Having first introduced Podfather to its Bioresource and Energy Services business over seven years ago, United Utilities relies on Podfather’s job management and load allocation software to plan and monitor the movement of its fleet of 90 vehicles, plus contractors, moving wastewater materials from its 500+ treatment centres to its processing plants across the region. Podfather has allowed United Utilities to automate what was historically a paper-intensive operation and gives their management team full visibility, accountability, and automated regulatory reporting for all waste movements.
United Utilities’ Bioresources Services Team is responsible for the transportation of 2 million m3 of liquid sludge and around 400,000 tonnes of sewage sludge cake each year. Sludge is moved from the company’s 569 wastewater treatment works to one of its 37 Bioresource treatment facilities where the latest digestion technology is used to create energy that is fed into the National Grid and also to produce high-energy fertilizer that is then distributed to farms across the country. With tight regulatory restrictions and compliance protocols, it was imperative that United Utilities had a system in place to help plan, monitor and report on its sludge and Biosolids movements.
“Regulatory compliance is essential when you are planning and monitoring the movement of wastewater products,” comments Martin Shaw, Regional Logistics & Industrial Cleaning Manager for United Utilities’ Bioresource and Energy Services division. “With Podfather we can produce efficient load plans that we can share with our drivers via the system’s smartphone App, and we get full real-time visibility of all wastewater movements as they travel across our North West region.”
The Podfather system is used to plan and allocate product loads to United Utilities’ fleet of 82 vacuum tankers and 28 bulk tipper trucks. Drivers use the system’s smartphone App to upload vehicle checks and download delivery plan details at the start of each shift. The easy-to-use smartphone app, which can also be downloaded and used by both United Utilities’ fleet and sub-contractor drivers, ensures that all vehicle checks have been completed before vehicles leave the depot. The app enables transport teams to track vehicle movements and weights in real-time, and its electronic proof of delivery functionality has removed the reliance on paper tickets across the Bioresource services processing division. Integration with the organisation’s sludge delivery data logging system for measuring planned vs actual delivery volumes, plus end-of-day reporting, with accurate date and time delivery stamps from Podfather, gives the United Utilities team real-time access to all the data required for regulatory compliance and reporting purposes.
“We have been able to eradicate paper tickets across our operation which has improved the flow and speed and accuracy at which information moves across our business,” adds Shaw. “With Podfather we have full visibility of what is being moved where, when and by who. This gives us the level of control, and accountability, that we need to run our business efficiently.”
“Our relationship with United Utilities spans over seven years,” comments Colin McCreadie, Managing Director at Podfather. “The solution that we developed and delivered for United Utilities was a trailblazer when it first came to market, and we have continued to develop and grow together, bringing performance-enhancing solutions to this complex operation where planning efficiency, real-time visibility and regulatory reporting are so vital to success.”