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Case study

Traka intelligent lockers and key cabinets help EM Highway Services achieve operational efficiency
Traka cabinets automatically records when a key is used and by whom on a central database
EM uses Traka cabinets to store and issue keys for its winter fleet and increase user accountability

Intro

Traka is helping EM Highway Services Limited (EM), the service provider responsible for managing the Highways England Area 9 contract, effectively issue and monitor Airwave radios and with key cabinets to manage its winter fleet vehicles, which is crucial to its operations.

Asset management

The Traka intelligent locker systems enable authorised users to trace who has a handset, or who had it last if it goes missing, and see which terminals are in or out of each locker by carrying out a real-time audit.

This is imperative because the network is vast and a viable means of communication is essential.

The lockers also allow users to exchange damaged or faulty equipment and use another device while the broken one is being repaired.

Key management

Key cabinets store and issue keys to vehicles and audit reports make staff accountable for the vehicles they have taken as any damage caused can easily be traced.

Background

EM delivers highways infrastructure services across the UK. Its work with the Highways Agency consists of the smooth running of Area 9.

Area 9 is the Highways Agency’s network in central England. It covers major roads throughout the Midlands, including sections of the M50, M5, M6, M42, M40, A5, A38, A46, M54 and M69.

EM manages a workforce of over 1,150 staff, therefore it is vital that its equipment is in working order.

Similarly, the agency’s winter fleet of over 500 vehicles nationally, is crucial to the effective running of the service and so keys need to be issued safely and securely to allow access.

"Key management has improved 100% because the system records each person who withdraws keys and they are no longer being lost" says Paul Atkin, EM

Highways England uses a two-way radio system, Airwave, to enable communication between the network control centre and Asset Incident Watchmen (AIW) across a vast area.

The airwaves are encrypted so that it is impossible for just anybody to communicate with the officers. Highways England must apply to the Home Office for a license, and meet the criteria set out in the Airwave Code of Practice, something that the EM must adhere to.

Airwave Code of Practice

The Airwave Code of Practice requires the Airwave terminals to be stored securely, readily accessible, restricted to authorised users only, protected from malicious damage and monitored and accounted for.

Fleet management

EM uses key cabinets to store and issue keys for its winter fleet and increase user accountability.

Previously, combination key safes were located at various places around the depots and were left un-secure or unlocked, meaning there was no way of knowing who had used a vehicle and when, and if any damage had been caused, who had caused it.

The Traka system automatically records when a key is used and by whom on a central database. This information is available via the cabinet's data display or on an administrators PC.

This means an administrator knows exactly where each key is at all times and they can also see who last took a key to use a vehicle and when that key was returned. If there is any damage to a vehicle the right person will be held to account.

If one of the vehicles from EM’s winter fleet is needed, it can be utilised straight away and staff do not have to waste valuable time searching for a key which minimises downtime.

“Key management has improved 100% because the system records each person who withdraws keys and they are no longer being lost.

“Where damage has been caused to vehicles with no known culprit, now we have a start point to finding out who has caused it.” says Paul Atkin, EM

Traka’s intelligent locker system with fault logging means users are able to return damaged or faulty handsets and receive a new device while the broken one is fixed
Traka intelligent airwave locker system charges radios, increases accountability and helps EM manage use and misuse of equipment

Airwave Management

Problem

The use of airwaves is strictly controlled to prevent unauthorised access, therefore the Highways England must apply to the Home Office for a licence and meet criteria set out in the Airwave Code of Practice in order to use handsets.

The previous system used by EM left handsets open to abuse and with up to 80 radios in use at any one time, handsets would go missing, be misplaced or easily lost with no accountability.

Batteries would go flat quickly so someone starting their shift would not have access to a fully charged radio and there were instances when some devices were mistakenly taken home, causing a shortage of handsets for anyone starting work.

“Before we had Traka radios would go missing and people would take them out and never bring them back. With Traka, we do not have to replace lost or broken equipment.” says Paul Atkin, EM

Solution

EM decided to implement a more thorough process and purchase intelligent lockers and cabinets from Traka, the key and asset management specialist.

The Traka intelligent airwave locker system charges radios so that staff do not have to waste time trying to find alternative handsets, increases accountability and helps EM protect its investment and manage the use and misuse of equipment.

If devices are broken, damaged, lost or stolen, the system notifies staff through its database on who has taken what and whether it has been returned.

The key cabinets increase accountability because an audit trail means that the manager can see who last took a key to use a vehicle and when that key was returned. If there is any damage to the vehicle the user will be held to account.

“With the radios and Traka the lads do not feel on their own because they know others are there listening and support is there if they need it. Morale with Traka is a lot better.” says Sally Blandford, EM

Faulty equipment logging

Traka’s intelligent locker system with fault logging means users are able to return damaged or faulty handsets and receive a new device while the broken one is fixed.

The system prevents the issue of faulty or damaged devices, meaning staff starting their shift is not presented with a handset that will not work.

The handset is then repaired while the worker is issued with a temporary replacement.


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