Being at the right place at the right time is important for every business but when you’re providing the link between the public, the media and some of the world’s most highly anticipated live events, it’s even more vital. Since 1977, Film & TV Services have provided location lighting and power generation facilities for the film and television industries, supporting many leading media companies at a variety of live televised events such as the UEFA Champions League, major golf tournaments and reality TV shows. They achieve this through their fleet of more than 25 specialist vehicle-integrated broadcast silent generators and 15 other support vehicles. These gensets range in output from 40kVA to 440kVA. Being under constant pressure to get vehicles to locations across Europe and the UK from their centre of operations in London means that knowing where each of their engineers is on the road is hugely valuable. Film & TV Services can view and track every one of their vehicles at any time through the use of an online tracking system, Seven Eye, from telematics leader, Seven Telematics. They also rely on the Seven Eye system to monitor when their generators are in use. Chris Pratt, Technical Director at Film & TV Services, explains:
“The main reason we use the Seven Eye trackers is for positioning so that we can see exactly who is driving which vehicle and where they are at any time. Our engineers have a key fob which they simply touch on a reader in the cabs. This means that we have all the key information logged. The Seven Eye system gives us a valuable overview of the whole fleet. This insight also allows us to track when there are issues with traffic or roadworks, so we can call clients and let them know in advance when an engineer is running late. In the event of a breakdown, the system is also useful because it provides us with the exact GPS position of the vehicle in question, so we can provide accurate details to technicians instead of estimating. It also allows us to see the closest available units if we need to replace generators on site. The mobile Seven Eye app is particularly useful to our operations team during out of office hours with incidents like this.”
Film & TV Services install the trackers on the vehicles themselves but worked closely with Seven Telematics to adapt the inputs on the GPS units to enable them to track when the on-board generators are turned on and off. As Chris says:
“Having the data on the generators is really useful because, with our contracts working on a daily fee basis, we can see exactly how long they are in use for and bill accordingly. If the equipment runs longer than scheduled, we can tell. It’s also good for audit purposes and for having an overview of which equipment has been used most frequently.”
The technology has proved to have other benefits too. Chris describes a recent incident in which they were approached by an insurer who said that they were liable for costs because of an incident with one of their vans. Film & TV Services were able to use the Seven Eye data to prove that, not only was the vehicle not in that location at the time mentioned, but it was also stationary! He also explains how the company’s Finance Director uses the data provided by the system to corroborate time sheets from the company’s engineers.