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UK, Vehicle Telematics

Fagan & Whalley builds on a century of driver safety with Samsara installation

“We couldn’t have wished for a better relationship with a telematics partner. Samsara’s team understands what we need and what we’d like to achieve.”

Olivia Fagan, Compliance Officer, Fagan & Whalley

Standout benefits:

  • Continued reduction in avoidable incidents since implementation

  • Alan R Jones saw a 27% increase in safety score since implementation

  • Greater visibility on driver safety scores throughout the organisation

Cementing a centenary with safety-first logistics

Approaching 100 years of operations, Fagan & Whalley is something of an unsung hero of logistics for customers relying on its expertise.

Founded in 1927 in East Lancashire to initially transport coal via horse and cart, the firm today boasts a large vehicle fleet, several depots enabling nationwide delivery and logistics services, and an international customer base which spans sectors including food and manufacturing, warehousing and contract logistics.

Going from strength to strength, Fagan & Whalley has enjoyed consistent growth in its core business while also acquiring Alan R Jones & Sons, a Newport-based transport specialist which recently celebrated an anniversary of its own, clocking up 50 years of business in 2021.

As a growing family of firms Fagan & Whalley places great emphasis on shared values - not least putting driver safety front and centre at all times.

“Safety has always been at the forefront of whatever we do,” explains Olivia Fagan, Compliance Officer, Fagan & Whalley. “We take telematics seriously and that’s reflected in our excellent driver scores. We also have a unique ethos: ‘If in doubt, brew up.’ Drivers are given time to stop, report problems, relax and do everything they can to maintain or improve their safety.”

Operations Managing Director, Daniel Fagan adds: “ What we’ve achieved with the integration of Samsara’s cutting-edge telematics system is a significant step for us. It’s more than just technology; it’s a commitment to upholding the highest standards of safety and operational excellence.”

Having consistently high driver performance scores at Fagan & Whalley, with Alan R Jones eager to achieve the same quality standards, presented a key challenge. How could the entire, unified workforce attain industry-leading levels of safety and service?

Platform for building on a legacy to be proud of

Telematics isn’t a new tool for Fagan & Whalley, having used the technology for a number of years to continue to build on an already impressive record of driver excellence. Dron Kyle, Motor Risk Engineer at HDI – Fagan & Whalley’s insurance provider – talks about the company’s approach to telematics: “They are doing pretty much everything you can do with telematics. They’ve embraced telematics, they have a great relationship with their drivers, and they engage with the data, which ticks a big box for insurers such as HDI.”

While telematics and driver performance monitoring have long been possible for Fagan & Whalley, the technology it was using effectively became a victim of the firm’s success. Such was the efficiency of the firm’s operations, that is was hungry for even more data and the opportunity to take real-time actions.  

“It was only when we started investigating alternatives that we discovered Samsara’s AI-based technology,” reveals Olivia. “We soon realised it was the perfect fit for us, providing information we needed in real-time.”

Olivia states the features of Samsara’s products which Fagan & Whalley already uses have been a “turning point” for the business. Managers now have a more rounded picture of driver distraction and possess the ability to alert them and offer constructive support in real-time.

‘Anticipation’ monitoring is just one additional benefit of Samara’s technology. For example, head office can assess how aware a driver is of an obstacle on the road ahead – such as a junction or roundabout - including whether the person behind the wheel approached it smoothly or resorted to harsh braking.

Olivia says: “Are they relaxed or planning ahead? We want to continually improve our driver education and safety standards. That’s a big part of our wider commitment to making UK roads safer, and of our mission of continued improvement. Samsara has given us extra leverage for improvement in performance - it lets us delve deeper to tailor our driver training.”

Six categories of ‘avoidable incidents’ are used by insurers such as HDI as a metric for their customers’ safety record, tracking these month on month using claims data. Dron Kyle notes that “a large percentage of avoidable incidents are down to driver distraction. How do we solve this? The technology is there. Using the dual facing cameras as a coaching tool and alerting the driver to the distraction gives them an opportunity in real-time to rectify the situation and continue safely on their journey.”

Driver competition is key to continued improvement

Not only is Samsara supporting incremental gains at Fagan & Whalley’s long-standing operations, but it’s also fuelling the drive to boost success at Alan R Jones. When the business was acquired in 2022, it didn’t have the same history of telematics and driver performance monitoring, so Fagan & Whalley sought to bring it quickly up to its level.

Using Samsara data and analytics the firm can quickly create a ‘leaderboard’ of driver performance, which can be viewed by the team on the app. It’s intended for feedback and training but has also added a valuable element of friendly rivalry as part of the company’s ongoing integration.

“The scores at Alan R Jones have already improved dramatically. The drivers have really embraced what the telematics can provide,” says Olivia. “They even print out the leaderboard and pin it up in the office so they can discuss it, which is both beneficial for the wider business, and our customers.” This has created greater visibility throughout the organisation, with every team member being able to see how others are performing.

One of Fagan & Whalley’s drivers, Joe Grzebieniowksi, talks about how he has benefited from the partnership: “Since we switched to Samsara, my workday has become much more streamlined. The real-time data helps us to improve our driving habits and creates safer roads for everyone.”

Focus on the future with Samsara partnership

In the short time since Fagan & Whalley installed Samsara with minimal disruption and downtime, the business feels the technology has added value to its USPs – from boosting driver safety to offering market-leading telematics that make driver hours visible via one dashboard – making life much easier for operations planners.

And there’s more to come. Chris comments, “Our five-year plan is for continued growth, not just for Fagan & Whalley but our customers too. We want the technology to help us expand our national network but think at a local level so we can support all our drivers. We’d also like to tackle issues such as reducing empty running, which will help our customers cut their carbon footprint.”

A burgeoning partnership with Samsara is key to this, Olivia concludes: “They’ve been great at listening to us so far, so we’ll keep giving our feedback. The more features Samsara can develop for us to use – from improving driver style and behaviour to helping them calmly anticipate potential incidents such as bridge strikes, weight limits and other obstacles – the better our business can be.”

To learn how Samsara can improve performance and training for your drivers, contact a member of our team today.

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