Healing Hands (name changed to maintain privacy) is a non-profit organization based out of Lusaka, Zambia. Their mission is to improve the health of Zambian school students, reduce illness-related school absenteeism and promote learning. They collaborate with schools in multiple provinces of Zambia to improve health care for their children. Healing Hands are improving the child health care system in Zambia by building small clinics inside of schools and training teachers to become health workers. They are working with the Zambian Ministries of Health and Education to scale the model throughout the country as a national school health program.
We spoke with John Stiles (name changed to maintain privacy), Vice President at Healing Hands. John joined Healing Hands in August 2021 and heads Admin and Supply Chain for them.
“We have probably 300-400 schools that we are currently targeting"
- John Stiles
Challenges faced before switching to Simply Fleet
Healing Hands has a fleet of 14 vehicles consisting of pickup trucks, land cruisers and SUVs. They plan to ramp up to 30 vehicles by the end of February 2022. This fleet is used across three provinces to visit schools to facilitate their mission. They needed to start monitoring the costs of fuel and maintenance more effectively. Even though they had a rudimentary system in place to monitor their fuel consumption, it was quite error-prone and gave no feedback on how and where the fuel was being used.
"Until October 2021, our fleet unit didn't have easy ways of measuring fuel consumption against the mileage coverage for monthly replenishments. what has been used and what needs to be replenished. Instead, a block standing amounts of fuel money was allocated and added to each vehicle Tomcard/account monthly. This aspect was a little bit vulnerable as it was impossible to fully account for fuel allocated to each vehicle."
- John Stiles
Switching to a fleet management software
John knew that he needed a software application, which was not too expensive, for managing his fleet expenses. Simply Fleet looked like a nice fit for his organization. On downloading the application from Play Store, he liked that it was self-explanatory and easy enough for Healing Hands' drivers to use. They bought smartphones for all their drivers and installed the app on them. Healing Hands ask their drivers to log the trips they make and add in fill-ups from their devices. This helps their organization to closely monitor fuel costs and check the distances covered by each vehicle. At the end of each month, he uses fuel reports from Simply Fleet and reconciles them with the numbers provided by filling stations. These couple of changes has helped him record and supervise the vehicle fill-ups and account for all the money spent by their drivers.
“What we normally do is that the filling station would supply us with their monthly statements and then we use the fleet's inputs [from Simply Fleet] to reconcile with their's, and that's been tremendously helpful"
- Job Milapo
Healing Hands has also dabbled with using Vehicle Inspections and they see this being a very helpful feature and plan to use this regularly across all their vehicles shortly. John also sees them using services and maintenance reminders in the future since maintenance is a big cost for any fleet and they would like to start monitoring those expenses as well. John believes that if it wasn't for Simply Fleet, they would need to hire and train somebody to do the data entry, get the mileage from the logbooks and enter them into the computer. The degree of error in this process is high and the time and cost savings here, because of Simply Fleet, have been substantial. Due to Simply Fleet's automation, he feels that his team is easily saving about 6 hours a day.
“Simply Fleet has been very very helpful. It really helped me get from zero to something and it's always giving me extra features that I can explore to increase the efficiency of our fleet"
- John Stiles