Laura Lohrke's picture

Sep 26, 2018

By:

Laura Lohrke

Senior Product Manager

Since the mass introduction of mobile devices — smartphones, tablets, smartwatches — mobile applications, or “apps,” have redefined the way companies complete day-to-day operations. Today, more than two thirds of the world’s total population has access to a mobile device. Given the digital transformation that the transportation industry is currently experiencing, it should come as no surprise that fleets are partaking in the mobile frenzy.  

With the unmatched ability for fleets to connect with customers, drivers, merchandisers, and shippers from anywhere and at any time, mobile devices present a massive opportunity for all parties to overhaul company processes. From redefining how fleets track, plan, and navigate their routes; to helping drivers identify nearby freight; to tracking proof-of delivery, apps are enhancing nearly every aspect of the industry.

ELD Mandate: Accelerating the need for drivers to get their hands on devices

Since the implementation of the ELD Mandate in December 2017, drivers have been required to electronically record their Records of Duty Status (RODS), replacing the traditional paper logbooks. Affecting close to 3.4 million drivers, the new regulations have added some administrative tasks for drivers and fleet managers. To streamline processes, many fleets are implementing new mobile solutions to help drivers monitor their hours of service (HOS) logs. 

The industry has seen many partnerships, such as Omnitracs’ joint solution with Samsung Electronics America, Inc., to provide fleets with mobile ELD solutions that include performance analytics to improve driver safety, maximize drive time, lower costs, and increase productivity. 

And it’s not just carriers that are adopting mobile ELD solutions. Industries like foodservice have a need for routing, dispatching, and ELD compliance. Fleets that already use mobile for GPS tracking and comparing actuals to planned routes have a smooth transition to mobile ELDs. They can use the same mobile devices for all of this, plus trip management, proof of delivery, IFTA and DVIR compliance. 

Must-have apps: The mobile wishlist  

As technology evolves, new mobile apps continue to enter the scene, offering next-generation capabilities across the industry. While every fleet has unique needs to support their employees and their bottom lines, across the industry many agree that some of the most beneficial apps are those that track proof of delivery. It’s critical that companies have insight into their supply chain, specifically related to tracking sales people, merchandisers, and drivers. 

Looking at our own customer needs, real-time visibility into deliveries, customer service, and driver productivity were all top of mind. Omnitracs’ Roadnet Mobile Manager allows managers to retrieve real-time insight into daily business operations, providing instant visibility into daily routes, as well as the performance and location of drivers, equipment, and deliveries. With the solution, managers will be able to optimize customer service by providing up-to-the minute information on route execution, no matter their locations. Further, if confirmation of delivery was not received, fleets can quickly investigate and assess each scenario, implementing an efficient, safe, and cost-effective workflow solution that also maintains a high level of customer satisfaction. With the application, managers can also better manage their workers by seeing who is or isn’t meeting performance standards when compared to pre-set benchmarks.

In addition, Omnitracs Navigation, a responsive truck navigation app, provides on-board navigation and customized maps to ensure fleets are taking the best path to customers. The software, which considers commercial road restrictions for each specific vehicle, leverages the most recent information to develop optimal routes and ensure improved productivity and substantial overall cost savings.

What will 2019 bring?

In this digital era, it’s clear that the industry needs to embrace the digital lifestyle — or risk being left behind. As millions of people have immediate access to mobile devices, it’s critical that fleets invest in apps that will help improve processes, compliance, driver happiness, and the bottom line. With mobile becoming the status quo, companies must now look to the next level of innovation: integrating the capabilities of these apps into one unified platform.  


 

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