Rotala rolls out Freeway to connect regional operations and streamline fleet parts purchasing

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Rotala PLC has successfully rolled out a group-wide purchasing and stock management system connecting the group’s four regional bus and coach companies. Supplied by Freeway Fleet Systems, the development will benefit Rotala’s Preston Bus, Hallmark Connections and two Diamond Bus operations. With streamlined processes, increased buying power and easier cost control, Rotala Diamond says the system is expected to provide significant cost savings.

The cloud-based purchasing and stock management software is part Freeway’s comprehensive fleet management solution which Rotala is implementing group-wide as a complete digital system using rugged tablet devices to replace paper.

“Standardisation is vital for us and this is where Freeway plays a key role,” said Jack Dunn, Finance Director at Rotala. “Our regional operations all had different systems, processes and suppliers so we have initially deployed Freeway in stores and purchasing. By using the same software it ensures everyone adheres to the same procedures and quality standards.”

With the system implementation Rotala has also employed a Procurement Officer to oversee the streamlining of parts purchasing with improved processes, centralisation and automation to reduce administration, management time and costs.

“Freeway gives us enterprise-wide visibility with management reports that allow us to make well informed decisions. Initial evidence suggests we’ll be able to reduce parts costs by between 5 and 10%, saving at least half a million pounds a year,” said Jack. “With instant access to maintenance histories we can assess the performance of different vehicles and parts and pinpoint where we need to review things.”

Freeway has been integrated with Rotala’s corporate IT system and with OCR invoice scanning, Rotala has introduced a completely paperless accounting system, giving a paper-free process from an initial defect report entered into a tablet in the workshop to parts request to order and invoice payment.