We surveyed some delegates at the Road Transport Forum Conference in Tauranga in October about the industry’s expectations and concerns regarding innovation. Some key things emerged. As it turns out, we’re all pretty aware of the changes in the near future (with the likes of autonomous vehicles), so with innovation all around us and technology advancing fast, what’s next? What should we look out for?
According to those surveyed, the biggest innovation for transport operators is integrated applications. Integrating your systems, including your telematics system, will help improve operational efficiency through streamlining your business and providing accurate, actionable data. This reduces the time and effort you spend on manual processes.
Popular integrated applications for transport operators include:
• Freight management: systems like iCOS LIVE for example allow their clients to place job orders online, and track and trace consignments. Integrating this with a GPS tracking system provides a more efficient service to customers all the way from job bookings to delivery.
• Job management: integrating your job scheduling with telematics will significantly reduce the amount of time your team spends on administration. Assign incoming work to employees with full visibility into everybody’s allocated jobs and the location of your vehicles. Schedule recurring jobs more efficiently by measuring exactly how long it takes for drivers to arrive onsite and how much time they spend there.
• Timesheets: Organising payment for employees based on an hourly rate can be complex, particularly with overtime and holiday rates to factor in. Integrate your payroll system with GPS vehicle tracking software to remove room for human error or timesheet manipulation. Track exactly how many hours each driver spends on the road and send this information to your payroll system without any manual input.
When asked what was the biggest benefit from innovation, most survey respondents said productivity followed by customer service and cost efficiency.
GPS-based fleet optimisation products and services include real-time GPS vehicle tracking – being able to see your whole fleet at a glance – and data analytics – inspecting, transforming and modelling data to discover business insights and support decision-making. This enables transport operators to monitor, measure and improve operational costs and efficiencies – making their business smarter and more productive.
For example, you can use a telematics system to increase the fuel efficiency of your fleet, through measuring driving style, speed, and time spent idling – all factors which can push up costs. If you know a truck is being driven too fast or abruptly braking too often, you can work with the driver to improve their skills – and decrease your costs.
Customer service is a biggie. Your customers expect immediate, easy access to information, whether they’re a customer waiting on a freight delivery or a project manager standing on a construction site. Dispatchers can send the nearest vehicle to a job location and then communicate accurate and updated arrival times to customers, keeping them informed at all times. Having estimated time of arrival data at your fingertips allows businesses to manage expectations with the customer.
Last but certainly not least, our survey showed the biggest concerns with innovation to be around security of data, followed by privacy.
So while there may be some concerns, the mood of the survey respondents was that there are a lot of good things coming from innovation in the transport industry. Whatever the challenges are, Teletrac Navman technology will be there to support and grow with the industry.