"Samsara fundamentally offers the most in terms of technology, customer service and continued innovation."
STEVE WOODALL, TRANSPORT MANAGER AT ABBEY TRAVEL
UK travel operator Abbey Travel relies on Samsara's hardware and open API to offer best-in-class customer service, uphold the highest safety standards and secure new business.
£60K reduction in insurance premiums by implementing intelligent cameras
Increased customer satisfaction by utilising real-time tracking
Improved efficiency with open API and simple integration with Coach Manager
Meet Abbey Travel
Established in 1998, Abbey Travel is a UK family-run passenger travel company with an extensive fleet of vehicles, ranging from 16-seater minibuses up to 74-seater double deck buses.
Recognising a shift in the passenger transit industry, Abbey Travel sought to modernise its operations and its fleet to uphold its commitment to customer service and capture new business. Leadership recognised it needed to embrace new technologies and started to re-examine the telematics and camera markets to see what was new. After vetting 5 companies, the team decided to go with Samsara due to its comprehensive safety solution, real-time tracking and capacity for integrations.
“Only Samsara offered everything we needed in one platform.” said Steve Woodall, Transportation Manager for Abbey Travel.
“Samsara wasn’t the cheapest solution, but it fundamentally offered the most in terms of technology, customer service and continued innovation.”
In the months since on-boarding with Samsara, Abbey Travel has come to view the system as a trusted partner that is fuelling its next era.
Intelligent camera systems protect drivers and the business
With more than 40 vehicles on the road, a comprehensive camera solution was a must for Abbey Travel. “People often use big vehicles like ours as targets,” explained Steve. “We needed a system that could protect our drivers and our business.”
Samsara’s intelligent cameras and immediate harsh event alerts have helped Abbey Travel process insurance claims faster and reduce costs. When an incident occurs, filing an insurance claim within the ‘Golden Hour’ can protect fleets. Before Samsara, Abbey Travel sometimes wouldn’t get the data from an incident back for a week. Now, the company can submit all of the paperwork, along with footage, location and g-force data, within minutes, ensuring they aren’t penalised.
The roll-out of intelligent cameras also helped Abbey Travel reduce its insurance premium. Using Samsara allowed Abbey Travel to partner with a new broker that rewarded the use of IoT solutions, bringing down the premium by more than £60K.
While the intelligent cameras have benefitted Abbey Travel’s business, its drivers have also come to appreciate the cameras.
“Our drivers were initially nervous about the dash cams. Once we explained that we could only see footage if an incident took place or we specifically recalled a small piece, and that our goal was to make sure our team was safe and protected from attacks, it was great.”
Abbey Travel had also launched a complete safety program to reward drivers for good behaviour. With the Samsara cameras in place, drivers won’t lose their bonus if the footage can prove an incident wasn’t their fault.
“We recently had an incident where a dog ran out into the road, causing the driver to hit the brakes quickly and a passenger fell over,” recalled Steve. “Using Samsara, we were able to see why the incident took place and that the passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, empowering us to protect the driver.”
Reliable real-time GPS supports navigation in London and across Europe
With a fleet of vehicles roving everywhere from the UK’s busy metropolitan areas to remote roads in Europe, Abbey Travel needed a solution that could provide accurate and regular updates on vehicle locations. Previous systems struggled to find their vehicles in London or once they crossed the border, but the first time Steve and his team saw Samsara’s helicopter view, they knew this was something different.
“Helicopter view was like nothing we had seen. We could see our vehicles navigate each roundabout, turn, and stop in real time.”
Samsara’s dashboard, showing all of their vehicles in real-time, is now permanently displayed on a big screen in the Abbey Travel office. Anyone in the headquarters can glance at the screen and quickly see the position of the vehicle and the driver behind the wheel.
Abbey Travel has come to rely on this information to run its business more efficiently and offer world-class customer service. Being based in London, their coach software often reaches out with emergency jobs when another company has fallen through. In seconds, the Abbey Travel team can assess whether they can take on the job and how long it would take to reach the customer. In the rare case of a vehicle malfunction, Abbey Travel can dispatch the closest vehicle to ensure a rapid response.
“Real-time is the game changer. It makes a massive difference to us,” explained Steve. “We’ve had incidents in the past where the road was closed and we couldn’t get ahead of the driver so he ended up being late for the collection. Now, we can use Samsara to see ahead, contact the driver and re-route them to reach the customer on time.”
Robust reports, rapid innovation and full integration help secure new business
When assessing new systems, only two were recognised as integration partners with Coach Manager that Abbey Travel required. Samsara’s open API made it easy to pull the information into the system.
Samsara’s reports also provide detailed information about the fleet’s performance and efficiency. The reports page provides a quick snapshot of fuel usage, driver’s hours and overall performance. Abbey Travel uses this data to continue upholding their commitment to peak efficiency.
“It costs a pound for every 2 min of unnecessary idling. Using Samsara we can identify idling and work with drivers to stop the behaviour. This saves us money and helps reduce our environmental impact.”
All of these features are helping Abbey Travel secure new business when it goes up for tenders.
“Bigger companies need to know a lot about your fleet in your tender: fuel usage, vehicle type, environmental impact, financial impact," said Steve. Samsara makes it easy for us to pull all of that information and secure those contracts.”
Steve and team see Samsara as a partner for the long-term. Abbey Travel is already trialing additional products as well as serving as a beta customer for new products in development.
“Samsara’s commitment to innovation matches our desire to offer the best solutions for our customers,” explained Steve. “I’m excited to see what we can achieve together.”