In today’s world of ever-increasing driver turnover, many fleets mistakenly believe the economics of turnover outweigh the benefits of retention.
On Wednesday, December 9, I partnered with National Tank Truck Carriers to present the Thriving Through Disruption webinar, which focused on driver turnover and the importance of leveraging smart mobile technology to enable more efficient driver workflow behaviors while out on the open road. While this webinar was primarily targeted toward the tank truck industry, fleets of all sizes can benefit from the takeaways shared. Read on for a few relevant insights you can apply to your business strategies and goals.
Digital transformation in trucking and transportation
Harvard Business Review recently determined 70% of all businesses that implemented initiatives around digital transformation, or the adoption of digital technology and services, did not reach their intended goals. This was due to a lack of strategy around selecting the right transformative technologies for their teams and business needs.
The trucking industry has always been an early adopter of mobile technology and telematics. As I mentioned in the webinar, digital transformation should help you make the journey from where you are today to where you must be tomorrow. It should greatly simplify — not complicate — the way your teams seek to accomplish their strategic departmental goals. And there is perhaps no better example of this than a significantly enhanced driver workflow experience.
Driver turnover and the generational gap
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates that turnover is currently at 89% for large truckload carriers and 73% for small truckload businesses. Surprisingly, ATA also discovered 88% of fleets said they were getting enough applicants for trucking jobs, but many were unqualified. These numbers confirm that when you have drivers who are right for the job, you should do everything in your power to retain them.
Many fleet carriers are trying to balance a technological gap between drivers of different generations, aiming to recruit drivers entering the workforce as other drivers begin retiring. Some drivers of older generations have had less experience with modern technology and more experience with manual, more time-consuming processes. In contrast, some younger drivers are more comfortable with the digital world and less comfortable with the pen-and-paper route.
What further complicates matters for drivers is that the technological route has become more ingrained in our continually evolving industry, leaving many drivers relying on many different application types running on different platforms on different devices. This is not an endearing workflow process for drivers of any generation, and it can quickly leave your drivers feeling frustrated, overworked, and overwhelmed.
Fortunately, there is a way for you to greatly simplify driver tasks and activities — in one unified place — and help drivers quickly and efficiently complete the administrative responsibilities you need them to. This way, they can spend the majority of their time focusing on the road and delivering exceptional service to your customers.
Improve the driver experience to transform your operation
Not all driver workflow solutions are created equally. When looking for a solution that’s right for your business, you’ll want to ensure it’s easy to use, context- and location-driven, and customizable for all of your service groups and teams.
A user-friendly solution is one that a driver can easily navigate throughout the lifecycle of their trip, from arrival to departure and all the stops in between. With each stop along their journey, a driver can focus on stop-specific job tasks, like pre- and post-trip inspections. Using location and context, the driver only sees and manages the job tasks and activities associated with the location and stop they are present in.
Whatever your business needs may be, you want a solution that you can easily configure to match your various service operations — without having to embark on costly and time-consuming software development projects. This way, you can have an unlimited number of driver workflow configuration sets that uniquely cater to different drivers and their unique responsibilities. This approach not only makes life much easier for drivers, but it also paves the way for you to standardize your operating procedures with consistent data collection and recording processes in place. An enhanced driver workflow solution is a win for your drivers, a win for your teams, and a win for your business.