Technology really is pretty brilliant, right? With the click of a button—or tap of a finger—we can find out impossible amounts of information pretty much anywhere, any when. Technology is to the fleet industry what HGH is to the human body—that is to say, technology helps the fleet industry grow. More specifically, technology can help to regulate fleets so that productivity is up and loss is down. The fleet technology to which I am referring is, of course, telematics. With the ever increasing amount of fleet data available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. David Palle, vice president of product management, Omnitracs, discusses how to make the most of your telematics solution.
MWS: OMNITRACS RECENTLY ANNOUNCED AVAILABILITY OF THE ROADNET ANYWHERE V4.5. WHAT DOES THIS UPDATE BRING TO THE TABLE IN TERMS OF BEING DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TELEMATICS COMPANY OFFERINGS?
PALLE: The Roadnet Anywhere Fleet Management Platform solves a variety of problems for distribution and service companies. As the challenges of last-mile grow, software must adjust to solve these issues. The RNA platform is a growing application that tackles new challenges as they evolve, which is exactly how the new product evolved within the Omnitracs Routing, Dispatching, and Compliance (RDC) platform.
Companies typically rely on data from multiple systems from multiple vendors, which are not designed to work together, as each vendor provides different data calculations. It’s difficult for most fleets to maximize the value of these systems because you have to spend so much time trying to sort through the data.
The RNA platform, as part of our broader RDC platform, is our solution to these challenges. One solution. One device. A single device in the cab for drivers and a single backend for the office. No more switching devices. Through our Omnitracs RDC platform, we are the first in the marketplace to offer a completely integrated, non-overlapping product that combines routing, dispatching, trip management, proof of delivery, performance management, and compliance.
This latest software update incorporates advanced vehicle overview features, allowing managers to more easily view the status and track the performance of their entire fleet while also enhancing workflow configurations on the ground.
Fleet Overview provides a better singular management area for vehicles that have a route plan, or do not have a plan at all. Additionally, this update provides advanced compliance tools that encompass HOS/eLogs, DVIR, and IFTA to further enhance the Omnitracs RDC solutions.
MWS: WITH TELEMATICS BEING SO PROMINENT IN THE FLEET INDUSTRY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO FLEET OWNERS/MANAGERS TO MORE EASILY FIGURE OUT WHAT EXACTLY THEY NEED FOR MAXIMUM PRODUCTIVITY?
PALLE: Fleet owners and managers need to be able to balance their various needs against efforts to maximize productivity, and this requires a more holistic perspective.
Most companies find it difficult to effectively balance needs around route efficiency, driver safety, regulatory compliance, and customer service. It’s not uncommon for fleets to drive initiatives or actions that optimize one process at the expense of other things. One example of this could be developing route plans that fail to fully account for potential negative compliance effects—such as creating hours of service issues.
With RDC, managers and drivers can easily balance their business needs by having a comprehensive perspective on all aspects required to make the best decisions, and then quickly make adjustments as needed.
MWS: HOW MUCH OF OMNITRACS’ INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS AND UPDATES ARE BASED ON CUSTOMER FEEDBACK AND HOW MUCH ON INTUITING CUSTOMER NEEDS?
PALLE: It’s a balancing act. We take information in from multiple sources, including customers, prospects, and—most importantly—changing market dynamics. The fleet industry is changing at a rate that is comparable to the evolution of the mobile phone—from feature phones that made simple phone calls to smartphones that are fully enabled mobile computers. We cannot rely only on one or the other. We have to hear what customers and prospects are saying, and blend it with what we see today with technology and what we know is coming, such as platooning and self-driving vehicles.
MWS: WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO FROM OMNITRACS OVER THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO?
PALLE: The fleet industry is in the midst of a massive amount of change, and Omnitracs plans to both capitalize and be a big part of driving that change. We see this happening through alignment of our products and various macro-level trends like Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive applications, social media, and faster delivery of goods.
Omnitracs, LLC is a global pioneer of fleet management, routing, and predictive analytics solutions for private and for-hire fleets. Find out more about Omnitracs, visit www.omnitracs.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: JUNE 2017 ISSUE
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