Supermarket to reduce fuel consumption with driving analytics

LONDON – Tesco is aiming to reduce its fuel consumption for home deliveries, by implementing a real time driving analytics system from supplier Microlise.

The U.K.’s largest supermarket will install Microlise Fleet and Distribution technology in vans and connect this to its other home delivery IT systems, as it aims to reduce the mileage driven by each van and improve the accuracy of delivery times to customers. Roll out will be complete by the end of the summer.

The move expands Tesco’s work to improve its green credentials, after it said it was taking a number of steps such as virtualizing servers and switching off large numbers of tills overnight.

Tesco said it wanted to reduce fuel consumption because of rising fuel costs, and as part of aims to improve its green credentials. It makes more than a quarter of a million deliveries each week, using 2,000 vans.

Microlise GPS tracking units will be installed across Tesco’s fleet of home delivery vans. The units will continually report back to Tesco stores via GPRS on the location of each van, as well as providing vehicle status, driver status and performance information. The data will be compared against driving schedules, in order to monitor performance.

The system also creates updated estimates of delivery times, and feeds into a store software that sends text messages to customers shortly before delivery.

It will also report on fuel consumption, engine revs, speed and odometer readings. Tesco has set targets on fuel, ‘green-band’ driving, idling, harsh braking and speeding, and will monitor its drivers habits using the system. It said it would work to train those drivers who do not meet its targets.

Dino Papas, fleet manager, said the system “allows us comprehensive visibility across every aspect of our fleet’s performance”. The analytical information will be presented as a “compact document”.

In recent years, Tesco has invested heavily in IT across its operations. It recently announced that its online food sales had rocketed 49 percent higher in the last financial year, following extensive IT investment.