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Automating automotive excellence via

A car in front of a kanban board

The challenge

Fleet management, like any asset management, is not for the faint of heart. There's a lot to contend with: availability, seasonal demand management, maintenance and servicing, cleaning and detailing, not to mention all of the critical legal requirements such as tax, MOT and insurance.
CHH Group, a group of local independent car rental companies, were faced with all of the above challenges, and were being forced to make tradeoffs on availability for delivery of other requirements. Unavailable vehicles can equate directly to cash lost, but so too can maintenance which isn't delivered in time, so this was a knot that the team were keen to untangle.
They began by moving their fleet management into, allowing them to keep track of each vehicle's status against key information: tax status, MOT status, last service, current location and many other fields besides.
Despite already being a huge step up from manual, paper-driven processes, having somebody manually keep track of these fields wasn't scalable. To simplify the process, save time, and reduce the likelihood of human error, the team decided to seek an automated solution.
"Up until now we had a single person maintain that information and be the 'source of truth'," says Christopher Wilkie, Managing Director at CHH Group. "However, we were routinely either needing to have vehicles not operating to ensure they got to the right place to be maintained, or we missed opportunities in favour of having the vehicle operating and that meant downstream we incurred cost because the vehicle wasn't maintained on time. By making the information centrally available and visible, it allows us to operate smarter and faster."
In order to take advantage of the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s API for its tax and MOT database, CHH Group needed a tool which would facilitate an integration with and remove the manual, time-consuming process.
The integration needed to be able to update vehicle information based on that in the DVLA database through a one-way data synchronisation - the process of consolidating data across different applications for both new and historic data.
The team also wanted a tool which would scale with them and accommodate future complexities that may be introduced into the process.
"As a car rental company, our main asset is vehicles, and ensuring the ever-growing fleet is maintained and kept compliant has increasing levels of complexity."
For us, the app has been hugely beneficial streamlining a workflow that has been causing friction in our business for a long time.
Christopher Wilkie
Managing Director, CHH Group

The solution: ScriptRunner Connect

CHH Group came upon ScriptRunner Connect through one of The Adaptavist Group's products, with the intention of finding a way to synchronise data between the DVLA database and, through scripting, to achieve a very bespoke use case.
The team wanted to trigger an update on their vehicle fleet table based on the latest DVLA data available for registration date, tax due date and MOT due date.
A one-way data sync was built to establish continuous harmonisation between the two different data stores with the following sequence of instructions run daily:
  1. Connect the DVLA database with CHH Group's instance via API
  2. Trigger a daily data push from the DVLA database (data source) to the vehicle fleet table (data target)
  3. Query the DVLA database requesting information from the 'DVLA tax due date' field
  4. If the 'DVLA tax due date' field is either empty, has been reached, or is in the past, pull the following information from the DVLA database:
    1. Registration date
    2. Tax due date
    3. MOT due date
A screenshot of CHH Group’s workspace in ScriptRunner Connect
A screen capture of CHH Group’s workspace in ScriptRunner Connect

The result?

The integration and data sync between and the DVLA database has delivered a new era of operational efficiency and reliability, significantly enhancing vehicle availability. With automatic alerts for vehicle tax, insurance, and MOT test due dates, the system ensures airtight compliance, effectively eradicating the risk of overlooked MOTs or inconsistent vehicle maintenance. This not only safeguards hire opportunities but also bolsters revenue streams.
A screen capture of CHH Group's board
A screen capture of CHH Group's board

Operational efficiency and car hire readiness

The team has been delighted with the results.
"For us, the app has been hugely beneficial streamlining a workflow that has been causing friction in our business for a long time."

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More about CHH Group

Family owned and operating since 2009, CHH Group is a group of local independent car rental companies Car Hire Hebrides and Highland Vehicle Rental specialising in providing brand new, high-quality car and van rental throughout the Outer Hebrides and Highlands, including exclusive bases at Stornoway Airport, Benbecula Airport, Barra Airport and Inverness Airport.