Healthcare provider Stewarts Care provides a range of supportive services for over 1400 people with an intellectual disability to promote their education, wellbeing, dignity and happiness.
Operating from two main sites in the South West of Dublin, Ireland, Stewarts Care provides services, ‘irrespective of their level of need’, for people from the age of five and beyond.
Stewarts Care also provides training, education and employment opportunities for social enterprises for people over 18 years.
We spoke to Martin Doran, Stewarts Care’s Transport Manager, to find out how Stream Check has played a key role in increasing the availability of their fleet of over 100 vehicles and to pinpoint why it is essential to the day-to-day running of the business.
Problem-solving across Ireland’s second-largest healthcare fleet
As Transport Manager Martin has a wide range of responsibilities that address a number of logistical challenges associated with maintaining a large fleet:
“We operate the second largest healthcare fleet in the country. It comprises vans, cars and wheelchair accessible buses as well. So quite a diverse fleet of vehicles. And then, obviously, those vehicles are used every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to transport passengers pretty much all around Ireland” explains Martin.
“We have around 40 vehicles that are based here in Dublin and go out to collect people from their homes where they live with their families, and we bring them into the service on a daily basis. We have other vehicles that are effectively assigned to a specific property that Stewarts Care owns around Dublin.
“Those vehicles are used to bring those people into a day service, which can be based in Dublin or County Mead, or if people want to go on holidays somewhere nationally, they can travel all over Ireland in our vehicles. Our fleet is also used for a whole range of other tasks, such as transport to and from medical appointments.”
The number one priority of Martin’s role is to ensure the safety of the entire fleet and service users or staff, which is achieved through proactively servicing and maintaining every vehicle with the help of Stream Check.
Additional responsibilities also include the procurement and conversion of vehicles so that they are accessible for all of their service users, project management and coordination with external service providers that supply transportation for Stewarts Care.
All of which contribute to the business delivering a high quality service for their users, for which safe and efficient transportation is fundamental.
Less time spent doing paperwork, more time on the road
Prior to using Stream Check, Stewarts Care used an outdated paper-based system for completing their walkaround inspections, which created a number of challenges for Martin and his team.
Using a paper-based system meant Martin wasn’t able to see, in real-time, whether a walkaround check had been completed, which was critical to them being able to run an efficient operation. Martin would often have to manage the fleet based on assumptions that a walkaround check had been completed in the first place and the roadworthiness of that vehicle if he hadn’t received a walkaround check form (yellow slip).
And even then, if an issue had been highlighted during the inspection, the form may not have been received until weeks after the walkaround check was completed, creating a host of potential issues that could have otherwise been resolved quickly with a cloud-based system.
“It’s quite exhausting from an administration perspective and from a problem solving perspective. If, for example, I have to take a vehicle off the road, mid way through the day we’re unable to do the return journey at 3pm or 4pm that same day to get a service user home – so that’s always a real problem for us.
“We were reliant on paper-based forms before subscribing to Stream. If somebody gave me a yellow slip at 1pm, but they had actually identified the issue at 9am in the morning, I could have used those four hours to get that vehicle repaired.”
Martin went on to reflect on the cost-benefit of using Stream Check compared to their previous paper-based system.
Despite being slightly more expensive than a walkaround check & defect reporting book, Stream has proved to be far more efficient for the organisation:
“I suppose the big consideration for everyone here at Stewarts Care was the cost difference between going digital with Stream and staying paper-based.”
“Our analysis showed that Stream Check was 70 cents (65p sterling) more expensive than the existing walkaround check book, but we realised that we were able to solve problems quicker. We have evidence on the condition of a vehicle, we had all of those benefits which substantially outweighed the additional cost.”
Martin emphasised the value of having access to all of the walkaround check information submitted by his drivers instantly so that any defects can be resolved as soon as possible, and more importantly, prior to using a vehicle that could endanger others:
“The big value for us is that we’re getting an email within about 10-15 seconds confirming that the person has done a walkaround inspection. If there is a serious issue with the vehicle, I’m aware of it. Not only can I see what the issue is, but I will also be able to see photos and details of any damage or issues [through Stream’s defect reporting], so I can assess from there and decide whether that vehicle needs to come off the road.”
How have the drivers taken to using Stream Check and the onboarding process?
As with any new software that is implemented into a business that has had no prior exposure to it, there are steep learning curves to overcome. The importance of the ease-of-use of the application, the quality of the onboarding process, and the supporting educational content available to every user therefore cannot be understated.
Each aspect plays a fundamental role in helping Martin and his staff to understand how to use Stream Check efficiently and effectively, so we asked Martin to offer his thoughts on these; who then highlighted how Stream helped to facilitate the implementation of the application across the business:
“I haven’t had any negative feedback whatsoever from any of our drivers. I think that the reason for that is because everyone that we need to carry out a walkaround inspection has a smartphone.
Locally, we don’t rely on staff to use their own personal device. We provide the device as an organisation, either in the form of a tablet or a smartphone, so it’s not an issue for us, so it’s a little bit easier to implement. I think that’s a key piece for any organisation considering purchasing Stream is the capability to carry out a walkaround inspection via a mobile device.”
“I think it’s been made really easy for somebody to pick up. Like a lot of people they learn visually now, they learn by watching a video – the onboarding and support videos are really educational. I think in terms of getting onboarded onto Stream, it was really straightforward and simple.”
To conclude the conversation Martin proceeded to give his general thoughts on the application and the service Stream has provided Stewarts Care as a whole:
“For anybody who will be interested in purchasing Stream, I think the YouTube videos that you guys have set up make it very easy for people to learn. It’s a really good service and we’re very happy with it. It has been really beneficial for us and we are rolling it out to the whole of the organisation.”
Ditch paper-based walkaround checks for real-time, digital processes
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