Historically, fleets have depended on truck managers and dispatchers to schedule product pick ups and deliver loads to customers.
“While the historical method has proven to be effective, today, dispatchers are responsible for much larger fleets with just a few to a few hundred drivers,” noted Debajyoti Das, VP, Mobile Development at ERP software development company, VAI.
Mobile devices are becoming ever more prevalent. According to Pew Research, 96% of U.S. adults owned a cell phone, with 81% of adults owning a “smartphone” as of February 2019.
The adoption of mobile devices may sound daunting, but without these devices and applications, fleets will not be able to map out routes or deliver products accurately or on time.
“Having mobile technology will allow work trucks to automate the management process - ultimately becoming more efficient. Work truck fleets should be ready to implement mobile devices in their day-to-day operations to streamline and automate interaction between drivers and dispatchers,” Das said.
Mobility solutions add real value to any type of fleet management operation.
The Benefit of Mobile Devices for Work Truck Fleets
Warehouse employees, fleet managers, salespeople, and truck drivers are responsible for the ongoing success of a company. However, many fleet workers are tasked with running various job responsibilities at the same time - requiring them to spend the majority of their time traveling.
“By utilizing mobile devices and fleet management software apps, everyone can actively monitor all processes and information involved in their work truck fleet from anywhere in the world,” Das explained.
Additionally, distributors face multiple challenges every day, including high volumes of customer orders to organize, rising fuel costs, drivers and vehicles to manage, changing road and traffic conditions, and tight time windows.
“Fleet managers can also save money through optimal routing. With route management mobile applications, fleets can save time and improve fuel efficiency by planning routes faster, maximizing the investment in fleets. Fleets would be able to avoid or minimize traffic slowdowns and ensure the load is on the fastest route to its destination,” Das said.
Operators and fleets will also have more efficient dispatching.“By leveraging truck routing, warehouse employees and fleet managers can have full visibility into how much time drivers have, helping improve load planning and service quality,” Das said.
Mobile Device Challenges
Along with the challenge of adjusting to mobile devices, communications can be an issue as well.
“If the mobile device cannot function without the internet, it limits just how connected fleets can be,” Das explained.
To combat this issue, fleet operators must invest in mobile applications that can be used online or offline.
“If disconnected from the internet, fleets should be able to continue utilizing mobile devices in an offline setting. Once connectivity is restored, the app should automatically synchronize data with the company’s server - updating warehouse employees in real-time and streamlining operation,” Das said. “As a result, fleets will be able to place and process orders, capture proof of delivery, email service completion notifications, and post invoices and payments to accounts receivable, all with complete accuracy.”
The Bottom Line
Mobile devices will significantly enhance work trucks, and fleet operators should embrace these technologies.
“Wireless devices are equipped with purpose-built apps that can be carried or mounted to complete a variety of tasks seamlessly. VAI’s software enables the dynamic load and route management that helps fleets reach their maximum optimization level - scaling businesses and increasing customer satisfaction,” Das concluded.