AJT Transport Consultancy provides transport compliance services to businesses throughout the UK and Ireland. The company was founded by John Logue, who brought his 20 years of expertise in the transport compliance sector to the business. The transport sector is heavily regulated with many legal obligations that ensure driver and road safety. Complying with these regularly-updated rules is an ongoing challenge for transport and logistics companies.
Tachographs are one of the main tools used by haulage and passenger transport companies to help them abide by the rules. The in-vehicle devices record all the data about the driver, including speed, distance and time spent at the wheel. This information must be downloaded and analysed. Typically, driver cards and tachographs were downloaded using a handheld downloader and desktop card reader. But a recent development has streamlined this process. Remote downloaders, connected to the back of the tachograph, are capable of automatically downloading all driver and tachograph data, and send it either to the company for in-house analysis or to an online analysis service. For these digital downloaders to work effectively, they require IoT SIMs with reliable connectivity.
AJT was keen to take advantage of the potential these remote downloaders offered. In 2020, the downloader manufacturer based in Scotland John and his team had partnered with since 2006, brought out a new remote downloader that downloaded the data via a SIM card. Now all AJT needed was the reliable connectivity necessary for the downloaders to be effective. “We needed to find a company that could provide us with flexible, reliable, multi-network SIMs that would complement the downloader by offering constant connectivity, from anywhere,” explained John.
Thinglabs provides AJT with a complete IoT service which includes multi-network SIMs and a central dashboard. The multi-network SIMs are provider agnostic, which means they can connect automatically to the strongest available network at any location. The connection switches seamlessly to the strongest network, leaving no gap in connectivity. This is particularly important to AJT, whose customers are in the transport sector, and are constantly on the move.
The central dashboard, Thinglabs IoT Dash, offers complete visibility and control of AJT’s SIM inventory. Here, John can view the data on all customer SIMs, monitor data usage, activate and deactivate, and receive alerts if there are any issues. “With our previous supplier we did not have any control over the SIMs, which meant we had no flexibility. With the Thinglabs dashboard we have complete control and oversight. It’s a game changer for us,” said John. “We are on top of all SIMs now, we know what’s happening with them and can react instantly. It offers us a lot of flexibility too, we’re not dependent on anyone else to activate SIMs or to customise them, we can do that all ourselves, quickly.”
Of the 700 downloaders AJT has fitted with IoT SIMs, 250 are now active Thinglabs SIMs, and that number will continue to grow, says John. “All new customer devices are supplied with Thinglabs SIMs, and as older SIMs approach end of contract we will be replacing them with Thinglabs SIMs. Our goal is that we will have 100% Thinglabs SIMs eventually.”
“The centralised dashboard has given us a level of control and flexibility that has been transformational for our business,” said John. “With our previous supplier, it took two days for us to order new SIMs. Now we can complete a SIM order in a couple of clicks. This has streamlined our business and made it quick and easy to grow our customer base,” explains John. “Having complete control over the SIMs is also key. We can effectively manage all SIMs – activate or deactivate them, assign them to our customers, monitor usage, check that they are functioning correctly – all through the incredibly intuitive dashboard.”
While the majority of AJT’s customers are based on the island of Ireland, they do travel throughout Europe. Having multi-network SIMs which move seamlessly onto the strongest available network means its customers know they will always be able to connect and send the necessary driver data on time. “Many of our customers transport goods throughout Europe, and thanks to the Thinglabs SIMs they can download their driver and tachograph data wherever they are, even while they’re on the move. This makes things so easy for our customers who are benefitting from this automated process. The reliable SIMs from Thinglabs are central to the efficient working of this process,” said John.