October 11 2023

Improved safety and fleet management for Habit Health

Katy Ellis, Chief Operating Officer for Habit Health, explains how the knowledgeable team at Fleetwise has helped improve efficiency, keep staff safe, take vehicles off the roads – and grow the team.

Habit Health provides rehabilitation, occupational health and counselling services to the wider community throughout New Zealand.

With more than 700 staff and over 100 sites across the country, it has 172 vehicles to facilitate the delivery of services. But before using Fleetwise, there was no centralised system for managing the fleet. That meant a lot of extra admin, a risk to staff safety and poor sustainability outcomes.

We spoke to Katy Ellis, Chief Operating Officer at Habit Health, who explained how Fleetwise has streamlined business systems and helped to keep staff safe and the business sustainable.


Complex system = admin overload, safety risk and holding back sustainability

Before implementing Fleetwise, the organisation had one person dedicated to managing the fleet – using a bookings process through a Patient Management System.

There was room for miscommunication and risk around staff missing jobs because there were no cars.

With different tax and HR rules for each of Habit Health’s four vehicle user categories, managing the fleet became an admin nightmare.

This messy system was also an issue for its impressive sustainability goals. Habit Health wanted to be more environmentally minded – it knew there was an opportunity to make better use of the fleet and minimise petrol usage. But its manual booking system didn’t provide the transparency or efficiency needed.

The person in charge also had to remember to do vehicle safety checks and maintenance. This added to the already huge admin load and created compliance and safety risks.

As the Habit Health team grew, there wasn’t enough internal resource or capability to manage the fleet this way. The options were to spend time and money hiring more people to manage it, or look for a more modern and efficient system.


User-friendly, despite complicated needs

Even with hundreds of staff, vehicles across the country and a complex organisational structure, Katy says Fleetwise has streamlined Habit Health’s fleet management.

Staff simply log in, choose what vehicle they need and add any requirements, such as a van or space for a wheelchair. They add notes about how they’ll be using the vehicle, and Fleetwise automatically allocates them a vehicle and inputs the information into their diaries.

Habit Health has access to a real-time view of demand, so it can review utilisation, move cars where needed – and make a plan. “That’s made for a much more efficient workplace,” Katy says.


Growing team, reduced fleet

With Fleetwise, Habit Health has grown its team but reduced its fleet. That’s not just great news financially – it’s also a huge step towards achieving a more sustainable business model.

Fleetwise seamlessly integrates with Power BI and Argus Tracking, which gives Habit Health oversight of all bookings across the board. The team can switch cars or drivers to be more efficient and economical, and avoid cars going to and from locations unnecessarily – a big saver for fuel and efficiency.

“That data comes through the Argus GPS tracking and feeds into the Power BI reporting. It brings all our information together seamlessly – so we know what’s going on in our service history or what’s overdue.”

Thanks to Fleetwise, Habit Health is making the most of every vehicle it has, and staff have the cars they need when they need them.

“We’ve actually managed to reduce the fleet by four or five cars.”  


Reduced admin means a more efficient workplace

Katy says that one of the best things about Fleetwise is the reduction in admin. Instead of multiple staff filing spreadsheets, managing calendar bookings and reporting to the IRD, managing the fleet is now just a tiny aspect of Katy’s job.

“Compared to what it was before, it basically does everything for us. It means I can manage our end essentially on my own.

“It’s a small and not overly demanding piece of my role, and it’s replacing an entire person’s job – so that person can focus on other aspects of business.”

Part of that admin is fuel card management, which Fleetwise takes care of too.

“They’re very proactive around cost-saving and how we can make positive changes, and if we have a problem with the fuel cards, we just go to Fleetwise, and they sort it for us.”

Streamlined admin processes have helped improve visibility to better meet compliance and keep staff safe. Fleetwise alerts drivers of registration and warrant-of-fitness checks, and picks up on any mechanical intervention work that’s needed. That means catching things like bald tyres before they’re dangerous to keep staff safe.

Katy couldn’t be more pleased about the partnership with Fleetwise. “They’re like our knights in shining armour – they do everything for us,” she says.