The basic principles of road haulage are pretty simple – efficiently and cost-effectively moving goods from A to B. But behind that there’s a raft of rules, regulations, licences and compliance issues that are best left in the hands of an expert.
ST & L Consultancy in Milton Keynes offers a friendly, customer-focused road haulage management service that eases the burden and allow logistics and haulage firms the time they need to concentrate on their core business knowing that processes are in place to ensure safety and compliance.
Richard Jackman founded ST & L Consultancy in 2010, offering consultancy services side by side with his work as a transport manager for one of the world’s leading logistics companies. In 2014, he took the decision to leave corporate life and turn his full attention to the consultancy in order to focus on the needs of the small and medium-size operators that needed the services of a transport manager but weren’t yet in a position to employ one internally.
“For a smaller company, it isn’t easy to keep the business running and also stay on top of compliance requirements like operator licences, risk assessments, telemetry and tachograph analysis, training and the like,” said Richard. “The large firms have in-house management systems, but for a small or medium-sized operator, that’s just not practical, yet the consequences of not having the correct procedures in place can be devastating.
“We are a fully accredited company offering a comprehensive range of services that ensure our clients meet the expectations of the regulatory and legal bodies and in doing so, keep their companies running efficiently and maximise profits.”
One of Richard’s main tasks was to begin the process of gaining ISO 9001:2015 accreditation and become a certified DVSA ER authorised external auditor. All that was in place by the beginning of 2020, just a week or two before the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed.
“This business is very much based around recommendation and word of mouth and so I’d decided that a good networking organisation was the way to increase the visibility of my business, then a few weeks after I’d gained that full accreditation, we were in lockdown,” said Richard.
“Fortunately, I’d found a group that worked for me – Collaborate MK, run by Tim Lee – and that helped me to get the word out about my business. Despite all that’s happened, we’ve had a good year and have recently moved into new offices in Olney, which are proving an excellent base.”
Among the services on offer from ST & L Consultancy are:
- Operational systems health checks and compliance audits
- Risk assessments
- Compliance Monitoring for Restricted Licence Operators
- Analogue/Digital Tachograph Analysis
- Fleet telemetry platforms
- Project management
- New business start-up advice
- DVSA ER Audits and FORS pre-audit preparation
While ST & L Consultancy’s core area is within a 60-mile radius of Milton Keynes, virtual meetings in the light of social distancing have seen geographical barriers broken down to some extent, and Richard has engaged the services of expert contractors across the UK to carry out work where necessary.
“An individual is only able to act as an external transport manager on behalf of a maximum of four operators, and so I’ve enlisted expert sub-contractors who can take on that role on behalf of our clients as and when needed,” explained Richard.
“There are a number of ways we get involved with clients. One is that they come to me with a specific issue – maybe they have been involved in a DVSA roadside check and it transpires there is a problem that needs rectifying and they call on us to help; or they are facing a public enquiry and need to show that they have put measures in place to become compliant and meet regulatory guidelines.
“On the other hand, I’ve also dealt with business that are doing everything absolutely perfectly, have fantastic processes in place, but don’t have any official documentation to prove that they are compliant.
“Whatever the situation, we can carry out a complete assessment of what they have in place and what they need to do to be fully compliant. Rules and regulations are changing all the time and we make it our business to keep on top of that and give clients advice that is as up to date as possible, taking that burden off them.”
ST & L Consultancy has recently launched a new and improved website that includes more advice and information for operators, including downloadable content that will hopefully prove helpful.
“We are here to provide the services of a recognised and experienced transport manager for operators ranging from one just starting out in the industry and not yet au fait with the rules and regulations through to an established company that needs additional help with admin or project work,” said Richard. “Our aim is to become part of our clients’ businesses, giving them a personalised service, tailored to their specific needs, as well as a high level of customer satisfaction.”