Extra staff taken on at Essex company
Otec (GB) Ltd, part of the European operator Otec International Freight Group, has expanded its business and created two new jobs in the UK by joining the Fortec Distribution network.
Business has gone “from strength to strength” since the company, based in Witham, Essex, joined the network in late summer 2015, and dedicated two trailers in Fortec livery to serve CM postcodes. Two extra drivers have already been recruited to cope with the extra work.
The company has also experienced a growth in its established domestic haulage and freight forwarding business since joining the network. It has 14 vehicles ranging from small vans to articulated trailers.
John Boland, European Director of Otec (GB) Ltd, said: “We were looking for an opportunity for our domestic market to increase and we decided that we wanted to take on pallet services ourselves.
“Fortec came down to see us and since we joined it’s really gone from strength to strength.
“Business has increased on the domestic side and on the European side, being part of a pallet network makes our offering a bit more attractive.”
Fortec has recently invested in a significant upgrade of its IT systems, building on the success of Fortec Connect, its robust signature capture facility designed to work on Android-based mobile devices.
The new MapIT, TrackIT and ReportIT functions, together with the signature capture, give complete transparency to the network and allow members to plan routes, track their vehicles and talk to each other more easily.
Mr Boland said: “It’s a good tool for us – if someone wants to know where a vehicle is, we can tell them. We can track deliveries and there is real-time PoD available online– it’s not a case of waiting for the driver to come back with a piece of paper.
“We like the fact that Fortec has this technology. Ever since we formed this company more than 15 years ago we’ve known you need to keep abreast of IT. If you don’t, you’re left behind.
“We would certainly recommend Fortec – the service is professional and I’ve been very impressed with the people. On the whole it’s added a new dimension to what we were already doing.
“We are now looking forward to expanding our business with Fortec – but we have been building an extension to our current offices and warehouse here so it will have to wait until that is done first!”
The new IT functions make life easier for Fortec members and helps them to provide better service to their own customers.
MapIT simplifies route planning – members simply drag an icon called a ‘pin’ across a computerised map online and details of the journey are sent to the driver via their mobile phone. Route optimisation tools are available to minimise costs and maximise efficiency.
TrackIT gives members a complete overview of where their vehicles are at any given moment, provided Fortec Connect apps are live and running inside the cabs.
ReportIT is an instant message board embedded into Fortrack, Fortec’s bespoke TMS system that allows members to communicate with each other, and for Fortec to contact members, leaving a fully auditable trail and alerting users to new incoming messages.