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Improving Driver Performance with an Earned Recognition Programme

Company Background

Blue Arrow is an established provider of temporary recruitment services to the UK arm of one of the leading global communications services providers.

Quality customer service along with a sector-leading commitment to climate action means vehicle management and responsible driver behaviour is key to the success of its supply chain management policies.

The Challenge

Blue Arrow’s client was looking to improve their Operator Compliance Risk Score (OCRS) as a major transport operator. Signing up to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Earned Recognition scheme allows them to monitor and manage driver behaviours in-house.

The DVSA scheme requires companies to report on driver infringements of DVSA standards across its fleet, weekly and to manage these closely to agreed KPI’s with full disclosure and transparency. The scheme covers a variety of behaviours ranging from speeding to missing required breaks and exceeding statutory driver hours, all of which are recorded by the vehicle’s in-cab tachograph. Demonstrable Earned Recognition Scheme (ERS) status, with the right to display the ERS logo on paperwork, can reduce random roadside inspections.

As sole supplier of agency drivers Blue Arrow’s support was vital. Blue Arrow agreed to mirror the client’s compliance process to assist with the capture and analysis of infringements and the remediation of driver behaviour, as well as to police its own contractual standards. The arrangement encompasses a 100-plus LGV driver workforce serving twelve distribution centres located around the UK.

Meeting scheme KPI’s is vital, with failure to do so risking roadside delays through increased inspections. Delays risk failure to meet set delivery windows and/or could take drivers over their daily driving limit. Disruptions to the logistics operation can have a negative impact on the supply chain and business relationships.

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The Solution

The detailed monitoring and management procedures implemented by Blue Arrow have delivered clear improvements in agency driver behaviour, supporting the client’s processes and introducing improved methods of working and compliance.
Blue Arrow receives weekly tachograph logs from the client, which are used by their Senior Account Managers to assess the compliance score for each agency driver against a range of behaviours before submitting Earned KPI’s to the DVSA. On-site coordinators report to a local Blue Arrow Account Manager at larger sites or through the Blue Arrow branch network.

Behaviour management and compliance are governed by a strict code developed by Blue Arrow to meet the requirements of the DVSA Earned recognition process. A zero score requires no action. Drivers scoring at levels one to three receive a copy of the rules and regulations during a debriefing. Scores at levels four through nine require a formal retraining session combining DVD’s and multiple-choice tests. Scores above level 10 are subject to corrective or disciplinary actions according to the severity of the infringement. This entails verbal warnings with an investigation initially, progressing through to written warnings and termination of driver assignments where no improvement is demonstrated over a 26-week period. All drivers are made aware of the scoring and review policy, both at recruitment stage and during their induction and received weekly feedback on their compliance performance..

The Journey

The early stages of implementation proved challenging with the Blue Arrow Account Manager holding weekly meetings to achieve quick adoption of consistent reporting standards across multiple sites. Using a ‘traffic light’ system to highlight driver performance improvements and issues, Blue Arrow worked with the client team to ensure continual improvement.

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The Result

The training and feedback methodology has delivered significant improvements over a short period, accelerating the client’s own internal management processes. In the first six months, infringements per duty (day of work) were reduced from 2.9% to just 0.75%. The system is now firmly on track in keeping infringements below 1% against a target of 3%, having achieved a 70% reduction in the monthly points score for drivers from a high of 78 points down to 23 points.

In addition, the proportional severity of infringements is improving month-on-month, with a reduction in scores from October 2020 to February 2021 from 6% to 1% at level two and from 3% down to 0% at level three.

The quality assurance delivered by Blue Arrow in managing client and temporary driver compliance is unique in the industry, offering a new system of management that sets the benchmark for measuring driver excellence in transport and logistics operations.

"We have seen a massive reduction in driver infringements over the last six months. In one recent month, Blue Arrow agency staff performed higher than our own. A fantastic result”

National Transport Manager

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