Smart Functions Boost Profitability

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Delays and damages occur in various transport situations and lead to extra costs – that’s a fact. But how can you try to minimise damage and delays and increase the profitability of your business?

A haulier’s profitability is essential for gaining access to tomorrow’s business. But how can you ensure optimal profitability and efficiency?

During a haulier’s workday, there are numerous things – both large and small – that must function efficiently. An efficient business is contingent on everyone taking responsibility for their tasks and working towards the same goal. Furthermore, you should follow current industry regulations, take a climate-smart approach, and have a good HR policy. To get answers to our questions, we had a digital chat with Håkan Hansson at Mertz Transport about how smart functions have contributed to their efficiency and profitability.

Hi, Håkan! What is your role at Mertz Transport and what is your background?
- I started as a mechanic, and I’ve tried out several different positions over the years. Today I’m responsible for the vehicle fleet’s service and repairs.

Can you tell us a little about your business?
- Our main business is long-distance hauling, we have around 300 units in total. We currently have approximately 300 employees in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg. Mertz transport AB is a growing haulage company and has basically doubled its operations over the last decade.

The company was founded in 1971 as a one-vehicle haulage company and has since transported to the long-established bakery Pågen, and we still do today. So, it’s definitely a long-term business relationship.

What smart function or accessory helps make your business more efficient and profitable?
- Several electrical and digital functions have emerged, such as ABS, Fleet Management System with vehicle diagnosis, positioning; I consider all of these to be smart functions.

An example of a smart accessory we retrofit is VBG MechMatic, and it’s installed in around sixty of our vehicles at present. MechMatic has saved us many mechanism changes. I have also considered central lubrication for the entire vehicle but have not yet taken that step.

For us, positioning and fuel monitoring are important and helpful functions that have come into their own in recent years. It is a great advantage to see the vehicles’ position, that the vehicles are at the right terminal at the right time. Fleet management systems also send automatic notifications for servicing when the time comes. All these things help us keep costs down by being efficient in our daily work.

Speaking of keeping costs down, which damage costs are most common at your company?
- Collision damage, jackknifing, damaged hoses and electrical cables, drawbars, and problems with the drawbar damaging the trailer coupling when reversing are some examples of costly damage.
These can be costs up to SEK 150,000 on a single vehicle. Counting on approximately SEK 20,000 per vehicle a year in damage costs is not unrealistic.

Do you see any opportunities and options to reduce your damage costs?
- Your upcoming jackknifing system is very interesting. The more experienced drivers have no problems with jackknifing and reversing, but inexperienced drivers need help functions such as your Driver Assist System. It seems to be a smart function to help prevent jackknifing and not back up over equipment. It could save us around SEK 300,000 per year by preventing jackknifing damage.

What other smart functions could you use on the trucks today?
- Faster, more specific communication with the vehicles, an easier way to remotely read error codes directly in contact with the driver.

NAME: Håkan Hansson

ROLE IN THE COMPANY: Workshop manager and vehicle manager

ABOUT THE COMPANY: Mertz transport AB with approximately 300 units (trucks and trailers)


BEST PART OF THE JOB: The daily planning of the business, no two days are alike


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