Profile: Based in Castleblaney, Carna Transport is an international haulage firm founded by Barry Hughes in 1973. The company operates with a fleet of 130 vehicles with 110 staff. The company has 300+ trailers that include temperature controlled, curtain sided and box trailers and they provide haulage services from Ireland to UK & Europe, from UK to Europe and from Europe into the UK & Ireland.
Over the last number of years the company has invested heavily in technology to provide a quality secure service to customers. The company has been recognised by the industry for its high quality service, awarding it European Hauler of the Year three times with 2014 being the most recent achievement.
Challenge: The requirements of the haulage industry over the last number of years have changed significantly in terms of the amount of legislation surrounding driver activities and the volume of paperwork required by customers. To meet these challenges, Carna transport recently invested €40K in a new Transport Planning System (Stratum) and another associated fleet management system (Bluetree).
The company wanted to maximise the efficiencies that they could get from these systems by integrating them together with other IT packages. The company also wanted to build a number of mobile apps that can further reduce the amount of paper work that drivers need to complete.
Solution: The company participated in the Fusion programme, funded by InterTradeIreland which is a 3-way partnership between a company, a graduate and an academic institution to deliver a business solution in an area of technology and innovation, resulting in business growth. The academic matched with this project, Martin McAnallen, has many years of experience as an IT consultant, advising businesses in the area of management information systems, including systems integration, improvements and new systems design and development. This partnership will help to embed a culture of innovation within the company which shall be sustained long after the life of the Fusion project.
Before receiving support from Southern Regional College, via the Fusion Programme, the company had a number of new systems coming on stream and they were struggling to get the full use out of them, they also needed support to get the systems integrated.
As a result of the Fusion Programme the company are now in a position to utilise their systems and effectively streamline their processes. The main benefit from the introduction of the new system is that drivers are now able to return their proof of delivery, work sheets and accident/repair images instantly with the new scanning application, when previously this was returned on a weekly basis. This enables the company to invoice customers in a timely fashion as they have the proof of delivery as soon as the goods have been delivered which improves cash flow. As drivers are now able to send images of accidents and repairs needed, cabs can now be booked into the garage upon return and parts ordered if necessary. This reduces the time the driver is off the road and brings cost saving efficiencies to the company. A new garage system has also been introduced which involves managing stock, mechanic time and time allocated to each job to ensure all jobs are completed in an efficient manner. All of these new efficiencies mean that Carna can now offer their customers an improved service that is superior to their competitors.