Software: the key to digital transformation

By Categories: Commercial NewsPublished On: Wednesday 22 June 2022

Peter Millichap, UK marketing director at Teletrac Navman UK, discusses how a shift to digital processes can drive efficiency for transport fleets

With up to 95 per cent of manufactured goods transported in containers at one point in their journey, the transportation and logistics sector is at the core of global supply chain. And with the consumer class expected to grow by 35 per cent by 2030, demands on the transportation sector are expected to increase.

As a result, the industry must embrace challenges including visibility, agility, and sustainability issues in order to best serve their customers – a task that Teletrac Navman are helping transport managers tackle through their recently launched free Digital Transformation Guide.

So, how does the sector handle this metamorphosis? It’s simple: transport managers must embrace digital transformation strategies such as telematics and Internet of Things (IoT) to supercharge operations and kickstart the digital transformation process.

By introducing digital processes, transport managers are not only eliminating the amount of paper used in their business but are also creating less labour-intensive processes and empowering their drivers with real time information.

These benefits are driving the growth of the global digital transformation market, which is expected to grow at a compound rate of 23.6 per cent every year between 2021 and 2028.

So how exactly does software help fleets digitally transform?

1. Communication

 The ability to always communicate with drivers via a dedicated centralised messaging software, which includes broadcast and 1:1 capability, can significantly improve workflow and communication management, opening the door to a new world of digital transformation.

Joseph Masters, a transport manager at Metro Housing who uses Teletrac Navman’s TN360 software, found that communication software was an integral part of the digital transformation process.

He commented: “We have some drivers that have been in the workforce for 20+ years, so it can sometimes be difficult to communicate what we’re doing and why it’s important. Having the data there to back up our decisions, and inform our steps going forward, has made implementing new processes that much easier.”

2. Job management

As Teletrac Navman’s digital transformation guide highlights, a big part of how software can help fleets digitally transform is the capabilities IoT has in improving operational efficiencies.

With IoT, transport managers can easily assign daily run sheets, manage ad-hoc requests, track job progress, and automate customer communication, keeping them informed and updated on delivery schedules.

Teletrac Navman’s president, Alain Samaha, explains: “Digital Transformation for us is to provide the capability and the technology that allows you to do more with less. So, you can actually move goods much faster in a more efficient way. It is connecting your workflow with data from multiple systems so you can do your job better with the resource you have.”

3. Digital record management

Gone are the days of endless filing cupboards full of paper. Software can centralise document management into a digital library that can be accessed by drivers at all times. This simplifies version control and ensures that records are accessible to all who need it, allowing transport managers to send documents to drivers based on their activities, for example entering a specific customer site. Digital record management software really is the tip of the iceberg that is digital transformation.

Barney Goffer, Teletrac Navman’s UK product manager, commented: “Paperless systems can leave room for error, but by using digital record software, transport managers can embrace digital transformation to streamline their processes and ensure their teams are as up-to-date as possible.”

4. Maintenance scheduling

 In an age where more and more transport managers are seeking to maintain and repair vehicles (as opposed to the costly alternative of buying new vehicles), digitising inspection and maintenance processes is a no brainer.

Software allows transport operatives to get instant notifications for vehicle defects and build scheduled maintenance programs based on vehicle odometer readings or engine diagnostic codes. By using software of this nature, transport managers can keep on top of maintenance milestones and kickstart the digital transformation process.

Joseph Hatton, fleet manager at ARB Recycling and Teletrac Navman customer, commented: “The detailed monitoring of driver performance has helped us to drastically improve behaviour on the road and who wouldn’t be pleased with such a big reduction in maintenance costs as a result – we can now focus on investing on more important areas of the business knowing our mobile assets are safer on the road.”

5. Digital data capture

As the Digital Transformation Guide showcases, using digital forms and checklists simplifies the process of completing documents for drivers. It helps to encourage them to complete this administrative task and also helps to maintain accurate records that can be accessed instantly.

But harnessing the power of digital data goes beyond administrative tasks. Released in April, Teletrac Navman’s new AI-powered dashboard camera – Smart Dashcams – provides real-time video footage alongside AI incident detection data and audio in-cab guidance to take digital transformation a step further.

The product reforms and enhances driver coaching by monitoring driver behaviour on a case-by-case basis to tailor training relevant to each individual. By providing an easy-to-use, accurate, and personalised solution powered by AI-learning, transport managers can ensure they turn data into decisions.

Ultimately, whether it be through new AI-powered technology or through IoT record management, having technologies that can be linked together via an open application programming interface (API) or pre-configured integration system, enables fleets to bring systems and data together. Through having an integrated software solution at their fingertips, fleets can use digital transformation to spearhead a new era of growth and flexibility.

More information on digital transformation is available in Teletrac Navman’s free Digital Transformation Guide (here) which features advice on how to implement digital change.