Disparate systems
Managing a variety of disparate systems can sometimes bring on new complications that become apparent only during their combined use.

ELogs. Telematics. GPS. Embedded software. Safety features. Business intelligence applications. These developments, each of which are likely nested deeply and securely in your truck, were originally, individually intended to make the lives of commercial drivers easier. However, managing such a volume and variety of disparate systems can sometimes bring on new complications that become apparent only during their combined use. Loading one system while digitally signing another and logging in to yet another, it is almost surprising that the ignition key is ever turned!

Obviously, onboard systems cannot be ignored – nor should they be. Many are implemented to ensure your safety. Some are implemented to improve a company’s bottom line (which is good for your tenure). A few are even designed for your convenience. And they all take part in a dance we refer to generally as transportation and logistics. Are your partner systems good dancers? Or are they stepping all over your feet and visiting the punch bowl entirely too much? Maybe your systems need some pointers? Automation and Integration may be just what you need to turn your fleet into the Fred Astaire of the delivery world.

Automation

By now, you have your issues of compliance handled (right?), but that doesn’t help with the mashup of processes that you must now manage at the beginning of every shift, delivery, or deployment. While the time it takes to flip one more switch or log in to one more system or submit one more report manually may seem negligible when considering processes at an individual level, think about how much time might be saved across a fleet of 50 or 100 drivers over the course of 365 successive days, if some of these processes were automated. By automating processes, you enable efficiencies to multiply, and when they do, your organization stands to save time and money, perhaps exponentially. Consider the wise NASCAR driver who goes to great lengths to shave ounces from the weight of his steering wheel, seats, and engine components on a car that ultimately weighs between 3,200 and 3,400 pounds. Automation accomplishes the same thing for fleet managers by shaving inefficiencies from otherwise and sometimes unnecessarily weighty processes, thereby allowing fleets to run leaner than ever.

Integration

Can you juggle four oranges? What about 27? Can you juggle 27 oranges? Probably not. But that’s what we ask drivers to do by having them coordinate numerous, wildly disparate systems while driving a truck weighing potentially 40 tons and measuring 53 feet long through bustling city streets. Don’t get me wrong – I am sure that every system utilized in your fleet has a unique and necessary role in the safety and compliance of your drivers. But it does beg the question: how can you do things better?

The answer to this question is integration. By connecting disparate systems and allowing systems to talk to each other, to run in the background while other systems are active, to work as one large, comprehensive, scalable system, drivers can juggle more systems than they even realize. From dispatch to loading and unloading, to delivery and ticketing, to back-office processes, integration can help you get your juggling act under control regardless of your fleet size or the nature of your service or inventory.

It’s not likely that drivers will see a reduction in systems in the future, so it’s important to figure out how to manage all your fleet’s disparate systems effectively and efficiently through automation and integration.

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