Two entrepreneurs from Coventry have used their expertise in software development, customer engagement and design to tackle the fleet management market.
Ben Davies and Steve Willmoth launched Dart earlier this month, a versatile app for companies to create jobs, optimise routes, track drivers and receive delivery evidence from customers.
The founders of SwDev had identified a gap in sector for a solution that is suited to SMEs that don’t want the bulky offerings that require hardware to be fitted to vehicles and involve long-term expensive contracts.
It is an approach that is already proving popular, with Repose Furniture the first adopter to sign-up and a pipeline of ‘testers’ in place that will generate £120,000 turnover over the next twelve months and create two new jobs.
“Our market research told us that a lot of smaller organisations, who have mobile workforces, are crying out for an effective fleet management solution that is cost-effective and easy to integrate,” explained Steve, who has been involved in software development for robotics, automotive and energy/utilities for more than 25 years.
“Larger, more traditional options are not transparent in their pricing, forcing companies into lengthy contracts and the time-consuming implementation of additional hardware.”
He continued: “We eliminate all of this by giving companies access to an extremely powerful system, with lots of functionality and features, that is all managed through a simple app on your phone/laptop.”
Dart, which is available on a free trial, helps users view the current location, speed and status of drivers, explore past shifts and activity and obtain delivery evidence through photos and signatures. It can also onboard users in minutes with the intuitive user interface and no hardware being required.
Ben, who has delivered design and software projects for Jaguar Land Rover, nPower and Opus Energy, added: “Dart gives a host of tools not only suited for tracking drivers and fleet, but also that aids in planning shifts and loads, inventory management and managing jobs.
“If you were to start a company with delivery or service deadlines tomorrow, you could run your day-to-day task management, delivery evidence and shifts inside of Dart with ease from day one. That’s pretty flexible!
“This is just the start. We’re already working on future intelligent features, many of which will be industry firsts.”
Cradley Heath-based Repose Furniture, which has been designing innovative seating solutions for the NHS, home, and care markets for more than 100 years, operates a team of six drivers that can complete up to 250 deliveries and installs every week.
It traditionally has used manual systems to optimise routes and scheduling, but this is all set to change following the successful trial.
“Our transport manager has been very impressed with what Dart can offer, basically reducing a task that could take up to five hours to one or two clicks of a button,” pointed out Lisa Wardley, Director at Repose Furniture.
“This is just the start. When it is fully set-up, we will also use the technology to provide proof of install and give more up-to-date arrival times for the customer, not to mention ensuring the welfare of our staff as we can see in real-time how many hours they are driving.”
She concluded: “For a small business, cost is a big concern and having to install a lot of additional hardware could have been a barrier to adoption. The fact it is just downloading an app and some initial training for users is a big selling point.”