Mark Wilcox resignation announcement

After 32 years with Exactrak, Mark Wilcox has tendered his resignation to commence the next chapter of his career. His last day with the business will be Friday 12th November.

During Mark’s time with Exactrak, he has significantly grown the business by developing a number of innovative solutions, including vehicle tracking, navigation and route planning, which have driven great efficiencies for local authorities.

Through his passion and dedication to the role, Mark has steered Exactrak into becoming a leader within the winter maintenance industry and leaves the business in a very strong position for future growth.

Although this is a significant change, Avery Weigh-Tronix is still very much committed to supporting the Exactrak business and will continue to maintain the differentiation as a market leader in the winter service industry.

To minimise the impact to our customers during the 2021/22 winter season, Pam Shields (UK Business Unit Manager, Avery Weigh-Tronix) will immediately become the point of contact for all commercial relationships.

We would like to sincerely thank Mark for his contribution and leadership during his time with the company and wish him the greatest success in his new role.

Exactrak signs partnership agreement with Yotta to deliver enhanced vehicle tracking for UK local authorities

We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership agreement with asset management specialists, Yotta.

We’ll be combining our expertise in vehicle tracking, navigation and routing with Yotta’s leading data visualisation software to allow local authorities to support enhanced collaboration across departments and make smarter decisions across all their applications.

Local authorities with Exactrak hardware fitted to waste collection or other municipal, maintenance vehicles will be able to integrate with Yotta’s connected asset management software, Alloy to visualise and share data from our route fleet tracking solutions, and our dynamic routing software, Map-a-Route.

Users will also be able both to display live vehicle tracking data and support enhanced collaboration between departments to create vehicle routes for all municipal applications.

Local authorities will now be able to see exactly what work is being done and is completed, in turn enabling them to make smarter decisions across all their applications. This will also include areas such as gritting and the use of Avery Weigh-Tronix weighbridges, which councils have historically often managed in a siloed fragmented manner.

The initial driver for the partnership was a joint opportunity with a London Borough Council. The council was already using software from both Exactrak and Yotta and wanted to benefit from the enhanced data integration available between the two solution sets.

Mark Wilcox, Telematics Market Manager for the Innovation Division at Avery Weigh-Tronix said: We immediately saw how well the two companies complement each other, not only in terms of their strong connections with council teams across the UK, but also in terms of skills and technologies. Working with Yotta helps ensure that we get in front of the right people within local authority teams. 

“On the technology side also, Alloy brings great benefits,” added Mark. “It is a great tool in terms of its ability to connect assets, people and data across local authorities – but we were also very impressed with its visualisation capabilities.

The way Alloy displays information pictorially really helps drive understanding and decision-making but it also helps us gain the specification requirements needed to ensure inclusion in public sector tenders.”

Anique Bravenboer, Alliance Manager, Yotta, said: “Thanks to this partnership and the easy-to-use interface between the two companies’ software, we can add a new layer of functionality around vehicle tracking to our existing customer base. The synergy between Exactrak and ourselves should allow the partnership to reach not just UK customers but also a much wider international market over time.”  

The partnership is well under way, with customers across the UK already using the combined solution – with data taken from Exactrak applications already being used in Alloy. The next steps are for both parties to work together to build further on opportunities already established in the UK and further afield. 

Looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Without much warning, the outbreak of the Coronavirus dramatically changed life as we know it.

The government-imposed guidelines asking us to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus could cause many of us to feel isolated, bored, frustrated or lonely. You might also be feeling low, worried, anxious, or concerned about your finances, your health or your loved ones.

It’s ok to feel like this – everyone reacts in their own way to challenging events and uncertainty.

Although the Coronavirus itself is affecting people’s physical health, the uncertainty associated with the situation could have a negative effect on your mental health too.

We’ve put together some guidance to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing over the next few weeks.

Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home

The government has told us to stay at home where possible and only leave the house for food, health reasons or essential work. If you’re used to spending large parts of your day around people, this can be a huge challenge to adjust to.

Try to view this as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one. The new rules have changed our rhythm of daily life to become more relaxed (think no stressful morning or evening commute) and has freed up time we didn’t have before.

Use your new free time to read or watch films, do those jobs around the house you’ve been putting off, or make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby (or start a new one) if it is something you can still do at home.

Your physical health makes a huge difference to your mood and helps you sleep better at night. Try getting out the house once a day to go for a walk, or take part in group exercise classes online – like the ones the Body Coach, Joe Wicks is live streaming daily on his YouTube channel). Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and remember to drink enough water. 

Create a new daily routine that focuses on your wellbeing. Writing a plan for your day or week which sets out the professional and personal goals you want to achieve can help you stay motivated.

And remember, although staying at home might be difficult, this is only a temporary measure and you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

Stay connected to your friends, family and colleagues

In times of uncertainty and stress, we rely on our friends and family for company and support. Now more than ever it’s important to keep in touch with your loved ones.

Whether it’s through phone and video calls, messaging or social media, maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Lots of other people are finding the situation difficult, so staying in touch could help them too.

Many of us will be missing the social interaction we get during our normal daily lives. Luckily lots of businesses have formed social groups where you can chat to people online instead of meeting face-to-face.

If you have children, ask them what they have heard about the outbreak. Explain the facts as truthfully as possible while avoiding over-exposure to the coverage of the virus.

Manage how you follow the outbreak in the media

With so many news sources available to us and extensive news coverage about the outbreak, it can be overwhelming to continually read about the virus.

Although it’s important to stay informed and educate yourself, if you find the news is causing you huge stress, try to find a balance between staying informed without experiencing information overload.

Rumours and speculation within the media can fuel anxiety and do your mental health more harm than good. Stick to reputable sources for information on the virus. The government’s website, has lots of good information and is updated regularly.

Although social media is a great tool for staying connected, it can also be a place where news is sensationalised and cause increased anxiety. Consider unfollowing or muting people or accounts that make you feel anxious.

Don’t stay glued to the news. Try to limit the amount of time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak. Think about turning off breaking news alerts on your phone or set yourself a specific time to read news updates.

Covid-19 Coronavirus Service Continuity Plan

COVID-19 service continuity plan

Customer Notification: Covid-19 Coronavirus Service Continuity Plan

Dear Customer,

As the Government guidance continues to change across the UK and a new tier of lockdown measures are now in place in England, Scotland, Wales, Southern and Northern Ireland, we wanted to update you on the work we are doing to keep Exactrak fully operational. We would like to reassure you that Exactrak is continuing to operate as normal, including completing new installations and providing software support.

As the safety of our employees is of paramount importance, several measures are in place across our business to allow us to continue to operate safely. Our aim is to continue to support you with as little disruption to your usual service as possible.

All our office-based workforce are now working remotely, including members of our Service Response Team who are ready to take your call, should you need us. This has greatly improved our team resilience and helped to maintain our high level of service to you. Every effort has been made to create awareness around appropriate actions to limit the risks of Coronavirus amongst our workforce, including regular handwashing, work area sanitation and social distancing. All our employees have been requested to follow the government and NHS guidelines on self-isolation if either they, or a person they live with has displayed any Coronavirus symptoms. We have also requested the adherence to the travel advice outlined by the FCO in the UK and the DFA in Ireland for all our employees and contractors and all non-essential business travel has been postponed.

As an Exactrak customer, maintaining our high level of service for you is our primary focus and our engineers are doing all they can to meet your business requirements. Although we are not currently seeing a risk in our performance against our contractual obligations to you, should we be in a situation where our service becomes restricted, we will narrow our technician focus to equipment installations and agreed service repairs.

Our service engineers have been advised to act in guidance with our customer’s own continuity procedures and maintain strong hygiene regimes while on customer sites. We will be contacting you prior to all appointments so you can keep us informed of any new procedures you may have implemented since our last visit.

We have also asked that our engineers are mindful about taking social distancing measures, we ask that you please take this into account when greeting, inducting and registering them on site, as well as in their working environment.

If you have concerns over our engineers attending site, please speak to one of our team members on 0845 246 2778.

Our Customer Support Team are available as usual and along with our approved partners, we will continue to support you with any portal or software related issues as they arise.

We are requesting that where possible, all site meetings with our Account Managers are conducted over video conferencing or telephone call. If face to face visits are required, then we ask that social distancing is maintained and that a minimal number of people attend the meeting.

We continue to monitor our stock levels of both product and spare parts and believe our supply chain to be robust and in our control. We are continuing to review our core stock supplies daily, and should a change in our situation occur, we will be able to notify you again with our updated contingency plan.

As we continue to receive regular government updates regarding the Coronavirus status, we will be working closely with our partners to ensure you are informed of any changes to our business continuity plan. Until then, we will endeavor to provide our usual high level of service and should you have any further queries regarding our support during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 246 2778.

Yours sincerely,

Pam Shields
UK Business Unit Manager – Avery Weigh-Tronix

*Updated July 2021

Who really gives a grit?

Keeping drivers safe this winter season

The 19/20 winter forecast has predicted a cold snap which will cause the usual problems across the roads of the UK. But whether our roads receive a light dusting of snow, or a Beast from the East 2.0, local authorities have a responsibility to keep roads – and drivers on the roads – safe.

Say ‘drivers’ and the first thing that springs to mind is usually the general public. But it’s not just the public who need to be protected…