The value of vehicle visibility: How location intelligence can deliver

The value of vehicle visibility: How location intelligence can deliver

Logistic challenges are nothing new to the trucking industry. Today’s challenge is keeping up with customer expectations that are pushed to increasingly higher levels by technology. Visibility is the name of today’s logistics game and location-powered, end-to-end technology is enabling fleets to deliver on those expectations.

From predictive solutions that help fleets tackle challenges typically seen in the last-mile sector to increasing customer satisfaction through better visibility, location-based technology presents profitable possibilities.

In a recent webinar hosted by Fleet Equipment (FE), the future of location intelligence technology was the topic of conversation for Christoph Herzig, Director of Product Management Supply Chain Solutions, HERE Technologies, and Badrinath Jayaram, Global Business Development Lead, TCS DigiFleet.

Take a dive into how increased visibility is helping businesses optimize deliveries and explore how location intelligence facilitates the move to predictive fleet technology in this technology-centric discussion.

FE: What are the challenges that transportation/fleet companies are facing today that surround last-mile and urban delivery?

Herzig: Supporting our customers with more advance products and solutions should be a focus in the coming years, along with prioritizing an innovation budget to keep this going. The next few years will be driven by the lessons learned from the last two to three years where supply chain disruptions have not only impacted the first and middle mile, but subsequently the last mile. If you are not able to get the delivery to the distribution center, then there is nothing to deliver. In the end, getting an end-to-end view of the supply chain is absolutely critical.

Additionally, customer expectations have been rising over the last three to five years. We are seeing a huge demand for better ETAs. For the different legs of the supply chain, stitching together the entire journey, not only from a planning perspective but also from a real-time visibility perspective, and having real-time updates allows you to react faster to any disruption and take corrective measures to ultimately keep your customer promise.

Another challenge faced by the transportation industry, is the driver shortage. There is a genuine need for better working conditions for drivers. This can be achieved by providing them with the right combination of the fit-for-purpose tooling for specific vehicles, which allows them to execute their responsibilities in a stress-free manner. Based on our research this trend started five years ago, and it is only increasing. Knowledgeable people are leaving the logistics industry and they not returning.

It’s important to retain drivers by providing resources to successfully execute their job while also bringing new people on board in higher frequencies. This can be achieved by combining the right tools with the right automated processes. Together, the digital tools and processes can assist in coaching and training drivers to improve retention rates.

Jayaram: From the dispatcher’s point of view, the job can be a nightmare. With so many things being scheduled – all of us want real-time updates. And if we don’t have real-time visibility, we at least want to know when our delivery or shipment will arrive. Customers should have the ability to change things on the fly or cancel something after they’ve ordered it. Customers want flexibility at any given point in time.

Location intelligence is greatly improves efficiency, which is why it’s important for us to understand and use the technology to our advantage. It helps our customers gain significant insight into what’s happening within their operations.

FE: How are companies using increased visibility to overcome challenges?

Jayaram: The increased visibility shows us what needs to be delivered, picked up, how many fleets are operational, driver availability and roster, shift windows, various aspects of regulations that could impact operations. We further use location intelligence to look at weather and traffic information. It helps us do our job much more efficiently and allows the customer to have increased visibility for more detailed updates regarding their orders.

FE: How do you see it helping your fleets?

Herzig: The exciting thing in this particular case is we are supporting partners like integrated software vendors or system integrators, such as TCS, to build better solutions. We can enrich many elements of fleet and supply chain software with our location platform because the data is easily consumed and it works together seamlessly. The reason being, it is all based on the same data model and location data. With location technology and data, the industry can create more complete products that solve real-world problems.

For even more location technology insight, click here to watch the webinar on demand.

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