, harsh driving or low risk. In this way, video footage of incidents can educate drivers on better ways to approach various driving conditions, to ensure the comfort and safety of their passengers.
These clips are also automatically sent to the company’s fleet team leaders to review potentially dangerous situations and respond. This ensures both drivers and clients get additional protection, with fleet managers able to see whether these incidents require immediate attention through near real-time alerts.
Afford’s leadership team now uses Reveal to educate its drivers and promote best practices for safe driving. The footage helps to contextualise the incident circumstances, provide real-world instruction and training as well as guidance for drivers on how to avoid these situations in the future.
Since implementation, Afford have noticed a positive outcome.. This has helped provide consistent, high-quality client services and builds greater trust with clients and their families.
Location tracking ensures vehicles are available when needed
Theft, unauthorised use of vehicles and accurate availability numbers are also concerns for Afford, especially since the vehicles are customised to cater for the needs of people with disability. Before implementing Reveal, there wasn’t a way to monitor real-time vehicle availability or provide visibility over wait times, so staff were unable to provide prompt expected time of arrival (ETA) updates to clients.
Using the Reveal system, fleet managers can set up alerts to track any unusual activity, such as when the vehicle is at the wrong location. From the Live Map, fleet managers can easily monitor the current vehicle locations to determine whether vehicles are in the right location at the right time, and give clients near real-time ETA updates, giving them and their families peace of mind in regard to client safety and whereabouts.
By using GPS location tracking, Afford can prevent vehicle theft and unauthorised use. This means the organisation can avoid unexpected fleet costs and reduce management stress, as well as reduce fleet wear and tear that results from unnecessary vehicle overuse.
By knowing where each vehicle is located, Afford can assign jobs to the closest available vehicle and reduce expected wait times for clients. This enables Afford to continue providing improved client service, and delivering an exceptional care experience to clients.
Afford is building on its 70 years of hands-on, client services, to evolve its operations and is proud to have improved vehicle safety, and driver experience, as well as reduce the expense from vehicle downtime, to continue providing dedicated care services to clients.